Since inception, the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ)  has committed to “green” environmentally sustainable industrial development.  As such, the ELIDZ targets “clean industries only and has since also made strides in the development of a renewable energy sector as an alternative to energy from fossil fuels.  The East London IDZ has developed an Environmental Management Framework which provides guidelines to direct development and/or operation within clusters and alerts potential investors to the environmental constraints facing prospective activities. The East London IDZ has also set about rigorous monitoring practices which continuously monitor the ELIDZ’s impact on the environment and pro-actively ensures that the zone’s operations do not thrive on the expense of the environment.

Following the completion of various feasibility and environmental impact assessments (EIAs) during 1999, an application for the establishment of the ELIDZ was lodged with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). When the East London IDZ was formally designated as an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) and granted a permit to operate, it was on condition that  it complied with all environment-related legal and other requirements relevant to the location of the ELIDZ. Key to these conditions, was an undertaking,  in terms of the Environmental Conservation Act, by the ELIDZ to only attract and settle general / clean industries in the zone.  Noxious / dirty industries while not considered suitable, would be subjected to a separate individual applications to DEDEA.