A national process of regional public comment meetings is underway to discuss the National Veld & Forest Fires Amendment Bill of 2021. These meetings will give interested parties the opportunity to have their input into the final form of the Bill before adoption into law.

As anybody who has come into legal contact with the original Act of 1998 will confirm, some of the original provisions in the Act were quite loosely worded. This gave clever lawyers ample loopholes through which to get their clients off the hook.

And in other cases the original Act could not be applied to vast tracts of vulnerable countryside as these areas fell outside the purview of the Act.

Tighter definitions

Thus, the amendment bill seeks, particularly to define more tightly the roles and responsibilities of municipalities and, particularly, traditional leaders. It also specifies state-owned entities and departments which are responsible for land, and makes the law clearly defined to apply to them in equal measure.

Most importantly for private landowners, however, the bill seeks to  formalise the establishment, registration, obligations, powers and responsibilities of fire protection associations. This is in an attempt to make these bodies more effective in the fight against veld fires.

Finally, the bill seeks to rename the original act to the National Veld Fires Act, leaving out the Forest bit entirely.

You can read or download the bill as it currently stands under the resources tab on this website.


1 thought on “Veld Fire Bill is up for Discussion Now

  1. This is great news…. need to tighten up a number of the loopholes…
    We need a greater cooperation between stakeholders in order to become more efficient in fighting veldfires

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