Introduction to the NEMBA 2020 Act

Invasive species legislation is governed under the various Environmental Acts signed into South African law. These Acts include the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1988) and NEMBA 2020 – National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004). Within the NEMBA 2020 (2004) framework, Chapter 5 specifically deals with Alien Invasive Species – “Species and organisms posing potential threats to biodiversity.”

Chapter 5 is divided into four parts, of which Part 1 includes Alien Species and Part 2 Invasive Species. With specific reference to Chapter 5 of NEMBA 2020, the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations were passed into law in 2014 and amended in 2020.  This is published as a Government Notice on 1 August 2014 and officially titled: National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) Alien and Invasive Species Regulations, 2014. However, the 2014 Regulations are now repealed and replaced by the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (25 September 2020).

These Regulations outline the control and management of alien invasive species in South Africa, including permit applications, national invasive species lists, and duty of care placed upon private and state landowners and managers.

A National List of Invasive Species is published periodically. This list includes all listed invasive species which are categorized into 4 categories (see NEMBA 2020 AIS Regulations). The latest gazetted AIS lists were published in September 2020. The monitoring and assessment of alien invasive species is published periodically in the National Status Reports produced and published by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in consultation with government officials and invasion scientists and other key stakeholders. The latest status report was published in 2020: The Status of Biological Invasions and their Management in South Africa.