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South Africa: Department of Environmental Affairs Concludes Air Quality Governance Lekgotla
Source: Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
Source Date: Monday, October 21, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 21, 2013

According to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates, more than 1 billion people world-wide are exposed to outdoor air pollution annually. In South Africa, and many other developing nations, indoor air pollution adds to this number.
According to statistics urban air pollution is linked to up to 2 million premature deaths world-wide each year, and is estimated to cost approximately 2% of GDP in developed countries and 5% in developing countries.
Currently there are 102 government-owned air quality monitoring stations of which 84 are already reporting to South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS). Ambient air quality monitoring is also being used to identify areas in need of restoration and their prioritisation, such as in the national air quality priority areas of Vaal Triangle, Highveld and Waterberg-Bojanala.
The Government has already exceeded the set target of 80%, having achieved 82% of the Presidential Outcome 10 target of government-owned monitoring stations reporting to SAAQIS Furthermore, DEA is setting up an asset management system for these government-owned monitoring stations. This will ensure proper planning and management of these costly state assets.
SAAQIS is hosted by the South African Weather Services.
Every year, DEA presents the State of Air Report which provides an analysis of the quality of air in South Africa based on the observations from the air quality monitoring stations across the country.

The 2012 report shows that the quality of air, particularly in dense urban-industrial areas, remains a national cause for concern. It is for this reason that the Department calls for a continued and increased national, provincial and local action to enforce compliance with legislative framework.
Deliver the closing remarks on behalf of Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Member of Parliament Honourable JJ Skhosana called for effective regulation of atmospheric emission licences.

“We should ensure that the atmospheric emission licenses are used effectively to regulate all industrial sources of emissions. I would also like to applaud the work of my department is finalising the amendment of the industrial emission standards which form part of the atmospheric emission license,” he said.
This year’s Air Quality Lekgotla was convened under the theme: “Towards the First Decade of Unified and Sustainable Air Quality Governance in South Africa”. The Lekgotla took place alongside the 2013 International Union of Air Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Associations (IUAPPA) congress which seeks to establish a holistic sustainable solutions for air quality in the developing world though the integration with Climate Change and Bio-diversity.
The IUAPPA congress is also an opportunity for South Africa’s air quality and climate change officials to engage with international counterparts and learn about recent scientific developments in the fields of air quality and related environmental policy. IUAPPA also presents an opportunity for the international delegates to learn from South Africa’s unique experiences in the fields of air quality, climate change and environmental policy enforcement.
It is through such engagements as the Air Quality Governance Lekgotla that DEA seeks to advance its capability to achieve its Constitutional mandate of ensuring the right of all South African citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being.

Summary of the 2013 State of Air Report [PDF]
For media enquiries:
Albi Modise
Spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Affairs
Cell: 083 490 2871
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