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Environmental Management Systems


The Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Branch undertakes the procedures of Integrated Environmental Management, or IEM. IEM is both a philosophy and a procedure regulated by law for ensuring that the environmental consequences of an action are considered at each of the planning, decision-making, implementation and monitoring stages of a policy, plan, programme or project.

The National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) 108 of 1998 contains principles for sustainable development and established the procedures that must be followed in each stage of the IEM process.
The overall function of the EMS branch is to assist the City of Cape Town to comply with these principles and procedures in order to promote sustainable development.

The key functions of the branch include:
Environmental Review
Environmental input is provided for proposed policies, plans, programmes and projects, both from other spheres of government, such as National and Provincial government, and for private sector development proposals. This often involves co-ordinating City comment on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes and reports, as well as providing input to the development of project proposals in order to ensure that they comply with legislative and policy requirements.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) & Audit Protocol The City of Cape Town has adopted an EMS and Audit Protocol that assists relevant service units and staff to comply with conditions of
approval and to improve the environmental management component of their overall management systems. Together with trained staff from other service units, such as Water and Solid Waste, internal audits of City facilities such as wastewater treatment works and solid waste disposal sites
are undertaken.

Environmental Information System
The Environmental Information System (EIS) is intended to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for environmental information in digital format. It is also a tool for the implementation of all relevant City strategies and policies. The EIS has been created and expanded since 1999 and now provides ready access to the best available spatial information on Cape Town’s natural environment, such as biodiversity, rivers, wetlands and soils, as well as heritage resources, scenic resources and geotechnical information. In future, it is proposed that the City’s information will be linked to major users and providers of information via the internet.

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