20 April 2018 - NW1034
Mashabela, Ms N to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Whether, with reference to his reply to question 264 on 26 March 2018 and his admission that Amathole Forestry Company has been causing destruction at the Zingcuka Forest, he intends to submit a formal complaint to the Forestry Stewardship Council to alert them to the transgressions by the Amathole Forestry Company; if not, why not; if so on what date will he report the company to the Forestry Stewardship Council. 2. Whether his department deems it enough to just tell Amathole Company to stop the destruction; if not, will revoke the lease agreement with the company.
1. The destruction of the Indigenous Forest occurred when a contractor appointed by Amathole Forestry Company (AFC) was felling trees and the trees fell over and destroyed the indigenous forest. The Department took the matter up with AFC and instructed the company to rehabilitate the destroyed area. AFC is currently rehabilitating the area by replanting the indigenous trees that were destroyed back into the area and will inform the Department once the rehabilitation work is complete. The Department will then conduct a site visit to verify and confirm if the rehabilitation complies with norms and standards. The matter will only be reported to the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) if AFC fails to rehabilitate the area according to acceptable norms and standards.
2. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will not revoke the lease agreement with the Amathole Forestry Company as the transgression does not constitute a material breach to the lease agreement. As mentioned above, AFC has already started implementing the corrective measure by rehabilitating the affected area.