VELD BURNING AND THE CONSERVATION OF AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES ACT
Regulation 12 in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act no. 43 of 1983 (CARA) as published in regulation notice R1048 in Government Gazette 9238 of 25 May 1984 has the following provision which affects the burning of veld:
Prevention and control of veld fires
12. (1) Except on authority of a written permission by the executive officer, no land user shall–
(a) burn any veld on his farm unit; and
(b) utilise as grazing any veld on his farm unit that has burned.
(2) The provisions of regulation 2(2) and (3) shall apply mutatis mutandis with regard to an application for a permission referred to in subregulation (1): Provided that–
(a) such application shall be submitted at least 30 days prior to the intended date of burning or grazing, as the case may be; and
(b) a permission referred to in subregulation (1) (a)
(i) shall not be issued unless the executive officer is satisfied that the burning of veld is an accepted veld management practice in the area within which the farm unit concerned is situated, or that exceptional circumstances prevail on the farm unit concerned;
(ii) shall be issued only if the veld concerned is to be burned during periods of which particulars are available at the extension office concerned; and
(iii) shall be issued to the provisions of the Forest Act, 1968 (Act 72 of 1968).
Regulation 2 reads as follows:
Cultivation of virgin soil
2. (1) Except on authority of a written permission by the executive officer, no land user shall cultivate any virgin soil: Provided that such authority shall not be required in respect of virgin land for which an approval has been granted in terms of section 4(A) of the Forest Act, 1972 (Act 68 of 1972).
(2) An application for a permission referred to in subregulation (1) shall be made on a form obtainable from an extension office for this purpose.
(3) Such application form shall be completed by the land user of the farm unit on which such virgin soil is situated and shall be lodged at the extension office for the area within which the farm unit concerned is situated at least three months prior to the intended date of cultivation.
(4) An officer may, for the purposes of an investigation deemed necessary to consider such application, direct a land user to dig such soil profile pits as such officer may determine and to take such other steps as such officer may determine.
Executive officer is defined in CARA as the executive officer referred to in section 4 of CARA, that is, an officer of the department [National Department of Agriculture] designated as executive officer by the Minister [who] exercises the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon the executive officer by or under this Act or a scheme.
Virgin soil is defined in CARA as land which in the opinion of the executive officer has at no time during the preceding ten years been cultivated.
Veld is defined in the CARA regulations of 25 May 1984 as land which is not being or has not been cultivated and on which indigenous vegetation, or other vegetation which in the opinion of the executive officer is or can be utilised as grazing for animals, occurs.