South Africa

Disaster Management Act, 2002

Directions Regarding Measures to Address, Prevent and Combat the Spread of COVID-19 Relating to the Forestry Sector (Alert Level 3)

Government Notice 649 of 2020

I, Barbara Dallas Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment hereby issue the Directions for Alert Level 3 set out in the Schedule in terms of regulation 4(10) of the Regulations issued by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) and published on 29 April 2020 in Government Notice No. R. 480 of Government Gazette No. 43258.Barbara Dallas CreecyMinister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

1. Definitions

In these Directions, anyword or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Regulations and the National Forests Act bears the meaning so assigned and, unless the context otherwise indicates—"National Forests Act" means the National Forests Act, 1998 (Act No. 84 of 1998);"Regulations" means the Regulations issued in terms ofsection 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) and published on 29 April 2020 in Government Notice No. R.480 of Government Gazette No. 43258.


2. Purpose

The purpose of these Directions is to curtail the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to alleviate, contain and minimise the effects of the national state of disaster, and to ensure fair processes, especially with regard to specified licencing, evaluation of licence applications, Inspections and issuing of licenses in terms of the National Forests Act.


3. Application

These Directions apply to—(a)issuing authorities responsible for the processes listed in Annexure 1; and(b)all applicants and holders of licenses related to the matters dealt with in Annexure 1.


4. Activities

Issuing authorities will receive and process applications in the manner indicated in Annexure 1 to these Directions.


5. Commencement

These Directions come into effect on the date of publication in the Government Gazette.


Annexure 1

Services to be provided by issuing authorities in terms of the National Forests Act

General provisions:1.The provision of services indicated in the table below, in addition to the specific restrictions indicated in the table, is subject to all the applicable health and safety and other restrictions, directions and requirements determined in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).2.If there is any uncertainty about whether a service is restricted, the relevant official of the particular authority should be approached for guidance and/or confirmation.3.For purposes of clarity, a licence required in terms of the National Forests Act is hereafter referred to as a licence.4.The following email addresses per province must be utilised for the submission of online applications:4.1 Eastern Cape: NomalwandeM@daff.gov.za4.2 Free State: NdabankuluQ@daff.gov.za4.3 Gauteng: MphoTH@daff.gov.za4.4 KwaZulu-Natal:EvaD@daff.gov.za4.5 Limpopo: AndrewT@daff.gov.za4.6 Mpumalanga: SivabulelaK@daff.gov.za4.7 Northern Cape:JacolineMa@daff.gov.za4.8 North West: NonzameG@daff.gov.za4.9 Western Cape: ThandekaG@daff.gov.za

Authority Service to be provided Mechanism for provision of the service
Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in the
1. Eastern Cape;
2. Free State;
3. Gauteng;
4. KwaZulu-Natal;
5. Limpopo;
6. Mpumalanga;
7. Northern Cape;
8. Northwest; and
9. Western Cape.
Receipt of applications for licences in terms of sections 7 and 15 of the National Forests Act • Licence applications may be submitted physically or electronically for:
o All development activities that may result in cutting, destruction, and disturbance in natural forests; and
o All development activities that may result in possession, collection, removal, transportation, purchase, and export of forest products for which a licence is required.
Evaluation of licence applications • Evaluation of licence applications may be conducted through site visits by dedicated officials.
• In respect of applications for removal of protected trees that pose a threat to life and property:
o Electronic applications must be accompanied by a digital picture of the tree; and
o Licence applications that require further evaluation by other competent authorities such as municipalities or provincial offices will be processed when these authorities are operational.
Inspections • Site Inspections will be conducted as for as practically possible.
• Where inspections are required, but cannot be conducted, licences may be issued provisionally, subject to a condition that an inspection will be conducted at a later date to be determined by the issuing authority.
• No site-visits/ inspections will be conducted for applications requiring recommendations from other authorities when these authorities are operational.
Issuing of licences Licences will be issued manually.
Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in the
1. Eastern Cape;
2. Free State;
3. Gauteng;
4. KwaZulu-Natal;
5. Limpopo;
6. Mpumalanga;
7. Northern Cape;
8. North West;
9. Western Cape.
Applications for licences in terms of section 23 of the the National Forests Act, in relation to the following activities:
• Felling of trees and removal of timber;
• Establishment and management of plantation;
• Use and construction and of roads;
• Use of structures, land and buildings for commercial agriculture, industrial, transportation, residential and communication purposes;
• Moving of water, electricity, gas, fuel and any other thing across the state forest land; and
• Herding of animals and cultivation of state land.
Licence applications may be submitted physically or electronically.
Evaluation of licence applications Evaluation of licence applications may be conducted through site visits by dedicated officials.
Inspections Site inspections may be conducted, and where there are protected trees posing a threat to life and property, electronic applications must be accompanied by a digital picture of the tree.
Issuing of licences • Approved licences will be issued manually.
• The following offices will be open:
o Demar Centre Knysna office
o Belville office
o Bisho Office
o Kokstad office
o Mtata office
o Polokwane office
o Makhado office
o Nelspruit office
o Upington office
o North West office
o Bloemfontein office
o Port Elizabeth office

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