Important Notices

Gene editing/CRISPR regulation in SA - Request for your support for appeal to Executive Council of GMO Act

Dear Researchers in the Academic, Private and Public sectors,

I am sure you have by now become aware of the fact that during October 2021, The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform sent out communication that the Executive Council of the GMO Act has decided that all products created by any New Breeding Techniques and any form of gene editing will be classified as a GMO.

Industry has appealed this decision and myself, James Lloyd and Priyen Pillay have started a petition that will be submitted with a motivation letter to the EC before their next meeting.

Please have a look at the links below to add your name to the petition. Please also take a look at the attached motivation in the text of the accompanying letter that we wish to send to the EC.

(If anybody doesn’t want to use Google links then they can contact James at to add in their name.)

Industry and academia must stand together on this matter and ask the EC to overturn the decision to ensure food security for South Africa. Not only will this decision affect food security but also South African Research and Innovation.

If you have any questions with regards to the decision or the implications feel free to reach out to me. I will also gladly have a virtual discussion regarding this matter.

Please note that the next EC meeting is on the 1st of March 2022 and we, therefore, ask that you add your signatures if you wish to do so before the 10th of February 2022.

Prof Dave Berger

Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

University of Pretoria

The Draft Ecosystem Environmental Assessment Guideline is available for public comment until the 19th of July 2021

Regulation 16(1)(b)(v) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 (EIA Regulations) provides that an applicant for Environmental Authorisation is required to submit a report generated by the Screening Tool as part of its application ( In addition, on the 20th of March 2020, the Minister gazetted a set of Protocols for the assessment and minimum report content requirements of environmental impacts for various environmental themes.

SANBI and its partners, have developed a Draft Ecosystem Environmental Assessment Guideline which provides background and context to the minimum assessment and reporting criteria contained within Terrestrial and Aquatic Biodiversity Protocols which were gazetted on the 20th of March 2020 (Government Notice number 320).

The Draft Ecosystem Environmental Assessment Guideline is available for public comment until the 19th of July 2021. Please submit comments to the following email address:

Please visit the SANBI website to access the Ecosystem Environmental Assessment Guideline:

The Guideline chapters are labelled, and each has been formatted to include page numbers. Each page has line numbers on the left margin of the page or column. Line numbering is not continuous throughout the document, but restarts at number 1 on each page.

In order for the authors to be able to respond to your comments, the comments need to be as clear and specific as possible. Clearly indicate the chapter number (including the name) and page number when providing comments.  For comments on Chapter 6; Protocol Implementation, 6.3 Step-by-step guidance for the Terrestrial and Aquatic Biodiversity Protocols, please provide the Chapter number, page number and the protocol numbering which you are commenting on.

As part of the public review process of the Ecosystem Assessment Guideline, a webinar to discuss the key concepts of the Draft Guideline will be hosted by the South African Affiliate for the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIAsa) on the 12th of July 2021. Stakeholders are encouraged to register via the following link: to participate.

Government Notices • Goewermentskennisgewings


The Preamble of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) (“the Immigration Act”) states that in providing for the regulation of admission of foreigners to, their residence in, and their departure from the Republic and for matters connected therewith, the Department of Home Affairs must ensure that the South African economy has access at all times to the full measure of needed contributions by foreigners and that the contribution of foreigners in the South African labour market does not adversely impact on existing labour standards and the rights and expectations of South African workers.

Section 19(4) of the Immigration Act stipulates that subject to any prescribed requirements, a critical skills work visa may be issued by the Director-General to an individual possessing such skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic from time to time by the Minister by notice in the Gazette and to those members of his or her immediate family determined by the Director-General under the circumstances or as may be prescribed.

In view of the above, Notice is hereby given that after a thorough process led by the Department of Higher Education and Training, through its Labour Market Intelligence Research Programme and backed by an extensive scientific methodology, the Minister of Home Affairs intends to publish the new Critical Skills List of 2021.

Interested persons, communities, organizations and institutions are invited to submit written comments on the Technical Report for the 2021 Critical Skills List by 16h00 on 31 March 2021. Comments received after the closing date will not be considered.

The Technical Report on how the Critical Skills List was compiled is available on

Kindly direct all enquiries and written submissions to the following address:

By email:

By post/hand delivered:

Attention: Mr Phindiwe Mbhele

Department of Home Affairs (Hallmark Building)

17th Floor

236 Johannes Ramokhoase Street



Enquiries by telephone : (012) 406-7068 / 4572



This gazette is also available free online at


In South Africa, the use of personal information for research is regulated by the National Health Act No 61 of 2003 and its 2012 regulations, the Department of Health Ethics in Health Research: Principles, Processes and Structures Guidelines and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) No 2 of 2000. The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) No 4 of 2013 came into force on 1 July 2020 []. All public and private bodies that are processing personal information have until 1 July 2021 to ensure that they are compliant with the law.

Guidelines for the recognition of Fields of Practice
Approved by Council on 29 May 2019

The South African Council for the Natural Scientific Professions is a registration and regulation authority for natural science professions in South Africa as established by the Natural Scientific Professions Act (Act no. 27 of 2003) as amended, hereby referred to as the NSP Act. SACNASP strives to establish, direct, sustain and ensure a high level of professionalism and ethical conduct, that is internationally acceptable and in the broad interest of the community as a whole and the natural sciences.

Board notice 111 of 2019

South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions

Recommended Consultation Fees