Eco-scorpions sting factory

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Green Scorpi ons of Mpuma-langa's department of agriculture and land administration have stung a panel board factory in Nelspruit for breaching environmental legislation by undertaking unauthorised listed activity.

The department said Sonae Novobord installed a new drier on its plant that would allow it to increase production without government approval.

The installation of the drier is a listed activity that requires authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (Nema).

Department spokesman Putsoa Makua said his department would impose an undisclosed fine on the company for its non-compliance with the act.

"Furthermore, Sonae Novobord will have to submit the necessary application for approval.

"In addition to complying with Nema, Sonae will have to apply to the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to amend their air quality permit in line with the National Air Quality Management Act," said Makua.

This incident comes in the wake of department MEC Dina Pule's call for the intensive implementation of environmental legislation.

A number of developers and industries have felt the heat, with some being ordered to stop their development and others facing heavy fines.