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Environmental Law and Sustainability II

Application Form
Complete Online Application Form at

Start Date
15 July 2024

Apply By
21 June 2024


Duration & Format
This is a semester-long course where participants attend evening lectures from 17:30 to 19:00 once a week during the period 15 July to 22 October 2024. Exams will take place on the 30 October 2024 to 26 November 2024.

The Environmental Law and Sustainability II course facilitates a comprehensive and critical engagement with the suite of legislation focused on environmental management developed post-1994. The National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) is central in this suite, and links with specific environmental management acts or SEMAs. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the underpinning and functioning of the NEMA-SEMA statutory scheme having regard to:

  • The principles permeating the legislation, the regulatory tools embedded in the legislation,
  • The extent to which the legislation advances the realisation of the environmental right contained in section 24 of the Constitution,
  • Methods of enforcement and challenges of implementation.

The course engages with the complex power structures which underpin these regulatory efforts and seeks to situate environmental regulation within the socio-economic and political context in which the regulation of natural resources in South Africa takes place. Environmental Law and Sustainability II focuses on the specific environmental management acts governing air quality and waste, namely the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 and the National Environmental Management Waste Act 59 of 2008

Course Outcomes
At the end of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Apply the primary conceptual frames underlying South Africa's national environmental management suite of legislation and case law;
  • Assess and analyse the primary regulatory mechanisms, institutions and key implementation challenges of the:

             - Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998; 

             - National Forests Act 84 of 1998;

             - National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004;                    

             - National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008;

             - Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (from an environmental                                   perspective); and

             - Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (from an environmental                                   perspective);

  • Interrogate multiple sources of knowledge in legal instruments, policy documents, pieces of legislation, and judgments of the courts on environmental law and evaluate knowledge and processes of knowledge production.

Course Content
The course consists of the following topics:

  • Environmental justice;
  • Introduction to pollution control measures;
  • Regulatory approaches to air quality;
  • Minimum emission standards;
  • Priority air quality areas;
  • Climate change impact assessment (re air quality);
  • Waste management and regulation;
  • Liability for waste pollution;
  • Contaminated land;
  • Waste reclaimers, livelihoods and the law;
  • Extended producer responsibility; and
  • Pollution and emergency incidents: Cornubia chemical plant fire.

Target Audience
Environmental lawyers, policymakers, sustainability officers, and professionals interested in environmental protection and sustainable development.

Application Process
A relevant Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Commerce in Law or Bachelor of Arts in Law or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite for admission to the postgraduate certificate courses; OR

Applicants with any other undergraduate qualifications must complete the bridging course Introduction to Law for Non- Lawyers or equivalent courses first as well as have relevant legal work experience in the specific legal field before they would be considered for other courses.

You will be required to submit a copy of your Bachelors Degree, academic record as well as a copy of your identity document or passport.

Kindly note that all foreign qualifications must be submitted with a SAQA Evaluation Letter.

Additional Information
One of the following certificates can be obtained: 

  • Certificate of Attendance: To obtain a certificate of attendance, students are required to attend and participate in 75% of the lectures. 
  • Certificate of Competence: To obtain a certificate of competence, students are required to attend and participate in 75% of the lectures and to complete the assessments as required in the course.

This postgraduate certificate course is accredited by the university in accordance with its statutory mandate.  It does not lead to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework.

Mahlatse Masemola Tel No: +27 11 717 8438; Email 
Ursula Dillner-Dangor Tel No: +27 11 717 8435; Email: