Environmental Impact


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.

An Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the ELIDZ based on initial consultation was developed and submitted to the then provincial regulatory authority DEAE & T( now the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs). The EMF was endorsed by DEAE & T and adopted by the ELIDZ in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) as amended. The EMF supplements the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) that have been conducted for the ELIDZ to date. The EMF for the ELIDZ provides an overall framework within which other instruments, such as EIAs can be applied. Currently, all industries wishing to locate within the IDZ have to submit an EIA to the DEDEA for approval. The EMF streamlines this process, it further alerts potential investors to the environmental constraints facing prospective activities and at an early stage flag projects that are in conflict with environmental concerns.
Due to the extensive environmental studies that have been undertaken in support of the designation of the IDZ, as well as proximity to residential areas, the focus of the EMF is on the management of: • Noise; • Air quality; and • Water and effluent. Over and above compliance to all applicable legal and other requirements, the ELIDZ adopted various programmes and/or strategies to ensure that the IDZ is environmentally sustainable that include but are not limited to: • Air Quality monitoring, • Ground and surface water monitoring, • Effluent discharge monitoring, • Vegetation management (alien and indigenous), • Construction Safety Health and Environmental (SHE) management, • Adoption and certification of internationally recognised SHE standards (ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System), • Best practice corporate governance and triple bottom line reporting. The ELIDZ will continue to target investment in clean industry to ensure it operates within its Environmental Management Framework geared at achieving legal and other compliance and the equally important goal of Sustainable Industrial Development. Sustainable Industrial Development is an objective that cannot be achieved without environmental sustainability and the management of sound integrated SHEQ management systems and programs.