Department of Environmental Affairs
About Us

Introduction and background

We as humanity continue to consume the earths’ resources at ever increasing and unsustainable rates. This serves a course of rapidly accelerating trends of environmental degradation and climate change globally, which threaten to undermine existing and future developmental potential and opportunity.

As a result of these increased national awareness of these risks and threats to development in South Africa, environmental considerations are being mainstreamed in development policies across the economy. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa empowers us as a sector and the Department of Environmental Affairs continue to endeavour for the full realisation of the right to an environment that is not harmful to the health and well-being of South Africans and all those who live in our country.

As the sector and the Department, we aim to radically transform our approach to environmental protection, while also balancing it with socio- economic development – crucial pillars on which sustainable development rests. As a nation we adopted the National Development Plan, which maps out the vision of the country for the 20 years ahead. In the environment sector, we will implement related aspects of the priority areas that deal with environmental protection and sustainable development.

Also in our quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly environmental protection and poverty reduction, we continue to promote various initiatives that galvanise unprecedented efforts to make South Africa a better country for all who live in it. The department therefore aims to provide leadership in environmental management, utilisation, conservation and protection of ecological infrastructure.

The purpose of the Department of Environmental Affairs website is to promote access to information of the department to the general public, profile the department in terms of department’s mandate and its guiding legislations, showcase the departmental current and planned activities by means of publishing the annual reports, medium term strategic plan, previous and upcoming events, news and speeches.


To ensure fulfilment of this, the guiding objectives of the department are:

  • • ensure that information on the website is easily found accessible
  • • contribute towards public engagement through information provision
  • • provide access to online departmental information
  • • provide information about the department and its services.
  • • provide access to environmental affairs provincial department websites
  • • provide access to the department’s public entities websites


Target audience:

Sectors of the public engaged in and those that have growing interest in environmental issues. These comprise of:

  • • national and international environmental organisations (private and NGO sector)
  • • national, provincial and local government authorities
  • • the media
  • • miscellaneous members of the national and international community
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