Alien and Invasive Plant Species – Notable Category 1b Species

Posted on 13 Aug 2020

Alien Invasive species can be defined as:


Alien invasive species: Plants or animals that are introduced by man, accidentally or intentionally, outside of their natural geographic range into an area where they are not naturally present. They are often introduced as a result of the globalisation of economies, for instance by ships, shipment of wood products infested with insects, or the transport of ornamental plants that then establish themselves into the wild and spread in a manner that modifies ecosystems, habitats or species and is difficult to control.


According to the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act No. 10 of 2004) (NEM:BA), Section 75 states that the listed plants (as indicated in the updated NEM:BA Alien and Invasive Species List of 2016),  should be controlled and eradicated while causing the least harm to biodiversity and damage to the environment. Additionally, control and management programmes must be implemented to prevent, control or eradicate listed invasive species on a land owners property.


The Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (2014) and the updated NEM:BA Alien and Invasive Species List (2016), categorise problem plant species and define what should be done with them according to the level of threat. The list itself identifies 379 plant species that are legally declared invasive species that have been assigned to one of three categories:


  1. Category 1a: Invasive species requiring compulsory control. Any specimens of Category 1a listed species need, by law, to be eradicated from the environment. No permits will be issued.
  2. Category 1b: Invasive species requiring compulsory control as part of an invasive species control programme. Remove and destroy. These plants are deemed to have a high invasive potential. No permits will be issued.
  3. Category 2: Invasive species regulated by area. A demarcation permit is required to import, possess, grow, breed, move, sell, buy or accept as a gift any plants listed as Category 2 plants. No permits will be issued for Category 2 plants to exist in riparian zones.
  4. Category 3: Invasive species regulated by activity. An individual plant permit is required to undertake any of the following restricted activities (import, possess, grow, breed, move, sell, buy or accept as a gift) involving a Category 3 species. No permits will be issued for Category 3 plants to exist in riparian zones.


The following three are very common invaders that occur throughout South Africa:

Cortaderia selloana (Pampas grass): Category 1b

Datura Stramonium (Common Thorn Apple): Category 1b

Solanum mauritianum (Bugweed): Category 1b

Therefore according to Regulation 3, should Category 1b plants be found the following must be done:


  1. The responsible person must control the listed species in compliance with sections 75(1), (2) and (3) of the Act.
  2. A person contemplated in sub-regulation (2) must allow an authorised official from the Department to enter onto the land to monitor, assist with or implement the control of the listed invasive species, or compliance with the Invasive Species Management Programme contemplated in section 75(4) of the Act.


In terms of the above mentioned Environmental Assurance (ENVASS) (Pty) Ltd. would like to take this opportunity to introduce our environmental services that we offer our clients throughout Southern Africa for your consideration as we offer cost-effective quality services to our clients through highly qualified and competent staff. We are always willing to accept new challenges and compose competitive quotes for environmental specialist work required.


ENVASS is more than able to conduct site visits, identification, listing confirmation and the overall control and management programmes for the property to ensure compliance to the latest laws and regulations. Feel free to contact us on 012 460 9768 or at for quotes on any environmentally related services!