Declaration of Grey Dell and Fort Grey areas as natural forest and controlled forests
11 December 2020
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment declares the indigenous forests occurring at the Grey Dell and Fort Grey areas in the Eastern Cape, as natural forest and controlled forests under the National Forests Act, 1998 (Act No. 84 of 1998).
Natural forest is a group of indigenous trees whose crowns are largely contiguous; or which have been declared by the Minister to be a natural forest under section 7 of the National Forests Act. They must not be destroyed save in exceptional circumstances where, in the opinion of the Minister, a proposed new land use is preferable in terms of its economic, social or environmental benefits.
“Declaring the identified areas as controlled forests is an urgent measure to avert degrading and illegal activities such as deforestation that have reportedly taken place in the areas. It will also enable forest rehabilitation given that no person may cut, disturb, damage or destroy any indigenous tree in the controlled forest areas,” said Minister Creecy.
The declaration of the areas as controlled forest area, in terms of section 17 of the National Forest Act, requires owners of the identified areas to take a number of steps such as control of access to the land covered by the declaration to prevent entry by unauthorised persons or vehicles; removal of unauthorised structures, dwellings and artefacts associated with informal/illegal settlement; and drafting of a sustainable management plan amongst others.
The areas and properties that fall within the scope of the declarations are considered as an integrated functioning ecosystem, of which some parts have been degraded and deforested, and include all natural wooded land, interspersed open land and plantation patches on the designated properties.
The Government Notices can be accessed at: https://www.environment.gov.za/legislation/gazetted_notices
Any inquiries in connection with the declarations can be directed to:
Mr JJ Bester
Tel: 012 309 5767 /or
Mrs S Dzivhani
Tel: 012 309 5765/ 072 197 9264.
A hard copy of documents can be requested from:
Ms S Dzivhani
Please note that anyone entering the Department’s buildings will be subjected to COVID 19 procedures.
For media queries contact:
Cell: 083 490 2871