South Africa is increasingly putting itself into an undesirable state of ecological deficit. Regulatory and other interventions are needed to stop and reverse ecosystem degradation. Biodiversity offsets are seen as one possible method of mitigating the current trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services loss in the country. However, for offsetting to succeed in practice, a number of barriers will have to be overcome. This paper discusses concerns raised by South African stakeholders as part of a policy development process implemented by the Department of Environmental Affairs and proposes how the identified barriers may be overcome in the South African setting.