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Plant Breeders’ Rights Regulations Amended

December 1, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Regulations Relating to Plant Breeders’ Rights have been amended.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department published the amendment in Government Gazette 43934.

It was drawn up in terms of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act.

Table 1 of the regulations is amended by the insertion of the entries listed in Annexure A.

Table 1 focuses on kinds of plants and period of rights.

Meanwhile, in a briefing to parliament, the department provided an overview of the Labour Tenants Implementation Plan.

The plan was drawn up by the Special Master of Labour Tenants in close collaboration with the department.

In an earlier briefing, the department indicated that, in 2009, there was a policy shift towards land development and state acquisition of land and, consequently, grant-based sub-programmes were abolished.

“This led to a collapse of the labour tenants programme between 2010 and 2015. A class action was brought to compel the Department to process the remaining labour tenant applications, which ended at the Constitutional Court.”

The Constitutional Court ordered the Special Master to prepare, in collaboration with the department, and submit to court by 31 March 2020, an Implementation Plan for the settlement of the labour tenant applications by the department, under supervision of the Special Master.

The department pointed out that the Special Master submitted to the Land Claims Court an Implementation Plan for the settlement of labour tenant applications on 29 May 2020.

The department objected to certain parts of the Implementation Plan and the Land Claims Court ordered that a new Implementation Plan be developed by the Special Master in collaboration with the department.

A hearing to consider the new Implementation Plan took place on 24 August 2020.

In the latest briefing, the department confirmed that the court approved the Plan on 3 September 2020.

A seven-step route map has been adopted to focus on the supervision, monitoring and overseeing of the Labour Tenants’ Claims Resolution Program.

Identified programme risks include the legitimacy and sustainability of the process, the issue of capacity, the on-time availability of IT infrastructure and associated support tools and the capacity of the court.