There are many contributing factors to the occurrence of an environmental emergency that requires prompt response from the City, many of which are man-made.
There City has drafted bylaws that provide guidelines on how to respond to an environmental emergency. According to Section 36(5) of the National Environment Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008, in case of an environmental emergency the owner of the premises, waste generator or the person who was responsible for the waste when the emergency occurred, must report the effects caused to the waste management officer of the City within 24 hours before the municipality can offer services.
The municipality may arrange for the management of the emergency, including the clearing and cleaning of debris and pollution effects, transporting and disposing of the waste at a licensed waste disposal facility.
It may also arrange and co-ordinate the remediation of the contaminated natural environment.
However, the costs incurred by the municipality in relation to the management of the environmental emergency is for the account of the person responsible for the emergency.