REPORT ON RANGELAND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT BILL, 2021
THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, TOURISM AND LAND CLUSTER
National Assembly Phone: +266 22323035 P. O. Box 190 Fax: + 266 22310434
On Monday, 6th December, 2021, the Honourable Minister of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation tabled the Rangeland Resources Management Bill, 2021. The Bill was referred to the Portfolio Committee on the Natural Resources, Tourism and Land Cluster for consideration in terms of Standing Order No.51 (5). The Committee invited the Hon. Minister of Water to a briefing session in accordance with Standing Order No. 54 (2).
The Committee, therefore, presents this Report to the House for consideration.
- MINISTERIAL BRIEFING
The Minister briefed the Committee that the purpose of the Rangeland Resources Management Bill, 2021 is to promote integrated use of rangeland resources for the benefit of the present and future generations in a manner that would optimise sustainable catchment management principles, as well as protect, conserve and rehabilitate rangeland, catchment and wetland areas.
The Bill seeks to improve administration and rangeland resources, reduce Biodiversity degradation, desertification and the impact of climate change, while enforcing grazing control by deterring transgressors.
- CONSIDERATION OF BILL CLAUSE BY CLAUSE
The Committee approved the following Clauses without amendments:
1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29
- Delete the words “biological diversity” and replace with “biodiversity” throughout the Bill. 2. Delete the word “chairman” and replace with “chairperson” throughout the Bill. 3. Delete the words “line ministry” and replace with “Line Ministry” throughout the Bill. 4. Delete the word “range” and replace with “rangeland” throughout the Bill. 5. Delete the word “trespassing” and replace with “transgressing” throughout the Bill.
The Committee adopted Clause 2 with the following amendments:
- In Clause 2, after interpretation of “biodiversity” insert the interpretation of “board” as follows ““board” means the Rangeland Resources Management Board”. 7. In Clause 2, interpretation of “catchment area”, line 1 delete the word “water” and substitute with “surface runoff”. 8. In Clause 2, interpretation of “Council”, line 2, after the word “1997” add the words “or any other subsequent law”. 9. In Clause 2, interpretation of “ecosystem”, delete the whole interpretation and substitute with: “a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.” 10. In Clause 2, interpretation of “Local Leadership”, line 1, after the word “and” delete the word “the” and substitute with the words “any other Chief excluding the Principal Chief”. 11. In Clause 2, sub-clause (c), interpretation of “rangeland”, line 3, after the word “areas”, add the words “and burial sites;”
- In Clause 2, sub-clause (d), interpretation of “rangeland”, line 2, after the word “following” delete the repeated words “categories of”. 13. In Clause 2, interpretation of “rangeland management area”, line 2, after the word “the” delete the words “Chief and”. 14. In Clause 2, after interpretation of “rehabilitated rangeland area” insert a new interpretation as follows: “relevant line ministries means the Ministry responsible for- (a) tourism, environment and culture; (b) agriculture and food security; (c) water affairs; (d) local government and chieftainship affairs; (e) police and public safety; (f) public works; and (g) mining.”
The Committee adopted Clause 3 with the following amendment:
- In Clause 3, sub-clause (e) (vi), line 2, after the word “unregistered” add the words “by the relevant Line Ministry”. 16. After Clause 3, insert Part II as follows, and renumber sequentially:
“PART II – THE BOARD
Establishment and composition of the Board.
- The Rangeland Resources Management Board is established.
Purpose of the Board
- The purpose of The Board is to rid and safeguard rangeland resources and
wetland areas from all forms of degradation by harnessing the power of
science, the law and voice of the people who value and depend on
rangeland resources for various ecosystem services.
- (1) The Board shall consist of the following persons: (a) one person appointed by the Minister as its chairperson; (b) the Director; (c) three Directors representing line Ministries or their nominees; (d) a representative of Principal Chiefs; (e) a representative of Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU); (f) a representative of Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers
Association (LNWMGA); (g) the Chairperson or a nominee of National Grazing Association
Committee (NGAC); (h) a representative of Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental
Organizations (LCN); (i) a legal representative of the law society; (j) A representative of the Ministry nominated by Principal Secretary of
the Ministry, who shall be the secretary of the Board and has no voting
power; (k) A representative of Council on Higher Education (CHE); and
(l) An individual rangeland management specialist appointed by the
(2) The Minister shall, by notice in the Gazette, publish the names of persons
appointed as members of the Board.
(3) A person nominated pursuant to paragraph (j) shall have legal qualification.
Tenure of Office
- (1) The term of office for members shall be three years from the date of
appointment and are eligible for re-appointment.
(2) The Director is exempted from sub-section 1.
(3) A member vacates office where the member-
(a) is unable to exercise the functions of his office;
(b) has been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to
imprisonment without the option a fine;
(c) is unfit for his duties;
(d) has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board
without permission of the Chairperson;
(e) ceases employment with, or membership of, the Ministry or
body, as the case may be, which nominated him; and
Meetings of the Board
- (1) The Board shall meet at least four times a year and as often as it
(2) The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Board and in his
absence, the vice Chairperson shall preside. (3) At the meeting, decisions shall be decided by the majority of the
members present and voting, in the event of an equality of votes the
Chairperson or the person presiding shall have a casting vote. (4) The Chairperson may invite any person attend and participate in the
discussions of the Board but that person shall not have the right to
vote. (5) The Board may determine its rules and procedure. (6) The Board shall cause to be kept the minutes of the proceedings of the
meetings. (7) The quorum shall be formed by two-thirds of the members of the
Disclosure of Interest
- (1) Where a member acquires any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in
any matter and is present at the meeting of the Board at which the
matter is the subject of consideration by the Board, he shall, as soon as
practicable after the commencement of the meeting, disclose all the
material facts to the Board, and shall not take part in the consideration or
discussion of, or vote on any question with respect to, the matter.
(2) A member who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and
shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding
one year or to a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Maloti.
Functions of the Board
- The Board shall: (a) advise the Minister on rangeland management issues; (b) recommend development on the uses to which rangeland can be put to
maximize the social and economic benefits that can be derived from the
rangeland on an ecologically sustainable basis; (c) suggest to the Minister research or enquiries that may be undertaken on
or into matters affecting rangeland at the request of the Minister or of its
own initiative; (d) report to the Minister on matters relating to the condition of rangeland at
the request of the Minister or of its own initiative; (e) collaborate with the relevant Committee of the National Assembly,
Government, local and international agencies and institutions, rangeland
resources users and non-governmental organizations to enhance
sustainable and regenerative management of rangelands; (f) resolve and mediate on disputes, compensation and claims between
government, private organizations and rangeland resources users; (g) propose amendments to the laws and regulations governing management
of rangeland resources; (h) promote research, education, collaboration and advocacy as well as
retribution in support of preservation and restoration of rangeland
resources; (i) sue any person who misuses rangeland; and (j) promote coordination and co-operation among Line Ministries, Local
Leadership, private sector, non-governmental organizations, rangeland
resources users and beneficiaries engaged in rangeland protection
Powers of the Board
- The Board shall have power to do anything necessary for, or incidental
to, the performance of its functions under this Act.
Remuneration and Allowances of members
- Members of the Board shall be entitled to any remuneration and
allowances that the Minister, in consultation with the Minister
responsible for finance, from time to time determines.”
Clause 5 was adopted with the following amendment:
- In Clause 5 sub-clause 1, delete sub-sub-clause “(d)”
Clause 8 was adopted with the following amendment:
- In Clause 8, sub-clause (1) delete sub-sub-clause “(d)”.
The Committee adopted Clause 10 with the following amendment:
- In Clause 10 sub-clause (b), line 2, after the word “Director” insert the words, “and gazetted by the Minister”.
Clause 12 was adopted with the following amendment:
In Clause 12, sub-clause (1) (b), line 1, after the first “the” delete the word “Chief” and substitute with “rangeland riders”.
Clause 17 was adopted with the following amendment:
- In Clause 17 sub-clause (1) (a), line 1, after the word “not” delete the words “enter,”
The Committee adopted Clause 21 with the following amendments:
- In Clause 21, sub-clause (1), after the word “Leadership,” insert the words “rangeland riders”. 22. In Clause 21, sub-clause 2 (a), delete the sub-sub-clause and renumber sequentially. 23. In Clause 21, after sub-clause 2 (d), insert a new sub-clause (e) as follows: “(e) Rangeland riders shall assist in impounding livestock and arrest transgressors.”
The Committee adopted Clause 23 with the following amendments:
- In Clause 23, sub-clause (7) delete all the words after the word “Director” to the end of the sub-clause. 25. In Clause 23, sub-clause (10), after the word “sub” delete the words “regulation (10)” and substitute with “section (9)”.
Clause 25 was adopted with the following amendment:
- In Clause 25, sub-clause 1, after sub-clause (m), add the following sub-clauses:
“(n) improperly allocated cattle post huts and initiation school areas or sites;
(o) introduces invasive alien plant species; or
(p) harms the ecosystem, social, cultural and heritage values,”
The Committee adopted Clause 28 with these amendments:
- In Clause 28, sub-clause (2), line 1, after the word “generality” delete the word “or” and substitute with “of”. 28. In Clause 28, sub-clause (2), line 1, after the word “may” insert the word “be”.
Clause 30 was adopted with the following amendment:
- In Clause 28, sub-clause (1), after reference “4 (2)” insert reference “(b) – (k)” and the word “of”.
The Committee adopted Schedule 3 with the following amendments:
- In Schedule 3, offence 9 after the word “out” insert the word “unauthorised”. 31. In Schedule 3 after offence 15, add the following offences under level 1: “16. A person who improperly allocates cattle post huts and initiation school areas or sites; 17. A person who introduces invasive alien plant species;
- A person who harms the rangeland ecosystem, social, cultural and heritage values.”
After thorough scrutiny of the Bill, the Committee recommends that the House adopts the Bill as amended (Annex 1).
The Committee wishes to submit this report and its recommendation for adoption by the House.
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
- Hon. K. Mathaba (Chairperson) 2. Hon. M. Ntlama 3. Hon. P. S. Molefi 4. Hon. K. Mokhethi 5. Hon. N. Makoae 6. Hon. S. S. Sekhamane 7. Hon. M. M. N. Moremoholo 8. Hon. T. Ramatla 9. Hon. L. D. Kompi 10. Hon. M. ‘Muso 11. Hon. M. Sello 12. Hon. M. ‘Molotsi 13. Hon. T. G. Manyooko 14. Hon. L. Hlalele 15. Hon. T. Kholumo 16. Hon. S. Ntsekele 17. Hon. T Tṧolo 18. Hon. M. Moletsane 19. Hon. K. Rants’o 20. Hon. C. Phori 21. Hon. M. Tsatsanyane 22. Hon. M. Mahapa