Consideration of and report on Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions

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Meeting report


This meeting was minuted by the Committee Secretary , Mr Keith Williams

Select Committee On Land And Environmental Affairs
19 August 2002


Eastern Cape
Mr R Z Nogumla
Ms B N Dlulane

Dr E A Conroy

Ms B Thompson
Mr N M Raju

Mr V V Z Windvoël

Northern Cape
Mr A E van Niekerk (Visiting member)
Mr M A Sulliman

Rev M Chabaku
Ms J Kgoali
Rev P Moatshe
Ms A M Versfeld

Also in attendance, from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, was:
Mr B Mathebula - Director: Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Management.

AGENDA: 1. Consideration of and report on Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions.
In the absence of the Chairperson, and in terms of Rule 92(1) of the Rules of the NCOP, Mr V V Windvoël was elected as Acting Chairperson of the Committee. He welcomed members and guests present.

Briefing on the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions:

Mr B Mathebula of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism briefed the Committee on the two related Conventions (see Appendices 1 & 2).

Response to questions:

In response to questions from members of the Committee, Mr Mathebula made the following points:

There needs to be further research to determine which substances are persistent pollutants in the South. This is because substances behave differently in differing climatic conditions and no research has occurred in developing countries.

Because the Rotterdam Convention has not been signed by South Africa, South Africa will accede to the Convention rather than ratifying it.

Although DDT is still used to control malaria, legislation will be drafted to ban it from use for agricultural purposes. The Committee felt that this was a matter of urgency.

The cost implications of the two conventions are $30 000 in membership fees plus the employment of 4-5 officers by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Although certain chemicals are banned, Customs Officials still need to be trained to detect them. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is working with the Department of Trade and Industry in this regard.

South Africa does not engage in large-scale farming of soya beans and coffee, and therefore does not experience the problems associated with this.

Although there is legislation to control banned chemicals, inspections are only carried out by officers of the Department of Health. Efforts are being made to broaden the training of such officers.

Adoption of the reports on the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions:

The Committee adopted reports recommending the ratification of both Conventions.


The Acting Chairperson thanked members and guests for their attendance and adjourned the meeting at 13:00.
Mr V V Windvoël
Acting Chairperson: Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs



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