Soil Conservation Act, 1969
Act 76 of 1969
- Published in South African Government Gazette no. 2437 on 18 June 1969
- Assented to on 13 June 1969
- Commenced on 1 April 1971 by Act 38 of 1971
- [Up to date as at 6 November 2020]
- [Amended by Soil Conservation Amendment Act, 1971 (Act 4 of 1971) on 17 March 1971]
- [Amended by Second Soil Conservation Amendment Act, 1971 (Act 38 of 1971) on 1 April 1971]
- [Amended by Soil Conservation Amendment Act, 1973 (Act 11 of 1973) on 28 March 1973]
- [Amended by Soil Conservation Amendment Act, 1974 (Act 21 of 1974) on 13 March 1974]
- [Amended by Expropriation Act, 1975 (Act 63 of 1975) on 1 January 1977]
- [Amended by Soil Conservation Amendment Act, 1977 (Act 22 of 1977) on 23 March 1977]
- [Amended by Native Laws Amendment Proclamation, 1979 (Proclamation AG3 of 1979) on 1 August 1978]
- [Amended by Forest Act, 2001 (Act 12 of 2001) on 15 August 2002]
Part I – Definitions, Objects of the Act and Powers of the Minister
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates -“department” means the Department of Agricultural Technical Services;“direction” means a direction declared applicable with reference to land under this Act;“fire protection committee” means a fire protection committee established under section 12;“fire protection scheme” means a fire protection scheme referred to in section 13;“land occupier” or “occupier of land” means any person who as owner, lessee or otherwise has the management, charge, control or use of any land, whether he resides on that land or not, and includes any person who has a right of cutting trees or wood on any land or of removing trees or wood from any land, any person who has a right to remove sand, stone or soil from any land, any person who carries on prospecting or mining activities on any land, and, in relation to land under the control of a local authority, that local authority, but does not include any person who as a labour tenant, squatter or servant, as defined in section 49 of the Development Trust and Land Act, 1936 (Act No. 18 of 1936), or as a “bywoner” or “deelsaaier” is in occupation of or has the use of any land;[The definition of “land occupier” or “occupier of land” is substituted by Act 4 of 1971 and amended by AG 3 of 1979. The Development Trust and Land Act 18 of 1936 was repealed by the Communal Land Reform Act 5 of 2002.]“large stock” means cattle, horses, donkeys and mules, and such other animals as the Minister may by notice in the Gazette declare to be large stock for the purposes of this Act;[definition of “large stock” inserted by Act 4 of 1971]“local authority” means any institution or body contemplated in section 84(1)(f) of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1961 (Act No. 32 of 1961), and any municipality or village management board established or constituted or deemed to have been established or constituted under the Municipal Ordinance, 1963 (Ordinance No. 13 of 1963), of the territory, or the Village Management Boards Ordinance, 1963 (Ordinance No. 14 of 1963), of the territory;[The definition of “local authority” is substituted by Act 38 of 1971. The Republic of South Africa Constitution Act 32 of 1961 was South Africa's constitution from 1961 to 1984. Although this Act had implications for South-West Africa, it does not appear to have been directly applicable as a law of South West Africa. It was repealed on 3 September 1984 by the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1983, although some provisions relating to provincial government were retained under the new name of the Provincial Government Act 32 of 1961. Local authorities in Namibia are governed by the Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992, which repealed the Municipal Ordinance 13 of 1963 and the Village Management Boards Ordinance 14 of 1963.]“Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture;“owner” in relation to any land means -(a)the person in whose name the land is registered or, if such person is absent from the Republic or his whereabouts are unknown, his agent or legal representative in the Republic;(b)in the case of State land leased under a lease which contains an option in favour of the lessee to purchase the land so leased, the lessee who has exercised his option to purchase the land;(c)any person who has purchased State land which has not yet been registered in his name; and(d)in the case of land under the control of a local authority, that local authority;“prescribed” means prescribed by regulation;“Republic” includes the territory;[definition of “Republic” inserted by Act 38 of 1971]“regulation” means a regulation made under section 20;“small stock” means sheep and goats, and such other animals as the Minister may by notice in the Gazette declare to be small stock for the purposes of this Act;[definition of “small stock” inserted by Act 4 of 1971]“soil conservation committee” means a soil conservation committee established under section 9;“soil conservation works” means any works constructed on land for the purpose of -(a)the prevention of soil erosion or the stabilizing of land subject thereto; or(b)the prevention of drift-sand or the stabilizing of land subject thereto; or(c)the protection, conservation or improvement of the vegetation and the surface of the soil; or(d)the protection, conservation or stabilizing of any natural water source; or(e)the prevention of the silting up of dams and the pollution of water by silt;“State”, except for the purposes of sections 7 and 8, includes the Administration of the territory;[definition of “State” inserted by Act 38 of 1971]“State land” in the application of this Act in the territory, means land of the Administration of the territory;[definition of “State land” inserted by Act 38 of 1971]“the territory” means the territory of South-West Africa;[definition of “the territory” inserted by Act 38 of 1971]“this Act” includes the regulations;[definition of “this Act” inserted by Act 22 of 1977]“urban area” means the area of a local authority established for a specific town or city, and includes any area subdivided into erven or lots and public open spaces and streets bounded by such erven or lots or spaces, but does not include any commonage in any such area.
2. Objects of ActThe objects of this Act are to make provision for the combating and prevention of soil erosion, and for the conservation, protection and improvement of the soil, the vegetation and the sources and resources of the water supplies of the Republic.
3. Power of Minister to declare directions applicable with reference to land
Part II – Soil Conservation Works
4. Minister may order construction of soil conservation works
5. Minister may order payment of certain amounts
6. Subsidies, grants an defrayal of certain cots by MinisterThe Minister may, from moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, and subject to such conditions as he may determine or prescribe -(a)pay subsidies to any person in respect of costs incurred by such person in connection with the construction of any soil conservation works;(b)make grants to any person in order to enable such person to perform an act for the achievement of an object to this Act;(c)defray such portion of the costs referred to in section 4(3) and (4) as the Minister in consultation with the Minister of Finance may determine.[section 6 substituted by Act 11 of 1973 and by Act 21 of 1974]
7. Construction and maintenance of soil conservation works by Minister and charging and recovery of costs of such construction
8. Minister may carry out soil conservation works on any land for purposes of demonstration or researchThe Minister may, with the approval of the owner of any land and subject to such conditions as may be agreed upon between the Minister and the said owner, construct and maintain at State expense soil conservation works on or in respect of the land of the said owner for the purpose of public demonstration or research in matters relating to veld, soil and water conservation.
Part III – Soil Conservation Committees
9. Soil conservation committees
10. Duties of a soil conservation committeeA soil conservation committee shall within the area in respect of which it has been established -(a)advise the Minister, owner or occupier of land on all matters relating to soil conservation; and(b)perform such other duties as the Minister may assign to it.
11. Expenditure in connection with functions or powers of a soil conservation committeeAll expenditure relating to the performance of the functions and the exercise of the powers of a soil conservation committee shall be defrayed from moneys appropriated by Parliament for this purpose.
Part IV – Fire Protection Committees, Fire Protection Areas and Schemes
12. Declaration and establishment of fire protection areas and committees
13. Fire protection schemes
14. Minister may amend fire protection schemesThe Minister may from time to time, after consultation with the fire protection committee concerned, by notice in the Gazette amend the provisions of any: fife protection scheme in operation under this Act.
15. Minister may render financial assistance to fire protection committeeThe Minister may, from moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, and subject to such conditions as he may prescribe, render financial assistance by way of grants or otherwise to any fire protection committee.
Part V – Miscellaneous Provisions
16. Secretary for Agricultural Credit and Land Tenure may on behalf of the State recover expenditure incurred in connection with soil conservation worksAny amount owing to the State in connection with the construction and maintenance by the State of any soil conservation works or in connection with the application of any direction shall be recovered by the Secretary for Agricultural Credit and Land Tenure on behalf of the State.
17. Right of entry on or way over land
18. Expropriation of land for conservation or stabilization purposes
19. Minister may perform certain actsThe Minister may, from moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, perform on or in respect of any land any act relating to any matter referred to in paragraphs (a) to (n), inclusive, of section 3 and which he deems necessary in order to achieve any object of this Act in respect of such land and may recover the costs in connection with the performance of such act or such portion of such costs as the Minister may determine from the owner of such land.
22. Jurisdiction of magistrate’s courtNotwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law contained, a magistrate’s court shall have jurisdiction to impose any penalty prescribed by this Act.
23. Delegation of Minister’s powers
24. Limitation on liability of the State, Minister, etc.The State, the Minister, any officer, any soil conservation committee, any fire protection committee or any person authorized under this Act shall not be liable in respect of anything done in good faith under the provisions of this Act.[The reference to the “Minister” in this section was excluded from the operation of the Executive Powers Transfer (General Provisions) Proclamation, AG 7 of 1977, meaning that the administration of this section was not transferred to South West Africa prior to independence.]
25. Appropriated moneysMoneys appropriated by Parliament for defraying expenditure incurred in respect of any matter for the purposes of any law repealed by this Act shall be deemed to have been appropriated also for defraying expenditure incurred for the purposes of this Act in respect of any similar matter.
26. Application of Act
26A. PresumptionIn any prosecution for an offence under this Act, it shall be deemed that this Act is applicable to the land upon or in respect of which such offence is alleged to have been committed, unless the contrary is proved.[section 26A inserted by Act 11 of 1973]
26B. Admissibility and evidential value of certain documents
27. Repeal of laws
|No. and year of law.||Short title.||Extent of repeal.|
|Ordinance No. 28 of 1952||The Soil Conservation Ordinance, 1952||The whole.|
|Ordinance No. 20 of 1954||The Soil Conservation Amendment Ordinance, 1954.||The whole.|
|Ordinance No. 11 of 1961||The Soil Conservation Validation Ordinance, 1961.||The whole.|