Recent Posts



South African Environment Law and Frans Schoeman

Posted: October 13th, 2015, by Zack Winter

There was a time when the interaction between humans and the environment was largely unregulated. This eventually led to the climate change problems that are being experienced today. As an attempt to mitigate the situation, bodies such as UNEP were created. In addition to that, these bodies came up with a system of guidelines that are supposed to regulate the manner in which people interact with the environment.

Following the establishment of these laws, all governments that are member states to the UN were to adopt these laws and integrate them into their respective constitutions. South Africa, being a member state of the UN, has adopted these laws. There are also people that have come up with the appropriate legal framework to tackle this problem in South Africa. One of the most influential of these people is Frans Schoeman and his firm Patisma Diamond Located in Bellville.

Frans’ alma mater is the University of Freestate. He did his undergraduates before proceeding to law school. He Joined Patisma Diamond after a brief time at TG Mintster and Consulting. He has led his company into specializing in environmental law because he is passionate about conserving the environment. The laws written on they protect and litigate include:

  • Laws that govern environmental assessment: Before you carry out a project that will affect the environment, the law now requires that you have the environmental professionals carry out an EIA. This is supposed to gauge how much the project will affect the surroundings. If the body feels that the damage to the environment will be more than the value the project will add, they will recommend that the project be relocated or cancelled altogether.
  • Laws that govern the quality of the air: air pollution is the main culprit in the ongoing climate change crisis. This is because most of the wastes that are being produced by companies and vehicles. There are also chemicals that are used in agriculture. As a result, laws have been put in place to make sure that the trend in carbon poisoning is stopped, thus reducing the depletion of the ozone layer.
  • The quality of water: Before these laws came into place, industries were directing their effluent into rivers and lakes, wiping out the entire ecosystem. With the laws in place, however, South African rivers are cleaner, and the fauna and flora surrounding them can be sustained.
  • Management of wastes: A few decades ago, places like the outskirts of Johannesburg and slums like Soweto were the dumping grounds for waste chemicals from the industries. However, after the laws were put in place, people can now only dump their wastes in designated areas, failure to which they will be liable to the environment authority.
  • Fauna and Flora: There was a time when illegal logging and poaching were the order of the day in the country. After the environment law was enforced, it is now simpler to protect the endangered species and curb deforestation.

The environment law division at Patisma Diamond is handled by the most competent lawyers to ensure that the correct practices are enhanced.