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Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003 (Act No. 53 of 2003)

Industry Charters

Forest Sector Charter

Annexure A: Extract from the Companion to the Charter listing detailed undertakings in the Charter

Streamline and expedite afforestation licensing procedures


Par. 13.2.3 (a) of the Charter contains the undertaking to streamline and expedite afforestation licensing procedures to facilitate the establishment of a minimum of 100 000ha net increase in planted area over ten years, based on a target average of 10 000ha per annum, while at the same time ensuring that forestry's water use is considered and weighted fully against competing proponents for water allocation in licensing decisions. This will comprise the following measures:

(a) Create an enabling regulatory environment that renders the costs of the water use licence application process affordable to emerging growers.
(b) Support and advise emerging growers in the water licensing application process, in compliance with environmental and other afforestation authorisation requirements.
(c) Take steps to ensure that legislative and regulatory requirements do not result  in forestry and the planting  of trees for commercial and subsistence use being disadvantaged in relation to other forms of land use.
(d) Ensure that all applications for afforestation are processed expeditiously by developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with and ratified by other pertinent authorising regulatory authorities. The MoU should ensure strict enforcement of the Stream Flow Reduction Activity (SFRA) application procedures and adherence by all participating parties to the laid down time frames prescribed for relevant interventions, such as inspecting sites, receiving and attending to comments, and processing applications.
(e) Implement a proactive approach to forestry development in areas that have substantial opportunities for afforestation, namely a co-operative government initiative to authorise swift afforestation licensing in areas that have been identified  and  demarcated  as being suitable for afforestation in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. This will be provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding referred to in par (d) above.
(f) Develop a protocol to be included in the Memorandum of Understanding referred to in par. (d) above to facilitate lawful conversion of tree genus or species, specified as a permit or licence condition, where this change should be informed by forestry practice or economics. The key principle governing such change will be the water use condition of the applicable authorisation.
(g) Make provision for water use by subsistence and homestead woodlots by providing for the consideration of a Schedule 1 provision and/or General Authorisation for such small-scale  woodlots.
(h) Facilitate the transfer or trade of a water use allocation or existing lawful use of water, and the issuing of licences in the event of conversion of a land use from irrigated cropping (including sugarcane) to timber plantations.
(i) Allow water use by dryland sugarcane to be allocated to timber plantations, based on an equitable water use exchange ratio for these crops, provided that such dryland sugarcane has been an existing land use practice for at least five years, and that this does not compromise the availability of water to the Reserve and other lawful water users.
(j) Allow the water use attributed to wattle, pine and eucalyptus jungles that are rehabilitated or converted and correctly managed as commercial timber plantations, to be allocated through an SFRA water use licence to such timber plantations. General Authorisations will be considered in catchments where there is sufficient available water to allow such conversion.
(k) Develop an efficient and effective framework to authorise the re-allocation of water, where timber as an existing lawful water use in a riparian zone is excised, to alternative plantation areas within the same quaternary catchments or elsewhere within the wider catchment.
(l) Ensure that emerging timber growers who have lawfully licensed timber plantations are included in DWAF's definition of "resource poor farmers" and subject to the same benefits as others so classified.