10th Annual Air Quality Lekgotla
The Lekgotla is an annual event that is aimed at providing a forum for coordination and capacity building in air quality management. The event also provides air quality officials from all spheres of government the opportunity to share experiences, challenges and to plan for the year ahead. Through this interaction and information-sharing, the Lekgotla also strengthens cooperation and collaboration between the three spheres of government (national, provincial and local) towards improved accountability.
This gathering has been proven to be a good platform and the opportunity for the government officials to interact and strengthen their regulatory tools towards the air quality management in the country. The interest and the participation in the Annual Air Quality Lekgotla has increased with around 350 delegates from National, Provincial and Municipalities in 2014.
2015 marks the year when the existing plants/facilities have to comply with the minimum emission standards as of 1 April 2015. Hence, the regulatory community specifically the Licensing Authorities will be faced with challenges from industry, such as compliance and late applications for postponements of the timeframes. Therefore, the 2015 Lekgotla will be focusing, amongst others, on Atmospheric Emission Licenses including postponement applications, Ambient Air Quality Monitoring, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement.
The primary aim of the Air Quality Governance Lekgotla is for the government officials working in air quality management to share experiences with the implementation of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (Act No. 39 of 2004) (AQA) and to plan ahead.
The theme of the 2015 Air Quality Governance Lekgotla is “Launching the Air Quality Management Systems for Transparent Governance and Improved Service Delivery.” The event is expected to bring together at least 350 air quality officials from all three spheres of government, to deliberate on various pertinent issues such as Air Quality Management Planning Tools, Ambient Air Quality Monitoring as well as Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement. It is a platform and an opportunity for government officials to interact and strengthen regulatory tools towards improved air quality management.
The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, will officially open the 10th Annual Air Quality Governance Lekgotla on Monday 28 September 2015, in Bloemfontein. During the opening session of the Lekgotla, the 2015 State of Air Report and National Air Quality Indicator will be tabled.
The Lekgotla will be followed by a Multi-Stakeholder Workshop on Wednesday, 30 September, where the DEA will be launching the South African Atmospheric Emission Licensing and Inventory Portal (SAAELIP).
The SAAELIP is comprised of two components namely, the System for National Atmospheric Emission Licensing (SNAEL) and the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory System (NAEIS). The SNAEL will provide the regulated community with an online platform for the Atmospheric Emission License application, processing and management.
The NAEIS provides all listed activities, relevant data holders and government departments with a platform to report online both air pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG) as required by the Air Quality Act. Hence, the national emission profile will be readily available for air quality management planning, policy decision, and future air quality modelling.
The SNAEL component development is being finalised. The NAEIS component is under implementation and the regulated community is in the process of reporting 2014 emissions. The DEA would like to launch the SAAELIP during the Air Quality Governance Lekgotla on Wednesday, 30 September 2015. Hence, the request is for the Minister/ Deputy Minister to launch the system and deliver the keynote address to delegates.
On behalf of the Department of Environmental Affairs, I would like to thank the government of the Free State Province for hosting this - the 10th Annual Air Quality Governance Lekgotla -and thank you all for attending this prestigious event of air quality officials. We also note that the interest and attendance to the Lekgotla has strengthen from year to year and with around 350 officials from National, Provincial and Municipalities having attended the 2014 Lekgotla.
To provide an overview of the 2015 State of Air Quality (2005 - 2014), focusing on major metropolitans, Western Cape province, declared priority areas, Richards Bay Clean Air Association, Sasol and Eskom stations.