On the 26th of August, a meeting was called by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment. The meeting invited Estate agents, or interested and affected parties such as tree fellers, architects on the workshop for National Forest Act No 84 1998.
The widespread destruction of indigenous forests and protected trees throughout the Eastern Cape from Cannon Rocks to Cape St. Francis has the DFFE deeply concerned. This has increased drastically in the last year resulting in serious concerns for the irreversible damage being done to our Eastern Cape forests.
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Through section 7 of the National Forests Act, it is illegal to destroy indigenous trees in a natural forest without a permit granted by DFFE (Departement of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment). Doing so without a permit by DFFE is an offense subject to a fine and imprisonment. This includes many of the undeveloped plots in Cannon Rocks according to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries & Environment.
Through section 15 of the National Forests Act, it is illegal to cut, disturb, damage or remove any protected tree without a permit granted by DFFE. It is also illegal to collect, remove, transport, export, purchase, sell, donate or in any other manner acquire or dispose of any protected tree without a permit granted by DFFE. Doing so without a permit by DFFE is an offense subject to a fine and imprisonment. The protected trees are declared and listed by DFFE. Protected trees include both the Red Milkwood and the White Milkwood. They are very prevalent on both developed and undeveloped plots in Cannon Rocks. Other protected trees occur in the Eastern Cape. These include among others, the Yellowwood, Stinkwood, Cheesewood, Assegai. People must familiarize themselves with all the protected trees that occur in Cannon Rocks. The DFFE and Municipality Environmental Law Officer confirmed it is illegal to cut, damage, trim or prune these trees without a permit by DFFE. They also made it clear that no license will be granted to trim, prune or cut these trees to open a plot to a sea view.
The only licenses to be granted to trim these trees will be if they are causing property damage to buildings. Anyone who wishes to trim a Milkwood or any other protected tree must therefore contact DFFE Babalwa Layini and Ndlambe Environmental Law Officer Willem Nel (both contact details listed below). These activities are regulated by DFFE and not DEDEAT (Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism).
Department of Forestry, Fisheries & Environment
54 Paterson Road
Port Elizabeth 6000
Tel : 041 4074051
Cell : 066 3750107(official)/ 073 8238305(Private)