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Declared weeds and invader plants in South Africa

In total there are 200 species of plants that are declared weeds or invaders in South Africa. These include  121 woody species, 16 succulent species, 44 herbaceous species, 9 grasses and reeds, and 10 aquatic species. They are divided up into three categories: Category 1 species are declared weeds and totally prohibited, Category 2 plants are invasive species for which permission can be gained to grow them commercially in demarcated areas but otherwise they must be removed, and Category 3 invasive plants can be maintained on your land if they are plants that were already growing at the time these regulations were promulgated (March 2001). All other Category 3 plants must be removed (a good example of this is the Jacaranda). Irrespective of the category, all declared plants growing within 30 m of the 1:50 flood line of a river or waterbody must be removed. Exceptions to these regulations can be gained through obtaining special, written permission.

The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, No. 43 of 1983, as amended in March 2001, sets out the regulations regarding the control of weeds and invasive plants and provides a list of declared plants, in which they are divided into three categories. There is an exception in the regulations regarding biological control reserves. These are areas where permission is granted for declared plants not to be controlled because they are used for introducing and monitoring biological control agents (e.g. insects).

Category 1 declared plants (Section 15A of the amended act):

  • may not occur on any land or inland water surface other than in biological control reserves.

  • must be controlled by the land user on whose land or inland water such plants are growing.

  • may not be planted or propagated.

  • may not be imported or sold; and

  • may not be acquired.

  • can be exempted from the above regulations through written exemption from "the executive officer", provided there is a good reason for it.

Category 2 declared plants (Section 15B of the amended act):

  • may not occur on any land or inland water surface other than a demarcated area or a biological control reserve. However, the "executive officer" may on application in writing demarcate an area where category 2 plants may occur, be established and be maintained. Demarcated areas include areas where a water use license for stream flow reduction activities has been issued. Otherwise, a demarcated areas will be established only if:

    • the Category 2 plants are cultivated under controlled circumstances;

    • the land user has been authorised to use water in terms of the National Water Act No. 36 of 1998

    • the Category 2 plants are demonstrated to serve a commercial purpose

    • all reasonable steps are taken to curtail the spreading of propagating material of the category 2 plants outside the demarcated areas.

    • no-one sells propagating material of category 2 plants or any category 2 plants to another person unless such other person is a land user of a demarcated area or of a biological control reserve.

    • the land user is prepared to comply with further conditions as set down by the "executive officer".

    • the land user does not allow Category 2 plants to grow within 30 metres of the 1:50 year flood line of a river, stream, or anyother sort of water body, unless authorised to do so in terms of the National Water Act, No. 36 of 1998

  • must be controlled by the land user if in areas that are not demarcated areas or biological control reserves.

  • may not be accquired unless such acquired material is for propagation in a demarcated area or biological control reserve.

  • may only be imported or sold in accordance with the provisions of the Plant Improvement Act, No. 53 of 1976, the Agricultural Pests Act, No. 36 of 1983 and the environment conservation regulations.

  • can be exempted from the above regulations through written exemption from "the executive officer", provided there is a good reason for it.

Category 3 declared plants (Section 15C of the amended act):

  • shall not occur on any land or inland water surface other than in a biological control reserve. However, plants already in existence at the time of commencement of these regulations (March 2001) may continue to exist, provided they are not within 30 metres of the 1:50 year flood line of a river, stream, lake or other type of inland water body. In addition, the "executive officer" can impose further conditions on Category 3 plants already in existence at the time these regulations were imposed, which might include removing them if the situation demands it.

  • must be controlled by the land user to curtail the spread of these plants.

  • may not be planted, established, maintained, multiplied or propagated.

  • may not be imported or sold.

  • may not be acquired.

  • can be exempted from the above regulations through written exemption from "the executive officer", provided there is a good reason for it.

Declared weeds and invaders

 

 

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