The day after the national lockdown began, an amendment to the Air Quality Act was published in the Government Gazette doubling the emissions limit for sulphur dioxide, one of the pollutants released by power stations and other heavy industries that burn coal.

The pre-amended limit of 500mg/Nm3 was meant to kick in on April 1, but even the revised limit of 1,000 mg/Nm3 is an April fool’s joke since major culprits such as Eskom and Sasol are nowhere near achieving these emissions levels. In fact, they never intended to obey the law, regardless of what limit was set. ..

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