National environmental crimes and incidents hotline
The National Environmental Crimes and Incidents Hotline is operated by the Department of Environmental Affairs. Established in 2006, it has been operational ever since, with members of the public being able to report alleged non-compliance with environmental legislation, ranging from the illegal dumping of waste and the poaching of wildlife and protected species’ to the lack of water and sanitation services to local communities. This toll-free hotline not only provides a platform for members of the public to voice their concerns about environmental transgressions, but also extends the capability of environmental authorities to detect and tackle non-compliances.
The national environmental crimes and incidents hotline offers the following services:
- 24 hour toll free number for registering of complaints from members of the public;
- Analysis of complaint and referral to appropriate regulatory authority;
- Written acknowledgement of receipt to complainant where the complainant has provided contact details;
- Written referral letter to the relevant authority.
According to the Constitution, the mandate to enforce and monitor compliance with environmental legislation is shared between national, provincial and local spheres of government. In the event that the complaint:
- Falls with the mandate on national DEA, the complainant can request feedback from the national department;
- Falls with the mandate of another national, provincial or local authority, the relevant details of the contact person will be given to the complainant for further feedback and progress on the matter.