About Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI)



  Environmental Management Inspectorate logo

The DEA, provincial environmental departments and other provincial and municipal organs of the state employ Environmental Management Inspectorates, a network of environmental enforcement officials from various national, provincial and municipal government departments created by National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) of 2008.

The mandate and functions of EMI

EMI must see to it that environmental legislation is followed and enforced. The EMIs have the powers to:

  • Investigate: question witnesses, inspect and remove articles, take photographs and audiovisual recordings, take samples and remove waste
  • Inspect: enter premises to ascertain whether legislation is being followed and seize evidence of criminal activity
  • Enforce: search premises, containers, vessels, vehicles, aircraft and pack animals; seize evidence and contraband; establish road blocks and make arrests.
  • Administrate: issue compliance notices and admission of guilt fines

The EMIs are not empowered to prosecute cases in court. All cases continue to be handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution. The EMIs therefore work closely with prosecutors country wide to ensure the successful prosecution of offenders.

Roles of EMI in relation to the South African Police Service

The South African Police Service continues to play a crucial role in enforcing environmental legislation and EMIs work closely with the SAPS in the investigation of environmental crimes. In terms of the National Environment Management Act, all police officers have the powers of an EMI.

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