Withdrawal of government notices published in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) in Government Gazette no. 47984 OF 03 February 2023
05 April 2023
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, has withdrawn Regulations pertaining to Threatened or Protected terrestrial and freshwater Species (TOPS) and the associated species list.
The withdrawal of the notices was published in Government Gazette No. 48349 (Government Notice No. 3238) on 31 March 2023.
The minister sought legal advice on the coming into effect of the revised TOPS Regulations and the Species List after the Wildlife Ranching South Africa and the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa launched an urgent interdict application in the Gauteng High Court to suspend the commencement of the above-mentioned regulations and species list. Due to the urgent timeframes of the litigation, the department required additional time to consider the varied issues raised in the court application. For this reason, an out of court settlement was reached between the parties. In terms of the settlement agreement, the minister agreed to withdraw the revised Regulations Pertaining to Threatened or Protected Terrestrial Species and Freshwater Species, and its associated species list.
The content of the TOPS regulations and Species List are closely linked to the three government notices listed below. For this reason, the Minister has also decided to withdraw the following Government Notices published in the Government Gazette, No. 47984, of 3 February 2023:
- Notice No. 3010: Revised national Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in South Africa;
- Notice No. 3011: Norms and Standards for the Trophy Hunting of Leopard in South Africa; and
- Notice No. 3013: Repeal of the notice amending the alien and invasive species list and list of critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable and protected species and amendment of the commencement of the notice prohibiting the carrying out of certain restricted activities involving rhino horn, and the regulations pertaining to trade in rhino horn.
The withdrawn notices were set to have come into effect on 1 April 2023.
The department is still committed in reforming the legislative framework in relation to the threatened or protected terrestrial and freshwater species.
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