Water and Environmental Affairs (NCOP) 2013 Budget Speech
11 Jun 2013
Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs (NCOP), Ms Bee Molewa, gave her Budget Vote Speech on the 11 June 2013
Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP
Honourable Chairperson of the Select Committee
Honourable Members of the NCOP
Ladies and Gentlemen
I have a great pleasure to table our plan of the financial year 2013/14 to this House which plan is based on the mandate bestowed upon my two Departments; Water and Environmental Affairs. Let me begin by saluting the youth of our country during their special month and the people of South Africa during this Environment Month.
During the past two decades of our democratic and ANC government, we have managed to increase access to clean and safe drinking water from 59% in 1994 to a national average of 95.2%. Yet as we have observed and as confirmed by Census 2011, between 9 to 10% of existing infrastructure services are not functional, thus reducing our national access to 86%. Therefore, as we deal with the current 4,8% backlog, we will also be addressing issues of dysfunctionality of some of our infrastructure.
Water Security and Security of Supply
Amid a myth that South Africa will “run out of water” in the near future, I want to assure you that we will not run out of water even in the next 100 years. We will ensure that through our existing programmes, our planning and future water resource development initiatives, this does not happen.
Water Policy, Legislative and Strategy Review
Chairperson, we have to address issues of equity and redistribution in water allocation and other apartheid legacy implications which remain a challenge in our society. The particular focus during the next year is the fact that we have not adequately addressed equity and redistribution in terms of access to water for both human and productive needs. This new paradigm must drive every policy, strategy, planning and implementation decision we take within the water value chain.
In order to enhance our institutional efficiency and capacity in pursuit of improved water resources management, we have reduced our Catchment Management Agencies (CMA’s) from 19 to 9. Water Boards will also be reduced from the existing 12 to 9.
Building the Skills Base and the Capacity of the State to Deliver Quality Services
Our skills enhancement programme is also contributing towards strengthening our capacity. Our Learning Academy currently has 536 active bursary holders of whom 418 have been absorbed into the Department’s training programme and 118 are enrolled at various universities. Importantly, 270 of them are in Engineering, 241 in the Sciences and 25 in Surveying. Over time we have appointed 166 graduates in permanent and/or candidate OSD engineering and science posts in the Department and more graduates from our Learning Academy will supplement the skills at municipal level. We also have 84 Interns in various administrative posts and we have advertised for acquisition of another 100 in human resources and finance to assist in reducing audit queries while training.
Building Infrastructure to consolidate the gains of the last two decades and laying the foundation for an equity-based future.
Our budget has increased significantly due to increased allocations for infrastructure to 10,2 billion Rand for 2013/14, and 12,4 billion Rand for 2014/15 and 15,5 billion Rand for 2015/16. This is indeed a boost for our existing and future capital projects and I’m sure real impact is and will be felt at provincial level.
In Limpopo, the De Hoop Dam is in its final stage of completion and the storage of water has already started. The construction of the necessary infrastructure to distribute water to various areas in Sekhukhune, Capricorn and Waterberg has also begun. The Mokolo and Crocodile River pipeline project is also well on schedule.
In Mpumalanga, the Komati Water Augmentation Project is complete and up and running.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the Mooi-uMngeni Transfer Scheme Phase-2 is progressing well with the first water storage in the Spring Grove Dam having commenced early this year and construction for the raising of the HazelmereDam will commence in October. A number of other projects in Maphumulo, Mahlambatshana and Richmond areas, costing over 420 million Rand will benefit over 450 000 people are being finalised.
In the Western Cape, plans for the raising of the Clanwilliam dam are at an advanced stage and the construction of the dam wall raising will start early next year, in line with our plans.
In the Eastern Cape, the finalizations of the planning of the Mzimvubu Dam Project are underway and construction will commence early or mid next year (2014).
In North West, we are implementing the first phase of the 1.2 billion RandPilanesberg scheme in partnership with local mines. This will create over 6000 direct and indirect jobs in the area.
In the Free State, 156 million Rand has been set aside for new pipeline projects for for improving water supply to Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu in the Mangaung Metro.
Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant
Through our Regional Bulk Infrastructure programme, we are constructing projects worth 3.7 billion Rand in all provinces, for the MTEF period.
Dam Safety Rehabilitation Programme
We have also invested 1,7 billion Rand in the rehabilitation of 35 dams through our dam safety rehabilitation programme and we will rehabilitate 5 more will be rehabilitated this financial year.
The Role of Water Boards in Infrastructure delivery
More delivery of our precious resource has also been achieved through the efforts of the Water Boards. During the 2011/12, the Boards generated 10.5 billion Rand and invested 2.1 billion Rand in infrastructure development and a further 3.3 billion Rand during their financial year ending in June this year. We are concerned, though, that municipalities owe our Water Boards some1,3 billion Rand.
SUPPORT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
In our quest to strengthen and support local government, we have 3 initiatives namely; joint interventions between DWA and COGTA; Deployment of Rapid Response Units (RRU’s), new MWIG to fix non-functional infrastructure and provide water where people never had access to safe water.
I have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Premier of Mpumalanga with an Implementation Protocol to speed up service delivery in the province and deal with all backlogs by the end of 2014. I intend to and will soon sign similar agreements with Premiers from other Provinces.
We have also finalised the Implementation Protocol with the relevant partners for the Sedibeng Regional Sewer Networks and waste water works at an estimated cost of 2.42 billion Rand.
We have supported 56 Water Services Authorities (WSA) that did not comply with the Blue and Green Drop Certification programmes and trained over 2000 Process Controllers. Next month I will release the outcomes of the 2013 Green drop assessments.
To deal with acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand, we have completed the immediate solution in the Western Basin and stopped the uncontrolled decant in the same Western Basin. We are now in our second phase of upgrading the Rand Uranium plant and we have started with the construction of a pump station and new water treatment plant in the Central Basin. This will ensure the Environmental Critical Level is not breached. The Eastern Basin is still at a safe level construction of a new water treatment plant is planned to commence by November 2014.
On Environment, we want our rich environmental and natural resource endowment not only to benefit us today but also our children and grandchildren into the future.
In support of the National Development Plan, we are working through the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)to spearheading an innovative programme of work on ecological infrastructure analysis and costing of our natural capital. This body of knowledge will empower us to make informed development related decisions.
WAR AGAINST RHINO POACHING
We have embarked on an in-depth amended and further review of our various pieces of legislation to incorporate various aspects to tighten issues of control and coordination, as well as to enhance enforcement efforts. These efforts should be able to yield appropriate results in the near future.
At the 16th Conference of Parties of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Thailand in March this year, we successfully offered to host the 17th CITES CoP in 2016 and work to prepare for this Conference will start soon.
In the same light, we are intensifying the collaborative law enforcement effort to combat the increasing scourge of rhino poaching as well as international cooperation with recipient and transit countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China. We have signed Memorandums of Understanding with Vietnam and China and we aim to sign similar agreements with Mozambique and other Asian countries. These MoUs allow us to collaborate on among others, joint policing / security measures, strengthening of laws, joint technology innovation and use, awareness campaigns and prosecutions to justice programmes.
We have elevated the rhino poaching challenge to the National Joints Security Committee where a National Joints Operational Instruction Strategy has been forwarded to all security structures for immediate implementation. Furthermore, 75 million Rand has been allocated to SANParks for the purpose of combating this on-going poaching for the period 2013/14 to 2015/16.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s CoP18 Conference was held in Doha, Qatar late last year. This secured the Durban legacy with an outcome that concluded the necessary provisions to give effect to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, including legal, operational, ambitionand environmental integrity considerations.
The policy implementation actions and activities flowing from this include the analysis of mitigation potential in key economic sectors as the basis for the establishment of Desired Emission Reduction Outcomes or what is called DEROs, and defining the optimal mix of measures for achieving those DEROs, with greatest benefit and least cost to the economy.
We must acknowledge the good work done together with the Department of Energy in processing all the applications for renewable energy. Up to 25 000 megawatts of wind and solar projects have been authorised for the various parts of the country to date, thus far surpassing the original quota of 3 750 megawatts suggested for the first three rounds of the bidding programme.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND GREEN ECONOMY
We have begun the introduction of the Green Economy with the utilisation of our Green Funds which we announced last year. Our Implementing Agent, the DBSA, has allocated funds through the first window to projects that proved to be sustainable, mainly in the alternative energy sector.
Early this year, we launched the zero emission pure electric Green Cars as a national Pilot Programmewith the objective to demonstrate government's commitment to the reduction of carbon emissions that are chiefly responsible for climate change.
In the same vein, the bioprospecting and hunting industries will remain integral to our contribution to sustainable development and green jobs in South Africa.
Chairperson, ladies and gentlemen, we are committed to improve the socio-economic benefits within the environmental sector by creating 65 494 work opportunities which will yield 34 019 Full-Time Equivalent Jobs. The targeted designated groups are women, youth and people living with disabilities.
We have accessed a total amount of 2.39 billion Rand from the Expanded Public Works Programme for our Environmental Programmes in the new financial year, which will boost the job-creation objective of Government, and secure vital environmental benefits from the work to be done. The jobs created will be coupled with skills development where-in 184 263 accredited training person days will be achieved.
During this financial year, we aim to spend over 1.13 billion Rand on the Working for Water and associated programmes, whilst Working on Fire will get 406 million Rand, and the Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programmes will get 817 million Rand.
The biggest budget allocations are again going towards Eastern Cape and SANParks projects and the SANParks budget includes the funding for the Eco-Furniture Factories.
Some 2700 young people will benefit from our Youth Environmental Services (YES) Programme over the next three years. Upon exiting the programme these young people will be placed in either permanent employment or further training institutions. We will also launch the Youth Jobs in Waste Programme. This project is expected to create 330 job opportunities in the Free State and 326 in the North West, and once rolled out nationally, it will provide 3577 young people with job opportunities in waste management and related entrepreneurship.
In addition to these youth employment initiatives, is the introduction of Environmental Monitors to deal with environmental threats in protected areas, including the scourge of rhino-poaching nationally. This programme will employ 1 000 young people to strengthen the fight against rhino poaching and other environmental challenges.
Since the first protocol was signed with the Limpopo provincial government in February 2012, most provinces have made progress in signing these protocols with the relevant local authorities. We have designated 48 Environmental Management Inspectors in different local authorities across the country and we anticipate that in the next few months this number will increase considerably following the various training initiatives that are being undertaken. There will however need to be focused efforts in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and the Free State where implementation protocols have not yet been signed with any of the local authorities.
We are also in the process of developing a comprehensive compliance and enforcement strategy that will provide us with a gap analysis enabling us to use our limited resources in the most effective way that ensures compliance with our legislation.
The National Waste Management Strategy continues to contribute to the creation of varied industries that are deliberately structured to deliver sustainable livelihoods. We are assisting three District Municipalities in the Northern Cape, two in Gauteng and two in Mpumalanga with the development of their Integrated Waste Management Plans to ensure that the planning around provision and management of waste complies with the requirements of the Waste Act. We will assist a further five municipalities this year.
As part of our efforts to drive recycling efforts, a total number of 15 buy-back centres will be established in this financial year.
The successful integration of the Water Use and Waste Licences for waste disposal facilities is an example of a successful integration of the licencing processes.
We will continue with the project of reducing the number of unlicensed waste disposal sites. In this financial year, the Department will finalise the norms and standards for remediation of contaminated land, storage of waste, flaring of landfill gas, and waste classification and management regulations.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the boards and staff of the public entities under the two departments, the Directors General, and their teams for the commitment they continue to show in the attainment of our strategic objectives.
I would also like to thank all members of this House for your support, guidance and robust engagements.
I thank You
Budget Vote Speech by Mme Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MP, the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, National Council Of Provinces (NCOP) Parliament
Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces(NCOP);
Honourable Minister Molewa, MP;
Chairperson of the Select Committee and Members of the Select Committee;
Distinguished Chairpersons and Chief Executives of Public Entities;
Allow me to take you on a journey of how we, as the sector leaders of water and the environment are geared to bring forth a better life for all, even beyond the second decade of democracy.
War on Leaks project
Through the War on Leaks project we educated water users about the importance of water conservation by doing door to door campaigns, practically fixing leaking taps and toilets in Northern Cape and West Rand. We also created job opportunities for our youth and equipped them with skills that can be used in the job market. These young people are called Water Conservation Warriors. This year, we will implement this project in nine (9) municipalities within the 24 priority district municipalities prioritized by our Cabinet and 300 job opportunities will be created.
Access to clean drinking water
During the National Water Week 2013, we handed over the R18 million Mukula Bulk Water Supply project to the late Chief Takalani and the Mukula community. This project provides clean drinking water to 17 villages and created 45 job opportunities for local people. Through partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) we provided water to six villages at Amathole and OR Tambo District municipalities in Eastern Cape. Phase two is currently being undertaken in eleven sites across Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces which will reach approximately 25 000 people. The exciting part is that Phase II will also tackle the operations and maintenance of infrastructure which is a national problem.
Public awareness and education
The school based environmental education programme implemented in partnership with the Department of Basic Education continues. In partnership with MTN Foundation we handed over one thousand two hundred (1200) computers with internet connection to sixty (60) schools. Eighty nine (89) bursaries have been awarded to learners who participated in of the 2020 Vision Programme to study water related careers.
The African Youth developed a draft Africa Youth Water Strategy during the 2012 Youth Water Summit held in South Africa. The strategy has since been approved by AMCOW.
Kids in Parks programme enabled 4159 learners and 168 educators to access the national parks. We are targeting 5000 learners for this financial year.
We handed over the R28.5 million Environmental Science Education Centre to the University of Limpopo – Turfloop which created 17 job opportunities to locals.
We brought rural women on board to prove that natural resources can be managed using indigenous knowledge; it is not only for engineers and scientists.
Through the Adopt a River project, twenty four (24) rivers were cleaned and created 1148 job opportunities for women. Last year I announced that we will put some of these women in our skills development programme to tell a story that says “I was a river cleaner now I am a Scientist”. I am proud to report that forty four (44) women will be awarded bursaries in this financial year to study at Universities and FET Colleges. I also need to appreciate the partnership and support from the Birchwood Hotel who adopted the Modderfontein River in Ekurhuleni.
One hundred and eighty-one (181) women from various municipalities of the Western Cape were trained in plumbing. Two hundred and fourteen women (214) from the nine provinces (9) have been trained as process controllers. Last year we hosted the Women in Environment conference. In this current financial year we will develop the sector gender framework and programme of action.
During Women’s month, we will host a Women Mayor’s dialogue to encourage them to prioritize and champion water conservation, environment, women and youth projects in their respective municipalities.
Working for Water – Eco Furniture Factory
Invasive alien species are a threat to our eco-system; however we reuse them as raw materials to manufacture eco coffins, school desks, garden benches, chess tables, bedroom furniture, walking sticks etc. To date we have established 3 Eco Factories which created a total of 493 job opportunities of which 52% is women and 37% youth. 250 desks from these factories were handed over to Boitumelo High School in Ficksburg, Free State and another 250 to Maatla Primary School in Hoedspruit, Limpopo. We will establish 18 Eco Factories within 3 years which will create 160 job opportunities per factory.
Three Hundred and Seventy Two (372) Councillors from the 9 Provinces have been trained on Environmental Management and Waste Management Planning. This year, the department will undertake a study that will investigate ways of including waste-pickers from the land-fill sites into the formal Waste Management System as a way of creating jobs in waste.
Access and Benefit Sharing
As a signatory to the Nagoya Protocol on Access Benefit Sharing, we have awarded 10 bio-prospecting licences to communities. They are benefitting through the creation of community-based enterprises and the awarding of bursaries to young people to further their education in the biodiversity conservation field.
Transformation of protected areas
Through this programme we facilitated co-management agreements with the Nwanedi land claimants in Limpopo and the Songimvelo Community in Mpumalanga, developed 241 SMMEs and created 5 852 job opportunities. During this financial year we will capacitate 400 beneficiaries on the use of natural resources, particularly the youth, women and people with disabilities.
Greening and open space management
Through our greening and open space management programme we have handed over Eco-Parks in Mdantsane and Duncan villages to the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. A total of 186 job opportunities were created during the implementation of this project.
We are making remarkable progress in the protection of the country’s wetlands, of which 48% are critically endangered. A total of 540 million Rands have been invested in the rehabilitation of wetlands, providing 12 908 job opportunities.
Marine Protected Areas
In order to protect our vulnerable coastline, last year we developed the Ocean Management Strategy, which will be implemented from this year. South Africa declared the Prince Edward Islands as the first South African Marine Protected Area.
Together with the South African Weather Service, we embarked on severe weather awareness road shows in Limpopo and Northern Cape educating the affected communities about weather issues.
We provided support to one thousand five hundred and fifty nine (1 559) Resource Poor Farmers (RPFs) through the provision of irrigation pumps, installation of Hydroponic tanks, water supply and storage, operation and maintenance and subsidies on water use charges. We also provided four thousand and sixty eight (4 068) rainwater harvesting tanks to schools and households.
In partnership with Daily Sun newspaper we launched the 5 million water saving tips campaign which is done in a form of a competition. The winners will be awarded bursaries to undergo training at FET Colleges around the country for a basic plumbing course.
We are grateful to all our partners such as the Department of Basic Education, MTN Foundation, Birchwood Hotel, SASOL, WESSA, Water Boards and Rand Water Foundation.
As we celebrate Environmental month which in our country is also celebrated as Youth month, I would like to remind South Africans especially youth about the significance of striving for environmental sustainability.
The need for this is clear in the theme for Environment Month: Think, Eat, Save.
I thank you.
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