EXPLANATORY NOTE ON THE FORESTRY AMENDMENT BILL, 2005
- AMENDMENT OF THE NATIONAL FORESTS ACT, 1998
- The prohibition of the damaging of indigenous trees in section 7(1)(a) is amended to include not only living trees but all indigenous trees, as it is difficult to prove whether wood originates from a dead or a living tree.
- The term "specially protected area" in section 8(1) is rectified to "protected area".
- The powers of the Minister in terms of section 15(1) is extended not only to licence certain acts in respect of protected trees but also to authorize such acts by means of exemption on advice of the Council.
- Section 17(2) is amended to extend the Ministerís powers to prevent deforestation of and to rehabilitate a natural forest or woodland, beyond those protected under section 12(1).
- Amendment of section 27:
- A number of claimed rights in State forests will still take some time to resolve.
- At the same time the State is leasing out a considerable area of State forest land.
- As such lease moneys may eventually have to be paid over to successful claimants of rights in State forests, a need has arisen for the State to keep such moneys in a trust account. A need also exists for the State to continue to receive and pay out lease moneys on behalf of some successful claimants by means of a trust.
- Where claims are unsuccessful, lease moneys kept in trust are paid over to the State. Where State forest land belongs to the Ingonyama Trust however, lease moneys kept for unsuccessful claimants go to the Ingonyama Trust.
- The Bill authorizes the Minister to act as founder of the trust. She may also appoint and dismiss the trustees and create such powers, rights, obligations and exemptions for the trustees as may be necessary to achieve the objects of the trust. The Minister may also decide on the contents, variation and termination of the trust. The Minister may also terminate the appointment of all the trustees and perform their functions herself.
- Despite the discretion of the Minister, the beneficiaries as well as the objects of the trust are well defined in the Bill.
- Section 53 is being amended to extend the regulation-making powers of the Minister in the following manner:
- The Minister is given regulating powers for mensuration.
- Access for recreation is added.
- A general regulation-making power is added.
- The existing formulation of section 53(5) is improved.
- Certain acts in respect of temporarily protected trees are visited with the same criminal sanction as protected trees by section 62(2)(c).
- Certain acts in respect of seven-week ferns which are offences are extended to include all forest produce by section 63(2)(a).
- Amendment of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998
- The Minister may determine a fire danger rating of "extreme" which is higher than the current top rating of "high".
- The minimum number of television channels, radio stations and newspapers on or in which the Minister must communicate a fire danger rating to the public, is reduced from three to one in each case.
- The Wattle Bark Industry Act, 1960
A large part of the wattle bark industry is presently being regulated by this Act. In accordance with the policy of deregulation, section 2 of the Act is repealed and thus deregulates the relationship between growers and manufacturers.