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Volume 10 March 2005
ISSN 1438-7890
African Journal of Environmental Assessment and Management
Revue africaine de gestion et d’évaluation environnementales



Luke A Sandham(1), M Victor Siphugu(2) and Thivhulawi R Tshivhandekano(3)

1Environmental Assessment Research Group, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 2520

2Bembani, P O Box 1589, Sunninghill, South Africa, 2157

3University of Venda, P/Bag X5050, Thohoyandou, 0950, South Africa

Correspondence: Luke A Sandham;


Following the introduction of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations under the Environment Conservation Act No. 73 of 1989, hundreds of EIA reports are produced every year in South Africa. However, there is still a dearth of empirical investigation of EIA practice, hence it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of the EIA process in South Africa. Selected aspects of a random sample of EIAs conducted in the Limpopo Province were investigated, focusing on baseline information, specialist studies, duration taken for projects to be authorised and the record of decision (ROD). In general, with the exception of social baseline information, the frequency and quality of baseline information were satisfactory. The quality of specialist studies (although not normally required for the scoping report) was also satisfactory. Duration of projects was satisfactory with authorisation generally within 12 months. Notably, all applications in the sample received a decision at the scoping phase, without any projects requiring a full Environmental Impact Assessment. Judging by the aspects of EIA investigated, EIA practice in the Limpopo Province is generally well compliant to the regulations and guidelines, but capacity and skill in EIA compilation and review needs to be increased.


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