Coast KZN

20 Apr 2022

Durban North wildlife officer takes up new conservation challenge

(Northglen News) Picture: Durban North resident, Basil Pather, was recently named district conservation officer for the northern areas of eThekwini.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officer, Basil Pather has urged pet store owners, nurseries and businesses or residents keeping wildlife in captivity to become voluntarily compliant with environmental acts, ordinances and permit requirements. These include the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA), Threatened and Protected Species (TOPS) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to name a few.

Pather, a Durban North resident was recently named district conservation officer for the northern areas of eThekwini covering from uMngeni River to oThongathi. This means he will be inspecting and looking out for all conservation related activities, including law enforcement of all terrestrial permits. The portfolio covers the sale of cycads, wildlife curios, operating within the ambit of law for pet stores, nurseries and the keeping in captivity of all wildlife.

“My hope is that any business owners or people who fall within this bracket get voluntarily compliant and act within the law. I’ve already begun carrying out duties and many people don’t know that they aren’t allowed to sell certain items and species.

“For example, the sale of red-eared terrapins is illegal as they are an invasive species. We recently found one wandering in the reserve about three months ago which had to be euthanised. The environmental acts are vast and I’m also looking at the herbalist trade. The trading in ivory, turtle and tortoise shells and certain sea shells, corals and conches aren’t allowed. Residents who are in possession of ivory are able to surrender the tusks to Ezemvelo, obtain a possession permit or face a hefty fine.

“When it comes to nurseries, many business owners are unaware they need a wildflower license to sell indigenous plants. To sell Cycads, businesses and individuals need a TOPS permit. These include flea market stall owners as you may unwittingly be breaking the law. A wildflower license only costs R50,” he said.

To find out about specific permits, you can email or contact 033 845 1324.

A list of alien invasive species, both plants and animals is also available via