Understanding the new Marine Pollution Amendment Bill

Ships can pollute our oceans in various ways, from oil spills to harmful chemical sewage and garbage. To address this, South Africa is updating its laws to align with international standards and SST is pleased to have contributed detailed feedback to Government in support of the proposed Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening:

  1. The government is proposing an update to the Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill.
  2. This Amendment Bill aims to improve existing regulations to better protect our oceans from ship-related pollution.
  3. It aligns with the MARPOL Convention, which sets international standards for preventing pollution from ships. This includes:
    1. Proper stowing, handling and transfer of toxic waste, as well as the disposal of hazardous waste like cleaning agents, and cargo hold washing water.
    2. Reducing air pollution from ships.
    3. Regulating the disposal of garbage at sea.
    4. Controlling the discharge of sewage into the sea.

South Africa is already a signatory to MARPOL and is aligning its laws accordingly.

Why is this important?

  1. Cleaner oceans mean healthier marine life, which benefits everyone.
  2. Reduced pollution protects our beautiful coastlines and supports tourism and local businesses in coastal communities.
  3. Supporting the amendments to the existing bill contributes to the realisation of SST’s vision of a sustainable future in which the people of Africa and her seas co-exist harmoniously and prosper.

What can you do?

  1. Learn more about the bill and share information with your friends and family.
  2. View the bill and follow its progress here.

SST also supported comments submitted by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). By working together, we can ensure a cleaner and healthier future for our oceans and ourselves.

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