DWQA QuestionsWhat are the regulations about clearing alien vegetation on your property?
baystfrancis Staff asked 4 years ago

What are the regulations about clearing alien vegetation on your property?

1 Answers
Janet Ebersohn Staff answered 4 years ago


The regulations regarding the control of alien invasive vegetation is set out within the  National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (act no. 10 of 2004) and in the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations, 2014.
The National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act 10 of 2004) (NEMBA) Section 73 requires every person to exercise a Duty of Care relating to invasive species. Sec 73(2) :
(a) Requires a landowner to notify the DEA, in writing of listed invasive species occurring on that land,
(b) Take steps to control and/or eradicate the listed invasive species, to prevent it from spreading.
(c) To take all the required steps to prevent or minimize harm to biodiversity.
In some instances (Section 75) the Act calls for an Invasive Species Management Program to be implemented, which should include the following details:

  • Details about the property (.e.g. size, address, maps, land use, name of land owner etc.)
  • Listed species present on the property
  • Extent and distribution of the invasive species on the property

Objectives and actions:

  • Control Invasive Plant infestation
  • Prevention
  • Early Detection & Rapid Response (EDRR) and eradication
  • Monitoring

In terms of the NEMBA Regulation 75, landowners are required to manage all listed IAS that occur on their land.  However, not all properties require a Control Plan. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) developed criteria whereby Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Control Plans are required:
Criteria for properties requiring IS Control Plans.

Property size
Hectares (ha) Square meters (m²)


Timeframes for clearing

< 0.05 Ha (5000 m²)

Clear and remove plant material to approved Green Garden Waste site

30 days

0.051 – 1 Ha(5001 m² – 10,000 m²)

Clear and remove plant material to approved Green Garden Waste site; or apply for fuel reduction burn (See details below); or chip; or utilize. Or alternatively submit a Control Plan with acceptable timeframes to the Department of Environmental Affairs

90 days (at least by the end of November (start of the fire season)

– 5 Ha10,001 m² to 50,000 m²

Clear or submit Control Plan with timeframes acceptable to the Department of Environmental Affairs

120 days to clear or 30 days to submit a control plan

> 5.1 Ha> 50,001 m²

Submit Control Plan with timeframes acceptable to the Department. Prioritize the urban edge boundaries that are high-risk fire risk. Fire breaks are to be in place. Permits are required to keep category 2 plants except when they are in riparian areas, or where they pose a fire risk, in these cases there are to be treated as category 1b and cleared.

30 days to submit control plan. On approval: Start implementing within reasonable timeframe 5 – 10 years

Invasive Species are listed in four categories:
Category 1a : Take immediate steps to combat, or eradicate where possible.
Category 1b : Control the listed invasive species.
Category 2 : Species which require a permit to carry out a restricted activity   within an area, and keeping species is allowed under Permit   conditions. Control species outside of the Permit conditions.
Category 3 :  Subject to certain prohibitions (e.g. sell). Category 3 plants in   riparian areas are treated as Category 1b. 
The NEMBA: Draft Alien and Invasive Species List, 2016, identifies 379 invasive terrestrial and fresh water plant species in its National List of Invasive Species, in terms of section 70(1)(a). of the Act.