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The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) is made up of two sites and located in two municipalities namely, Musina and Makhado Local Municipalities within the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province. This report specifically relates to the EIA application for the authorisation to clear limited vegetation for the construction and installation of bulk services infrastructure and fencing of the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) South Site
The impacts of the proposed MMSEZ South site have been assessed in terms of vegetation clearance, installation of bulk services and fencing of the site. However, the scope of some specialist assessments was broadened to also include future planned industrial developments (such as the climate change, air quality and biodiversity offset). The intent was to ensure that aside from the immediate impacts, a holistic view was also undertaken for the full life of the MMSEZ South site for key aspects.
The EIA application and Scoping Report (SR) were submitted to LEDET (appointed as the Competent Authority (CA) by DEFF) on 1 February 2019. The SR was approved on 31 May 2019 by the CA and the EIA process and assessments commenced. The Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) was made available for comment on 1 September 2020. The EIR was amended based on received comments and responses from Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) and the second draft EIR was made available for public review on 7 December 2020. The Final EIAR was submitted to LEDET on 1 February 2021. The Final EIR was reviewed by the CA identified some information gaps and requested additional studies, more PPP and a revised EIAR.
The Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) from Delta BEC initiated the EIA application and concluded the EIA process up to submission of the Final EIAR to LEDET. LEDET has reviewed the report and requested some additional information. EnviroXcellence Services (EXS) as the newly appointed EAP has updated the EIAR with the final information and concluded the public participation process for final submission of the EIAR to LEDET.
The specialist reports that were updated to address the gaps include the following:
Biodiversity Offset Report
Climate Change Report
Inclusion of an Avifauna Report
In addition to the above, the CA requested that clarity be provided on the following, with the focus on the long-term life of the development:
Water security for the MMSEZ South site
Energy supply for the MMSEZ South
Waste disposal for the MMSEZ South site
Requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
In terms of the National Environmental Management Act [NEMA], 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) as read with the EIA Regulations, 2014 (as amended) promulgated under Chapter 5 of the NEMA published in GN R327, R326, R325 and R324 in Government Gazette 40772, dated 4 December 2014, a full scoping and EIA process is required for the proposed project as it triggers various notices 1, 2 and 3 listed activities.
The purpose of the EIA was to identify, assess, and report on any potential impacts the proposed project, if implemented, may have on the receiving environment.
The Environmental Assessment therefore needed to demonstrate to the Competent Authority (CA), which is the Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET) of the Limpopo Provincial Government, and the project applicant, which is the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone SOC Limited, what the consequences of their choices will be in terms of the impacts on the biophysical and socio-economic environment, and how negative impacts can be, as far as possible, minimised, mitigated and managed, or avoided and how positive impacts can be enhanced.
Impact assessment and management
The impact methodology to assess the significance before the impact and after the impact is provided in Chapter 4. All impacts identified and assessed, as well as the proposed mitigation measures and management actions, can be found in Chapters 6 and 7 of this report. In addition, all the mitigation and management measures proposed by the specialists, including those additional impacts and management measures identified by the Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) have been included in the EMPr (Appendix AA).
The EIA aimed to address the impacts associated with the activities related to it but it also included a broader view on future anticipated industrial developments. As a result of this, and in terms of the environment, negative impacts of high significance were anticipated prior to mitigation. Mitigation measures have however been stipulated by the various specialists and these will be incorporated into the EMPr that is considered a living document.
Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs), stakeholders, governmental departments, traditional community members, traditional community leaders and interested and affected party members participated during the public participation process which started from the pre-application phase of the project until 31 January 2021. An addition round of public participation is underway, ending 12 October 2021 to address raised PPP comments by the CA and provide registered I&AP's a further opportunity to comment on the minor amendments.
Once this process is concluded the Appendix G (Comments Received) and Appendix H (Comments and Responses report) will be updated.
The Way Forward
The PPP has given IAPs an opportunity to assist with the identification of issues and potential impacts. The Final EIAR has incorporated all comments received from IAPs and has been submitted to LEDET for a decision on the proposed development. This Executive Summary of the Final EIAR (this document) has been distributed to all registered IAPs.
The Final EIAR can also be accessed as an electronic copy on EXS's website.
The Final EIAR has been distributed to all relevant authorities and distributed to LEDET for a decision regarding Environmental Authorisation. All relevant authorities and IAPs registered for the process will be informed once a decision is communicated by LEDET.