environmentallawistheprincipaltoolwithwhichtomanagetheenvironment.Toacertainextent,thiscertainty‘‘merelyreflectstheregrouping or re-categorization of matters that have always been there’’(ibid). An example would be the use of ‘‘nuisance control’’, well-known inprivate law, in combating noise pollution.4.The immensity and complexity of environmental lawsOver and above the recognition of an environmental right (s 24 of theConstitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996), the South AfricanParliament adopted a number of Acts, varying in complexity and gearedtowards the protection and management of the environment, for examplethe National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) and theso-called sectoral environmental management Acts (SEMAs), such as theNational Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004. (Youwill learn more about these SEMAs in the final postscript to this studyguide.)Apartfromnationallegislation,thenineprovincesarealsoempowered to pass legislation dealing with environmental protection.While policy guidelines are, strictly speaking, not laws, they are issued bythe state department that deals with environmental matters and contributeto the number of rules and regulations for managing the environment. (Wewill elaborate on this matter in the study unit dealing with constitutional lawand the environment.)5.More frequent use of the law in environmental disputesAccording to the authors, the public increasingly views the results of‘‘’environmental’ decisions as unsatisfactory’’. Put differently, there is ageneral perception that the policies and procedures used by decisionmakers are ‘‘failing the public and the environment’’ (ibid). This has led tothe increasing use of law by environmental groups as ‘‘an alternative todirect action’’ (ibid). Law has also been used by local residents to putpressure on the planning system to protect their own personal andpropertyinterestsagainst‘‘unwelcomedevelopments’’(ibid).Thisobservation is also true of the situation in South Africa, if you considerhow often ratepayers approach the courts regarding environmentallyunsound developments in their suburbs or communities.1.3The meaning of the term ‘‘environment’’Activity 2List a few items that you think are included in the term‘‘environment’’ and indicate who (either persons or bodies/institutions) you would recommend to assist with theprotection, conservation and/or management of theenvironment.