A LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSED WASTE DISCHARGE SYSTEM IN TERMS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER LAW FRAMEWORK
Keywords:Waste Discharge Charge System, environmental and water law framework
Environmental regulation in South Africa relies significantly on the “command and control” approach which employs environmental authorisations as the primary regulatory mechanisms. The National Water Act 36 of 1998 currently provides for an alternative regulatory mechanism (economic) in the form of the Waste Discharge Charge System (WDCS) which is to be implemented during the course of 2007. The WDCS is based on the polluter- and user-pays principles which are both economic principles aimed at internalising external costs of pollution. The main aim of the WDCS is to attach a cost to the impact caused by waste discharge with the intention
of reducing the damaging effects of waste on water resources. This article investigates the WDCS by making some preliminary remarks on the rationale, nature, design, and aims of the system as it is established in the broader South African environmental and water law framework.
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