Following a workshop, on pesticide spray drift, held in Johannesburg on 7/8/9 December 2009 (due to the publicity generated by the Riebeek-Kasteel, Groblersdal & Stellenbosch Tatib issues), sections of Act 36 of 1947 have been amended so as to tighten up the law, giving greater protection to farm workers & adjacent residents, from spray drift and exposure to pesticides.
The amendments, in brief, are as follows:
1. The pest control operator needs to be registered and have certain qualifications and has to keep strict records (for a specific period of time) of what has been sprayed and has also to spray making sure that spraying takes place according to the various stipulations as per Act 36 of 1947.
2. The pest control operator must issue a "treatment notice" at least 72 hours prior to application of any agricultural remedy (pesticide/fungicide/herbicide etc), and that the treatment notice needs to be given to all occupants adjacent to and within a 5 KM radius of the area to be treated.
3. The pest control operator is made responsible for ensuring that anyone who could be exposed to spray drift is to be notified before spraying takes place and that the Product Label is followed at all times (i.e. no spray drift into residential areas is to be allowed).
4. The pest control operator now has to be physically present to supervise the application of the agricultural remedies by unregistered pest control operator (s) i.e. the farm worker(s) doing the actual spraying, and that way made responsible for ensuring that spray drift out of the area being treated does not occur.
The proposed final draft is just that (a proposal ) , and we are hoping that the Registrar (National Department of Agriculture) will, with further consultation, have the draft promulgated.