Environmental Services
Vision & Mission
Policies & Legislation


Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No 108 of 1996)
The Constitution mandates responsible environmental management to all citizens of the Republic and states that, “everyone has the right –

  • to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being; and
  • to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that –
  • prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
  • promote conservation; and
  • secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development”.

White Paper on Defence, 1996
Chapter 8 of the White Paper on Defence relates to Land and Environmental Issues, mandating the environmentally responsible management of the environment under the control of the DOD. It states that the Minister of Defence, as well as the Chief of the SANDF “are responsible for ensuring the exercise of proper ecological management and control of military properties”. The responsibility and accountability to ensure that “the planning and execution of military activities will take account of the environmental implications and not jeopardise the long-term potential of the land and other natural resources” are directly transferred to Commanding Officers of military installations.

Defence Review, 1998
Chapter 12 of the Defence Review, 1998 on Land and Environment, addresses the environmentally responsible management of DOD controlled land in terms of clean-up of training areas, graves and burial sites, utilisation of external expertise, multiple use of facilities and disposal and closure of defence facilities.

Broad Strategy and Functional Strategies for Environmental Services in the SANDF, 1992
The Broad Strategy for Environmental Services as well as Functional Strategies on Environmental Planning, Environmental Research, Environmental Education & Awareness Training, Base Environmental Management, Ecological Management and Cultural Resource Management serves as the basis for the development and implementation of Environmental Services in the DOD. It was developed in 1992 to direct the environmental function in the DOD through the development of policies and capacities in terms of functional areas. Actions recommended have led to the development of monitoring and compliance mechanisms.

Corporate Environmental Policy Statement For Defence:
The Department of Defence shall, in compliance with the Environmental obligations placed upon it by the Constitution, National and international regulatory provisions and within the constraints imposed from time to time by nature of its business,

  • protect the environment through pro-active measures of Military Integrated Environmental Management;
  • accept responsibility for sustainable use of the environment entrusted to it;
  • minimize the adverse impacts of its operations on the environment by means of a programme of continual improvement;
  • promote open communication on military related environmental issues to all interested and affected parties;
  • train and motivate its members to regard environmental considerations as an integral and vital element of their day-to-day activities.

First Edition Environmental Implementation Plan for Defence

The First Edition Environmental Implementation Plan (EIP) for Defence assumes a strategic perspective. The primary aim was to represent an instrument for the promotion of co-operative governance around environmental management. It took the first steps in the quest to align environmental management between the SA DOD and other national departments as well as provincial government. The ultimate pursuit has been to secure protection of the environment within the context of the national objectives for sustainable development whilst simultaneously achieving the primary aim and objectives of the DOD. The motive sustained throughout this EIP is to address the implementation of measures and mechanisms of environmental management to enable sustained environmental performance and compliance in accordance with the provisions of the National Environmental Management Act No 107 of 1998 (NEMA) by developing and implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) for the DOD.

Second Edition Environmental Implementation Plan for Defence

The Second Edition EIP for Defence will build on the efforts and commitments made in the First Edition EIP as well as fill in the gaps that were identified during this process.