Marine Spatial Planning Bill: Isimangaliso response; Rhino Lab; Wildlife Economy transformation; SARGBH wildlife donation

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

29 August 2017
Chairperson: Mr M Mapulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee received a response from the Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority on the park-public conflict issues raised during public hearings, and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) gave briefings on the donation of wild life to the South African Rare Game Breeders Association (SARGBA), progress on the Rhino Lab, and the transformation of the wildlife economy.

The Committee said that it had emerged that Isimangaliso was perceived as the ‘bad guy’ during their interaction with the public at the hearings. Communities had complained about the bag limitations on fishing, problems with access to waters for religious and cultural purposes, and distances of sites from parking areas.

It urged the DEA to enforce legislation that provided a minimum sentence for rhino poachers so that the threat would deter poaching, instead of facing the possible extinction of the species and fatal engagements with poachers. It should collaborate with communities and offer training to increase the number of park rangers in conservation sites, as well as having specialised units trained specifically to handle rhino poachers.

The Bioprospecting economy benefited from South Africa being the third most biodiverse country in the world. 7% of the world’s reptiles, birds and mammals, 10% of the world’s plants, and 15% of the world’s coastal marine species were located in SA. Together with bioprospecting, wildlife formed the core of SA’s biodiversity economy. The vision was to have a thriving, inclusive and sustainable wildlife economy for the wellbeing of all South Africans. There was a projected yearly growth of 10%. In the medium term, the wildlife economy was expected to create 15 384 jobs by 2021, and 100 000 jobs by 2030.

The DEA was engaged with multiple private, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in tackling rhino poaching. They had cross-border relations with Swaziland and Mozambique, from where it had been reported the there had been convictions of rhino poachers.

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, had been scheduled to give an explanation to the Committee on the statement made by the spokesperson of the Department, but she was unable to attend the Committee. The Committee had invited officials from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and Isimangaliso Wetland Park, as well as Ms Zanele Ludidi, Member of the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Legislature. Apologies had been received from Ms N Ngcaba, Director-General (DG), DEA, Mr A Zaloumis, CEO, Isimangaliso, and Ms B Thomson, Deputy Minister, DEA.

Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority: Presentation

Mr Mavuso Msimang, Board Chairperson, Isimangaliso Wetland Park apologised for having submitted their presentation to the Committee only the day before. The Board had been made aware that they were requested to present to the Committee only over the weekend, and they therefore had made sure that they would be able to answer the questions posed at the public hearing in time for the scheduled meeting.

The Chairperson said that said that that needed to be corrected, because the programme had been sent out to the Department well in advance, and the officials who would interact with the Committee needed to be well prepared.

Ms Terri Castis, Commercial Director, Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority said that she would be answering the questions that had been posed at the public hearings. Questions would be answered in no particular order.

Question seven asked to indicate whether fishing was allowed in the park, and if so, how. Ms Castis said there was a zonation for the Park in the integrated management plan (IMP) and in the Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA). The zonation made provision for 20 vehicular access points for small-scale subsistence fishers, and 82% of the Isimangaliso coastline was open to traditional subsistence line fishers and harvesters. There were, however, bag limits for fishing that were determined after considering the available science. The Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) had been doing research in the Park for over 30 years, and the results were that the biomass in Isimangaliso were low compared to the more nutrient-rich, temperate ecosystems in the Southern and Western Cape, and there had been a depletion of the surf-zone fishing.

Fish stocks in Isimangaliso were important because they were central to the livelihoods of communities. KwaZulu-Natal’s most important commercial line fish stocks were slinger, scotsman, yellowbelly, rockcod, and many others. It was believed that without the existence of the Isimangaliso Marine Protected Area (MPA), those stocks would have collapsed to such a low level that commercial fishing for those species would no longer have been viable. There were 15 recognised small-scale fishing communities in the Park, excluding approximately 1 000 individual subsistence fishers.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) issued permits to fishers under the national small-scale fishers’ policy, in conjunction with Isimangaliso. DAFF was in the process verifying small-scale fishers. Compliance was done by Ezemvelo and DAFF.

Questions one, two and three were grouped together in their response. The questions were:

  • indicate whether there have been cases of Park-people conflicts;
  • when did the conflicts start; and
  • what were the direct and underlying causes of these Park-people conflicts?

Ms Castis said there were Park-people conflicts, but clashes were intermittent. Some of the contributing factors were the lack of alternative economic opportunities and depletion of the natural resources in the areas that were not protected, therefore placing greater reliance on the resources in the Park, as well as inducements by outside parties, such as rhino poachers.

Questions four, five and six were also grouped together in their responses. The questions were:

  • what was the number of poaching-related human fatalities and/or injuries in the Park in the past five years;
  • how many of the poaching incidents were wildlife-related or fisheries-related; and
  • how many members from neighbouring communities had been shot at, and was it park rangers or police officers who had done the shooting in the past five years?

Ms Castis said that there had been 10 incidents of poaching in the past five years. Seven poachers had been fatally wounded, and four were injured. Eight of the poaching incidents were wildlife-related incidents, and two were fisheries-related. One poacher had been Mozambican, and the others were all from local communities. Field rangers from Ezemvelo had done the shooting.

Question eight asked to point out the intervention that the Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority had put in place to de-escalate Park-people conflicts.

Ms Castis responded that they had initiated environmental awareness programmes; there had been issue-based consultation; new stakeholder communications and consultation strategies; redevelopment of the park; local economic development programmes, which included community public/private lodging; tourism activities; eight co-management agreements with land claimants; payment of 8% of commercial revenue on an annual basis to land claimants; job creation targets in all third party service contracts, bursaries awarded to students; internships; training of tourism guides; environmental education programmes in over 55 schools a year, equitable access to the Park; a natural resource harvesting programme; agricultural gardens to improve food security and support sustainable agricultural practices; and training of 200 crafters and five artists.

Discussion

Mr T Hadebe (DA) said that it would be good to receive presentations in good time so that the Committee could be well prepared as well. He asked how many fishing or poaching incidents there had been in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years.

Ms H Kekana (ANC) asked if fisher’s were allowed in the park. Had the killing of any poachers been mentioned in their annual report?

Mr M Mabika (NFP) asked how Isimangaliso dealt with people who had been using fishing as their only source of income. He was asking because he himself was from Kosi Bay, and people there were using traditional fishing, and the communities there were struggling to understand why Isimangaliso was telling them to stop fishing in that manner. He was not sure if “park clashes” was the right term to use. The geography of the land sometimes did not allow municipalities to develop roads in some areas, and they somehow needed to communicate better with communities so that clashes with the municipality were reduced.

Response

Ms Castis said that perhaps there was misinformation, because Isimangaliso did allow fishing in the park, and in Kosi Bay, traditional fishing was a respected form of fishing. It was not restricted. What they were trying to do was to give additional economic opportunities to people. People caught fish up to the bag limit. They kept a certain amount for the family, and the rest they were allowed to sell.

There had been two fishing poaching incidents since 2013. The killing of poachers was not reported in the annual reports.

She had had received notification from the Department on Friday morning and she had collated information for the presentation. She took responsibility for the presentation being sent to late to the Committee.

Ms Castis said that she did not have the specific bag limits on hand because there were different limits for different species, and she would submit that information to the Committee in writing.

The Chairperson said that one of the complaints raised at the public hearing had been that fishers were not given enough bag limits.

Further discussion

Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi, Deputy Director General (DDG): Biodiversity and Conservation said that there were social economic issues that needed to be coordinated, and these went beyond the programme of DEA. A national team, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism (DOT), the DAFF and municipalities, was set in order to address the issues.

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) said that perhaps there was legislation that governed compliance, and it maybe was not up to the Committee. What was needed was for the Committee to be informed of the effectiveness in ensuring compliance. He asked to what extent environmental awareness programmes were effective. He asked to what extent traditional leaders were satisfied with what was going on in Isimangaliso, because if they were informed, they would be in a better position to control their subjects.

People had their own cultural, traditional and religious activities that often involved access to the ocean waters, and he asked if people were allowed access to the waters only if they were fishing.

Ms H Nyambi (ANC) asked if people knew which species could be harvested, and which could not.

Mr R Purdon (DA) said that statistics, and the background of the Park, informed the Committee that people were living in poverty. It was a pity that the local municipality was not present to answer about what was being done to alleviate poverty. He would like to see more detail on tourism, revenue and jobs created. He asked for clarity on how the ncema was processed and marketed, and how they were growing it.

Ms J Edwards (DA) said that from the public hearings, it was very clear that the public perception was that Isimangaliso was the “bad guy”. She asked how Isimangaliso was communicating to the people that they were not responsible for the legislation governing the heritage site.

Ms Ludidi said that she was reserving her comments for the bigger engagement with the Portfolio Committee, together with Isimangaliso and the public.

Mr Hadebe asked what happened to the excess fish when law enforcement found fishers with excess fish. He said that Isimangaliso needed to involve other stakeholders, such as DOT and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) so that they could assist them in maintaining their status as a world heritage site.

Mr Mabika said that he was happy that the issue of service delivery inside the park was being attended to, and wanted to check that the communication given to the Committee was the same as that given to the communities on the ground. The community needed to be involved in Isimangaliso’s plans so that they could also assist in the infrastructure building and maintenance.

The Chairperson said that it was quite clear that Isimangaliso needed to work on improving stakeholder engagements. It needed to work on dealing with their public perception.

Response

Ms Castis said that it was important to create opinion leaders who flew “the flag” for the park.

Religious and cultural activities were allowed on the site, and in some cases permits were needed when overnight visits occurred or structures needed to be moved. The distance from the sites to where visitors had parked their cars was only far, depending on which section of the park they were in.

She said that 1 200 internal jobs plus 7 000 outside jobs were supported by tourism and conservation-related activities.

Ncema harvesting was permitted by traditional leaders

The Park’s recruitment process was done publicly through newspapers, traditional leaders and schools. Their challenge was to communicate the progress of programmes and information to communities.

Previously the relationship had been with Ezimvelo, but now it was more with the DAFF. The three were now working together. When law enforcement found excess fish from fishers, they kept them in a freezer until the case was concluded.

Ms Castis said that they worked from the assumption that people did not know which species could be harvested, and they then warned the individual and lodged a note in the system so that if the same person was found more than twice, a third warning would be given, after which criminal proceedings would be initiated.

The Chairperson said that Ms Ludidi, together with the Department needed, to lead the process of stakeholder engagement so that the public perception of Isimangaliso would be positive.

Biodiversity Economy Lab: Briefing

Mr Xola Mkefe, Director: Wildlife Economy, said that the bio-prospecting economy benefited from South Africa being the third most biodiverse country in the world. 7% of the world’s reptiles, birds and mammals, 10% of the world’s plants, and 15% of the world’s coastal marine species were located in SA. Together with bioprospecting, wildlife formed the core of SA’s biodiversity economy.

Bioprospecting was defined as the searching for, collecting, harvesting, and extracting of living or dead indigenous species, or derivatives and genetic material thereof for commercial or industrial purposes. Wildlife referred to game and wildlife farming/ranching activities that related to the stocking, trading, breeding and hunting of game, and all services and goods required to support that value chain.

The Lab contributed to points 1, 4, 5, and 6 of Government’s nine-point plan. There were:

  • to revitalise agriculture and agro-processing;
  • to unlock the potential of small, medium and micro enterprises, cooperatives and township enterprises;
  • Operation Phakisa (oceans, economy, mining, health, basic education, etc.); and
  • encouraging private sector investment.

The lab had produced initiatives and recommendations to address the key challenges experienced by the streams.

The wildlife economy initiative proposed tripling the number of projects receiving support from the Working for Wildlife programme. Each project cost R10 million. By 2030, it was estimated that the amount would increase to R25 million, and this would include basic infrastructure, capturing, translocation, skills development and mentorship, veterinary costs and extensions. The vision was to have a thriving, inclusive and sustainable wildlife economy for the wellbeing of all South Africans. There was a projected 30% growth in the wildlife sector, with a yearly growth of 10%. The DEA acknowledged that the targets were ambitious, but not impossible. In the medium term, the wildlife economy was expected to create 15 384 jobs by 2021, and 100 000 jobs by 2030.

The wildlife sector was comprised of three sub-sectors: wildlife ranching, wildlife activities and wildlife products. Ranching included breeding, live sale, live captures, translocation services, veterinary services, and fencing and maintenance. Activities included wildlife viewing, trophy hunting, biltong hunting, accommodation, transport, taxidermy, and equipment and supplies. Products included game meat processing, skin and hide production, packaging and transportation.

The Wildlife Economy Lab had developed detailed plans for 15 initiatives and six additional initiatives.

Initiative one was to identify and prioritise 10 million ha for transformation of the wildlife economy through a national land audit. The stakeholders involved were the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), the DAFF and DEA.

Initiative two was coordinating existing support mechanisms under a “Wildlife Support Unit” to efficiently support new entrants to the industry.

Initiative three was to increase capacity and support for at least 300 community entities.

Initiative four was to create supply chain linkages and capacitate 4 000 new and existing small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

Initiative five was to operationalise the uMfolozi Biodiversity Economy Node as a pilot for the wildlife node concept.

Initiative six was to empower 4 000 emerging entrepreneurs and farmers through focused capacity-building programmes.

Initiative seven was to formalise the SA game meat market and create a network of game meat processing facilities.

Initiative eight was to implement a campaign that drives participative transformation and consumer growth for wildlife-related activities and products.

Initiative nine was to create an enabling legislative environment through the amendment of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA).

Initiative 10 was to develop and implement wildlife industry standards.

Initiative 11 was to implement a national wildlife economy branding scheme.

Initiative 12 was to develop and implement an electronic wildlife permitting system and centralised database.

Initiative 13 was to re-position the wildlife forum as an efficient interdepartmental/industry collaboration and co-ordination platform, to promote the benefits of the wildlife economy.

Initiative 14 was to develp an integrated knowledge/evidence-generating and sharing platform to support the wildlife economy.

Initiative 15 was to leverage protected areas to unlock economic potential.

Wildlife priority projects had been identified in all nine provinces through engagements over the past three years and called for project proposals. There were 24 sites in Limpopo, seven sites in Mpumalanga, two sites in Gauteng, four sites in the Free State, 13 sites in North West, 14 sites in KwaZulu-Natal, 17 sites in the Eastern Cape, two sites in the Western Cape, and 11 sites in the Northern Cape.

The criteria for project selection were: land ownership or clear tenurial rights; a conducive ecological infrastructure; contribution to conservation; clear governance structures; black applicants as defined by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act; and labour-intensive job creation with the emphasis on youth, women and disabled individuals.

The bioprospecting economy had the potential to grow to R1.7 billion, and add 10 000 new jobs by 2030.

Key initiatives to drive growth in the Bioprospecting Economy were to promote mass cultivation by 500 ha per annum; defining management plans to ensure sustainable wildlife harvesting; establishing a coordinating and facilitating Bio Products Advancement Network South Africa (BioPANZA) to harness existing initiatives and to address the innovation chasm.

Bioprospecting sector progress made toward 2019 targets had been conceptualized and a Biodiversity Social Entrepreneurship Programme had been held in Limpopo from 19-21 April 2017. 19 people had participated, and one applicant had been linked with three mentors from EcoProducts, Botanica Natural Products, and the South African Essential Oil Business Incubator.

Donation of wild life game to SARGBH 2017

(Joint meeting with Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)

Mr P Maloyi (ANC), representing the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, introduced Dr Botlhe Modisane, Chief Director: Animal Production and Health, DAFF.

Dr Modisane said that game donations in the North West Province had arrived from negotiations that had been held with SANParks in 2016. After engagements with scientists, it hademerged that some of the submissions were lacking in some areas, and the report provided to the Committee was a response to rectify those areas.

Mr P Mabilo (ANC) said that the Committee had not been provided with a copy of the old and new policy regulations, and he therefore asked for the Committee to be provided with an addendum.

Mr Makhubele said that since the report was being treated as a joint report with the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, it needed to be consistent throughout the whole document that the report was a joint effort of the two Portfolio Committees.

The Chairperson said a reformulation was required on the point which discussed transformation.

He said that the point talking about compliance with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) should read that the Department had not adhered to the prescripts of compliance to the PFMA. There had been a failure through recommending something that was outside the requirement of the law. He proposed adoption of the report, with recommendations and observations. The donation had not been handled in line with the existing legislation and therefore the entire transaction needed to be reversed.

Mr Mabilo said that the Committee needed to present the sense of urgency to the DEA to finalise the report.

Dr Modisane said that the Department had already adopted guidelines. When talking about reversing the process, he hoped they were bearing in mind that some animals had already been moved and would therefore result in a loss or displacement.

Mr Purdon said that the MEC should pay the cost of translocation for disregarding the advice of officials.

The Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) raised issues about consequence management every year, and the remedial steps that needed to be taken.

Mr Maloyi agreed that the MEC should take responsibility as the executive authority, but also said that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), as the accounting officer, should take the blame as well.

Mr Makhubele said that whoever participated in the wasting of expenditure needed to face the same punishment. No one should be spared.

Mr Hadebe said that it was important to stress that officials were responsible in their own capacity.

The Chairperson said that the MEC, and everyone who had played a role, would be made liable and needed to pay back the money in their own individual capacity.

Mr Maloyi said that the Chairperson should meet jointly with the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries so that they could adopt the report together, since the report had been jointly presented to both Committees.

Rhino Conservation Lab: Presentation

Mr Ishaam Abader, DDG: Legal, Authorisation, Compliance and Enforcement, DEA, said that rhino conservation was one of the work streams under the Biodiversity Lab. There was a new level of collaboration between government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academia. Work streams were based on Committee of Enquiry Pillars -- law enforcement (anti-poaching and anti-trafficking); demand management; management of the rhino population; community empowerment responsive legislation; and plans for incentives to stakeholders to improve stockpile management.

Law enforcement initiatives that had been developed were the implementation and standardisation of documents, procedures and guidelines regarding the Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) capabilities. The RAP sub-committee had requested support from human resources (HR) within DEA to look at the different systems which were currently used by the provinces and SANParks, as well as private organisations with APUs. Training of APU rangers/officials needed to be finalised. The RAP sub-committee had been used extensively in ensuring the integrity management of APU members.

There had been significant progress in improving law enforcement. Forensic intelligence was used to determine whether poaching cases were linked with other crimes; crime scene investigation had improved and identification of suspects increased; more arrests were being made on trafficking as opposed to only poaching; a regional court had been established at Skukuza in the Kruger National Court; an integrated reporting platform with the DEA had been established; and crime codes had been adjusted to improve statistical information.

In increasing the government’s ability to detect, prevent and combat wildlife trafficking in SA and beyond, working groups had been created to address specific issues such as forensics and technology; training programmes were being rolled out; standard operating procedures (SOPs) at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) were improving their ability to secure integrity of forensic evidence on seized material related to wildlife trafficking, and there would be increased law enforcement present at conservation authorities so as to deter criminals.

Another initiative was to increase national, regional and international law enforcement collaboration and cooperation in combating wildlife trafficking. SA worked well with Swaziland and neighboring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in that regard.

A bio-synthesis work stream had been established within the Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba to develop a framework for research on alternatives for rhino horns. With regard to captive breeding operations, a draft guideline would be discussed at the scientific authority meeting which was scheduled to take place in September 2017, to ensure regulatory authorities knew what to look for.

The National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) No 10 of 2004 listed white rhinos as protected species, and black rhinos as endangered species. Section 57 (1) of the Act stated that a permit was required to carry out a restricted activity involving a specimen of a listed species. Section 87 A (3) provided for written agreement by the MECs for the Minister to be the issuing authority for permits usually issued by the MEC. The threatened or protected species regulations of 2017 further regulated the permitting system and prescribed marking for rhino horn.

Permits authorising the sale of rhino horns were issued with conditions, including the following:

  • the permit authorised the person to buy only rhino horns authorised to be sold through ordinary permit numbers;
  • the permit did not authorise the possession or transport of rhinoceros horns; and
  • the permit did not authorise the export or re-export of rhino horns.

Discussion

The Chairperson said that there was a case where someone had been issued a permit to auction his rhino horns, and later the permit had been revoked and the case had gone to court. He asked about progress on that case.

A strong legislative deterrent was needed to discourage rhino poaching, because telling rangers to shoot to kill poachers would lead to increased court cases. A minimum sentence needed to be set for poaching.

Mr Purdon said that the Committee was always told of plans, steps and guidelines, but what they needed to see was action. He asked if there were life style audits for employees, and if they were investigated.

Where were the intensive care units for rhinos, and how were they being managed? Were community facilitators paid? Was there any liaison between the DEA and the NGOs that had done extensive work in decreasing the plight of rhino poaching?

He seconded the Chairperson’s proposal that a minimum sentence was needed for rhino poaching if they were serious about deterring the plight. He asked if the DEA had ever thought of public-private partnerships in managing parks in KwaZulu-Natal. Was there any engagement with neighbouring countries which were having greater success in curbing rhino pouching?

Mr Makhubele said that most of the initiatives sounded too ambitious, and he was not convinced that they could be achieved. The DEA needed to develop step by step processes so that they knew what was expected to be accomplished in each time frame. He asked which would be easier to handle, between recruiting new rangers to a new level, or elevating the current rangers to deal with the new rhino management group.

Mr Hadebe asked who constituted the RAP sub-committee. Were communities cooperating and willing to relocate to locations identified outside the parks? What was being done to reduce the demand for rhino horns?

Responses

Mr Munzhedzi said the moratorium had been imposed in 2013. Subsequent to that, applications had been received. The court case that ensued was with regard to the handing over of permits to sell rhino horns. The judgment given was that the permit was supposed to be handed back to the applicant within 12 hours. It had subsequently been handed back to the applicant but then revoked by the Minister, claiming that only she had the authority to give permits. Another issue, however, was that the interested buyer needed to have a buying permit before the owner could sell his rhino horns.

The Chairperson asked who in the Department had issued the permit if that person was not authorised to issue the permit.

Mr Munzhedzi said that the issue was with validity of the permit on the basis of section 87, so there had been no interpretation in the courts on how the section should be interpreted.

The Chairperson asked who the person was.

Mr Munzhedzi said it had been the director who dealt with permits, Ms Olga Kumalo.

The Chairperson said that if Ms Kumalo was not supposed to have issued the permit, then there should have been consequences for her actions.

Mr Purdon asked if SANParks was planning to service the rhino parks under their new legislation.

Mr Abader said that they were not 100% successful, but the number of rhinos being killed was decreasing and they were slowly winning the war. Their strategy was integrated, and each area was being addressed.

The Committee was not being ignored in terms of legislation. The DEA had presented to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the DOJ in turn had indicated that there were some technical difficulties.

Mr Abader said the measures put in place in the Kruger National Park (KNP) were bearing fruit and therefore poachers had moved to softer targets and focused more on KwaZulu-Natal areas, and less on the KNP. The DEA did not put out information on how many rhinos there were and where they were situated deliberately because they did not want to start a panic.

A lot of the technological advancement and training was as a result of external funding and resources.

The Department had addressed the issue of special courts in general with the DOJ, but it had been found that it was not a feasible option.

There were close relations and collaboration with neighbouring communities on combating poaching and beefing up security. The DEA was dealing with neighbouring countries, especially Swaziland and Mozambique, were there had even been instances of convictions for poaching in recent years.

Ms Frances Craigie, Chief Director: Enforcement, DEA said a compliance working group sat on the RAP Committee, together with SANParks officials and other representatives from other parks.

The environmental sector had gone through a whole restructuring and assessment of how much each function would be paid. The DEA was concerned about looking at the existing personnel, and whether there was a need to take them up a notch depending on the work they did, and then standardising that salary across the country so everyone in the same position earned the same pay. The DEA was giving extensive funding to ranger programmes.

Ms Craigie said that meetings had been held with the DOJ and every stakeholder that dealt with writing legislation, but the DEA was just not ready to present to the Committee on the outcomes at that point in time, but they would inform the Committee as soon as they had made progress.

The Chairperson asked if the DEA was able to indicate to the Committee who the recipient of the 600 wildlife animals had been.

Ms Rose Masela, Chief Director: National Wildlife Information Management Unit, DEA, said that communities were cooperating and the process was very consultative with communities, to the extent that they had been informed that they would be moving from mud houses to brick houses, provisions would be provided for their livestock, and that they would carry on living life as they had always done.

The DEA was cooperating with neighbouring countries. There were memorandums of agreement (MOUs) with Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

Mr Mkere said they had an extensive list of all the wildlife beneficiaries, and the list would be made available to the Committee immediately.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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