The bill of rights contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. The Constitution places responsibility on the state to respect, protect and promote the rights of all people – including the right to an environment that is not harmful to health and wellbeing. In order to give effect to the rights in the context of air quality, it is necessary for the cooperating municipalities to ensure that the levels of air quality in their areas of jurisdiction are not harmful to human health and the environment.
The partnership project between the City of Gothenburg and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is very important for upholding people’s environmental rights. The partnership will be based on the exchange of technical and professional knowledge in air quality management. The expected result is to update air quality management systems (AQMS) for both the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the City of Gothenburg and to build, in the case of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, and refine, in the case of the City of Gothenburg, a permitting/licensing system for licensing of the listed polluting sources that could have major impact on the environment.