Directions guiding the biodiversity, forestry, waste management and fisheries sectors and permitting under lock-down level three
6 June 2020
Hunting, self-drive visits to private or public game reserves and national parks, as well as recreational fishing are among the activities the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries gazetted in terms of the Covid-19 Lockdown Level Three Disaster Management Act today.
The notices have been published as follows:
- Directions for the biodiversity sector for alert level three (Government Gazette 43409 Notice No.647)
- Directions regarding measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19 relating to National Environmental Management permits and licenses (Government Gazette 43414 Notice No. 650)
- Directions regarding measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19 relating to the freshwater and marine fishing sectors (Government Gazette 43410 Notice No. 648)
- Directions regarding measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19 relating to the forestry sector (Government Gazette 43411 Notice No.649).
In terms of the directions for the biodiversity sector time frames for the extensions of permits, registrations and certificates issued in terms of NEMBA and applicable provincial conservation legislation are extended. Guidelines are set for the application of permits, registrations and certificates, and the manner in which issuing authorities must process applications and issue permits, registrations and certificates.
Wildlife auctions can take place online. Live auctions comprising not more than 50 people may be held, where online auctions are not possible.
The import and export of live or dead plant or animal specimens or products will be allowed subject to directions issued by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition. Subsistence hunting for food with the necessary permits is allowed.
Self-drive excursions in public and private game reserves are permitted. SANParks will publish a list of access-controlled parks that will be opened to visitors in the coming days. Visitors to national parks are advised to book and pay online before going on a game drive.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is preparing the park ready for visitors and will advise the public timeously when it will reopen for self-drive excursions.
All fishing, including recreational fishing, is permitted with the exception of charter fishing. Fishers must ensure that they have a valid permit.
As with hunting, auctions and related activities, all regulations relating to social distancing, health protocols, movement and the prohibition of groups and gatherings apply.
The directions related to the issuing of National Environmental Management permits and licenses deal with the processing of applications for Environmental Authorisations required in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), as well as the handling of applications for waste management licences, permits linked to the export of waste tyres, and applications for atmospheric emission licences in terms of the Air Quality Act. Appeals lodged in terms of NEMA will be dealt with.
In terms of activities that can still not be resumed under alert level three, further leeway has been granted on the timeframes for permits that had already been extended at the end of March. The extension is now granted until further notice. However, where pending permitting processes now resume, the relevant prescribed timeframes that applied on 27 March 2020 has been extended by an additional 21 days.
Authorisations for the export of waste tyres which expired between 27 March 2020 and the date of publication of these directions, remain valid subject to new applications being submitted within 60 days from the date of publication of these directions.
The applications and appeals mentioned will be processed by the responsible authorities from the date of publication of the directions. Further details on how to access the service, and submit applications and appeals, will be provided in the annexures to the alert level three directions.
On waste management, 100% of the recycling sector is allowed to operate.
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Cell: 083 490 2871.