Amendments have been made to South Africa’s regulations aimed at protecting the ozone layer.
“In an effort to ensure that we close the potential gaps in illegal trade, an amendment of the Regulations Regarding the Phasing-out and Management of Ozone Depleting Substances has been undertaken…” Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister, Makhotso Sotyu, said.
Addressing the virtual celebration of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Sotyu said measures are put in place to monitor and control imports and exports in the country, such as import quotas and the licensing system.
This year’s celebration is themed ‘Ozone for Life’, acknowledging 35 years of ozone layer protection, preserving of the environment and human health.
Sotyu said government is actively involved in activities locally and internationally that aim to protect the ozone layer and ultimately human health.
Government’s collaboration with the industry birthed the Chemicals Management Phakisa Initiatives, aimed at impacting positively on both the environment and economy, such as the training of refrigeration and air conditioning technicians in the informal servicing sector in the country by 2023.
Government is extending reach to learning institutions in order to develop and raise a generation of environmentalists.
“South Africa also participates and plays an important role in leading the Africa Group in international negotiations, making sure that the needs of the continent in phasing out and managing ozone depleting substances are met,” Sotyu said.
This year, South Africa is the President of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment and has been privileged to co-chair the Open Ended-Working Group Meeting in 2020.
“We are hopeful that despite the very difficult circumstances we face the world over, our contribution and leadership will help in guiding the ozone family to making important decisions,” Sotyu said.
Government, the Deputy Minister, has much work ahead in dealing with global warming substances such as HFCs and implementing the Kigali Amendment.
World Ozone Day was declared in 1994 by the United Nations following the signing of the Montreal Protocol, which aims to protect the ozone layer by taking measures to control the total global production and consumption of ozone depleting substances.
This year’s celebration brings together the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, importers and exporters of refrigerants, learning institutions and government to reflect on measures taken to phase out ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) in South Africa, and encourage use of environmentally friendly alternatives.