DEFF 2021/2022 Annual Performance Plan; with Minister

NCOP Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy

11 May 2021
Chairperson: Ms T Modise (ANC, North West)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Video: Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy

Annual Performance Plans

At a virtual meeting, the Committee was briefed by the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries (DFFE) on its Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget Vote 9. This included discussion on the challenges faced in local government related to waste management, the monitoring and management of air quality, the finalisation of the development of a small-scale commercial fishery, challenges regarding fishing rights allocations, and aquaculture development.

The Committee was briefed by the DFFE on its APP for the 2021/22 financial year which aimed to continue with the implementation of its approved Strategic Plan. Members heard that it was developed within the context of the constrained delivery environment since the COVID-19 pandemic. This environment included a declining economic climate which resulted in a reduction of the Operational Budget and Employee Budget. The DFFE outlined its annual targets, outcomes, and performance indicators for its nine programmes to the Committee.

Members were pleased to hear that the DFFE operates in a system called the system of cross-subsidisation. This meant that some National Parks may not necessarily generate sufficient income, those parks that do help in this regard to fund the operational costs of other National Parks. The establishment of the two new national parks depend on the element of public good for the destined locations of the parks. These two parks will be established in the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape Provinces. A research council has been established to explore the fiscal impacts and challenges that must be addressed in this regard.

In light of the economic challenges and budget cuts, the Committee advised the DFFE to work closely with state owned enterprises to streamline their operations and services to ensure continuity of critical services and contributions towards the government’s economic recovery plans. The Committee was of the view that the decline in budget allocation to the entities will have an impact on conservation and protection of biodiversity that does not only have intrinsic value but contributes to tourism revenue. Members felt strongly that there was a need to fast-track the eradication and control of Invasive Alien Plants, specifically those directly affecting our limited water resources and water bodies, like the Water Hyacinth. Members welcomed the targeted Integrated Permitting System that would assist organisations who contributed to controlling the Invasive Alien Plants through processing them into new and useful products.

The Committee was briefed by the DFFE on its Budget for the 2021/22 financial year. This figure was set at R 8.72 billion and at R 8.88 billion for the 2022/23 financial year. The budget for the 2023/24 financial year amounted to R 8.95 billion. The baseline budget allocation was reduced by 7%, 9% and 10% over the 2021 MTEF period. This meant that the DFFE must try to direct the scarce resources on activities that have the greatest impact on its statutory mandate. The baseline reductions affect compensation of employees and allocations made to public entities. Cost-cutting measures to be intensified on travel and subsistence, accommodation, venues and facilities, advertising, cellphone and landline costs and other administrative costs.

Regarding the ongoing water shortages across most of the municipalities, waste dumping in water bodies was a continuing challenge such as the dumping of disposable nappies and other forms of waste. The Committee suggested that provinces and municipalities should be brought on-board in the Waste Economy Master Plan and assist in waste management to protect limited resources. The Committee indicated that the DFFE should work closely with the state-owned entities performing earth systems observation monitoring to coordinate efforts towards improving the monitoring networks across South Africa. The Committee felt further that there was a need to continue to improve and maintain the weather and air quality monitoring station networks to enable timeously production of early warnings to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme weather events and ensure a healthy environment. The Committee also said that the DFFE should work closely with the provinces and municipalities, especially those with limited capacity to assist them in developing and implementing their own climate change adaptation strategies. The Committee welcomed the investigation of the suspended Chief Executive Officer of the SanParks and was pleased that someone had been placed in an Acting position in the interim.

It was crucial that the DFFE worked closely with state owned enterprises to streamline their operations and services to ensure continuity of critical services and contributions towards the government’s economic recovery plans.

The DFFE was requested to submit written responses to all unanswered questions posed by Members by the next morning, on 12 May 2021.

Meeting report

The Chairperson convened the virtual meeting and welcomed Members in attendance, as well as the delegation from the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries (DFFE). She emphasised the importance of the work done by the DFFE regarding job creation and tackling issues of pollution.

The delegation from the DFFE consisted of the Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, Ms Makhotso Sotyo, Ms Nomfundo Tshabalala, Director-General, Ms Frances Craigie, Chief Director: Enforcement, Mr Jacob Kutu, Director: Strategic Management, Mr Rannoi Sedumo, Chief Financial Officer, Ms Mamogala Musekene, Deputy Director-General: Chemicals & Waste Management, Ms Morongoa Leseke, Acting Deputy Director-General (DDG): Forestry Management, Ms Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Environmental Programmes, Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi, Deputy Director-General: Biodiversity & Conservation, Ms Sue Middleton, Acting Deputy Director-General: Fisheries Management, and Dr Gabriel Lekalakala, Researcher at the DFFE.

The purpose of this virtual meeting was for the Committee to be briefed by the DFFE on its Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget Vote 32. This included discussion on the challenges faced in local government related to waste management, the monitoring and management of air quality, the finalisation of the development of a small-scale commercial fishery, challenges regarding fishing rights allocations, and aquaculture development. Another item on the agenda was for the Committee to consider and adopt its reports and minutes from previous meetings.

Opening remarks by the Deputy Minister

Ms Makhotso Sotyo, the Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, stated that the APP of the DFFE is informed by its five-year Strategic Plan which was tabled in Parliament for the 2019 to 2014 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. She introduced the delegation from the DFFE.

Briefing by the DFFE on the APP for the 2021/22 financial year

The first item on the agenda was for the Committee to be briefed by the DFFE on its Annual Performance Plan (APP). Ms Nomfundo Tshabalala, the Director-General of the DFFE, presented the briefing.

Key considerations in the development of the APP

The mandate of the DFFE is to ensure the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources, balanced with sustainable development and the equitable distribution of the benefits derived from natural resources for current and future generations. This is to be achieved while giving effect to the right of the nation to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing as stated in section 24(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This constitutional provision stipulates that “all South Africans have the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of the present and future generations” through the relevant legislation.

In response to the National Development, it is the task of the DFFE to support and facilitate investments in reforestation, aquaculture production, wildlife, bioprospecting, and recycling. The intended outcomes are the creation of jobs, rebuilding of depleted fish stocks, revitalised State-owned forests, broader and equitable participation in the South African wildlife, forestry, and fisheries sectors.

The APP of the DFFE for the 2021/22 financial year aims to continue with the implementation of its approved Strategic Plan. It was developed within the context of the constrained delivery environment since the COVID-19 pandemic, including the resulting declining economic climate which resulted in a reduction of operational budget and employee budget. The APP seeks to implement key interventions in line with the Green Economy Recovery Plan after the COVID-19 pandemic, to mitigate the negative socio-economic effects.

The work of the DFFE is aligned to the priorities of the government pertaining to:

-Investment, jobs, and inclusive growth – This is done by creating more decent and sustainable jobs for the youth, women, and person living with disabilities. The focus for the DFFE is on the implementation of the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme for the environmental sector. It is estimated that over 300 000 new employment opportunities will be created by the end of the current MTEF framework.

-Eradicating poverty and improving people’s lives – This is done by ensuring improved socio-economic conditions through the implementation of the Environment Phakisa programmes. These interventions are aimed at stimulating economic growth in the respective sub-sectors of the environment and to facilitate employment creation, with a specific focus on women, young people, and people with disabilities beneficiaries.

-Improving education and skills for a changing world – The DFFE will prioritise improving levels of environmental management education and awareness within communities to drive positive behavioural changes. This is done through the implementation of skill development interventions to provide accredited training to beneficiaries participating in environmental projects. The objective is to ensure beneficiaries have the required skills to increase chances of access for participation in the formal economy through employment and establishment of small and medium enterprises and labour market. A total number of 3 894 beneficiaries will benefit from training programmes with a particular focus on women and young people.

-Ensuring social cohesion and safe communities – This involves the mitigation of threats on environmental quality and human health. Development and implementation of legal instruments will ensure increased waste diversion from landfill sites across prioritised waste streams. The phasing of hazardous chemicals is paramount to protect the environment and promote human health. The DFFE must facilitate the implementation of air quality management programmes in order to ensure the progressive realisation of the right to air that is not harmful to health and well-being. The DFFE must ensure a just transition to a low carbon economy and climate-resilient society.

-Building a capable government that serves the people – This necessitates an adequately capacitated local sphere of government that is able to effectively execute its environmental managerial functions. The DFFE will continue to partner with local government through the district delivery model to implement greening programmes, improve service delivery, increase development, and create employment in a manner that does not harm the environment. In addition, the local government support interventions and environmental priorities will be incorporated and implemented in 44 district municipalities by end of the current MTEF period.

-Working towards a better Africa – The DFFE must facilitate international cooperation supportive of South Africa’s environmental and sustainable development priorities. The focus must be on continued participation at key international and regional platforms to advance international environmental management and sustainable development agenda (research, consultation, national mandate approval, and the negotiation of position papers) and the facilitation of resource mobilisation for funding of environmental management programmes.

The targets of the APP per programme:

For Programme 1 (Administration), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as obtaining an unqualified external audit opinion without any findings, that 90% of its overall expenditure relates to BBBEE compliant companies, 50% women and 2% people with disabilities in positions of Senior Management, the provision of skills development opportunities to 3 894 beneficiaries, and the training of 2 790 officials in environmental compliance and enforcement. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 2 (Regulatory Compliance & Sector Monitoring), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as facilitating the inspection of 775 environmental authorisations in key sectors, conducting 125 environmental performance assessments in Waste Management-facilities, finalising 214 criminal cases and dockets and hand it over to the National Prosecuting Authority (the NPA), and issuing 1 100 administrative enforcement notices for non-compliance. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 3 (Oceans & Coasts), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as creating 3 950 jobs through the implementation of the Phakisa programme, improving water quality with the reduction in contaminants from heavy industries, publishing the Biodiversity Management Plans for implementation, implementing the Antarctic Strategy, and undertaking three relief voyages to the South African National Antarctic Expedition (the SANAE). The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 4 (Climate Change, Air Quality & Sustainable Development), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as undertaking climate change interventions, achieving a National Air Quality Indicator that is equal or less than one, that 80 air quality monitoring stations meet the minimum data recovery standard of 75%, the publishing of the State of the Environment Impact Assessment Report, and implementing support interventions for local government. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 5 (Biodiversity & Conservation), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as expanding land under conservation, declaring two new national parks, ensuring that 87% of area of state managed protected areas are assessed with the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool and achieve scores above 67%, the implementation of three interventions to ensure the conservation of strategic water sources and wetlands, the implementation of biodiversity economic initiatives as outlined. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 6 (Environmental Programmes), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as creating 308 241 employment opportunities, a total of 140 454 full time equivalents, and ensuring that over 169 000 young people benefit from the implementation of environmental programmes. Further outcomes involve that a total of 76 258 participants are trained on accredited programmes, and that over 3 million invasive plant species are cleared, that 541 wetlands are under rehabilitation, that 90% of wildfires are suppressed, and that 2 116 km of coastlines are cleared. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 7 (Chemicals & Waste Management), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as finalising the Mercury Management plan and phase out four Mercury products (including thermometers, compact fluorescent lights, batteries, and mercury in cosmetics), ensuring that 14 industrial persistent organic pollutants products are phased out, that the consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons is decreased by 50%, that 30% of waste is diverted from landfill sites, that the Waste Economy Master Plan is approved, and the creation of 5 500 jobs. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 8 (Forestry Management), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as undertaking the planting of 5 400 hectares of temporary unplanted areas, placing 8 400 hectares under silvicultural practice, the refurbishment of 15 nurseries, the creation of 12 000 jobs in the forestry sector, the development and implementation of post-settlement support strategy, mapping of 15 indigenous forest management units, five indigenous forests transferred to conservation authorities, the planting of 1.95 million trees, and the publishing of the annual list of protected trees. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

For Programme 9 (Fisheries Management), the DFFE outlined its key MTEF outcomes as promulgating key legislation after amendment and drafting of the Regulations, the development and approval of the Fisheries Management Policy, the approval of the Inland Fisheries Management Policy by the Cabinet, the conducting of 5 500 inspections in the priority fisheries, conducting 290 investigations of right holders, and ensuring that 147 small-scale fishing cooperatives are allocated fishing rights and benefitting from an Integrated Development Support programme. The annual targets were outlined in the attached presentation.

Briefing by the DFFE on the Budget Vote 32:

The second item on the agenda was for the Committee to be briefed by the DFFE on the Budget Vote 32. Mr Rannoi Sedumo, Chief Financial Officer of the DFFE, presented the briefing.

Budget allocations:

The budget for the DFFE for the 2021/22 financial year was set at R8.72 billion (which is a nominal decrease of 11.5%), and at R8.88 billion for the 2022/23 financial year. The budget for the 2023/24 financial year amounts to R8.95 billion. The baseline budget allocation is reduced by 7%, 9% and 10% over the 2021 MTEF period. This means that the DFFE must direct the scarce resources on activities that have the greatest impact on its statutory mandate. The baseline reductions affect compensation of employees and allocations made to public entities. Cost-cutting measures to be intensified on travel and subsistence, accommodation, venues and facilities, advertising, cellphone and landline costs and other administrative costs.

The budget allocations made per programme are as follow: Programme 1 (Administration) was allocated R1.01 billion, Programme 2 (Regulatory Compliance & Sector Monitoring) was allocated R214.68 million, Programme 3 (Oceans & Coasts) was allocated R487.47 million, Programme 4 (Climate Change, Air Quality & Sustainable Development) was allocated R448.73 million, Programme 5 (Biodiversity & Conservation) was allocated R921.36 million, Programme no. 6 (Environmental Programmes) was allocated R3.69 billion, Programme 7 (Chemicals & Waste Management) was allocated R636.41 million, Programme 8 (Forestry Management) was allocated R746.16 million, Programme 9 (Fisheries Management) was allocated R562.82 million. This makes up the budget of the DFFE for the 2021/22 financial year of R8.72 billion.

Budget allocations for public entities:

The DFFE outlined the budget allocations for its associated public entities for the 2021/22 financial year as follows: The South African National Parks (SANParks) was allocated R862.06 million, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) was allocated R538.11 million, the South African Weather Services (SAWS) was allocated R347.36 million, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority was allocated R208.24 million, and the Marine Living Resources Fund was allocated R305.28 million.

Discussion:

Ms L Bebee (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) thanked the DFFE for the presentations made. Regarding the budget reductions she asked for clarity on how the DFFE decided which of its nine programmes should take the biggest reduction in its budget allocation. ‘How will the budget cuts affect the travel and remuneration of staff complements’? She asked the DFFE to provide justification for the continued presence of the research projects in the Antarctic regions given the significant budget cuts in critical programmes with local effects. ‘Why has the budget allocations been increased for all the sub programmes of Programme 3 (Oceans & Coasts), while Programme 2 (Regulatory Compliance & Sector Monitoring) and Programme 5 (Biodiversity & Conservation) are heavily subjected to budget cuts’? ‘What measures are implemented by the DFFE to determine and verify whether jobs are sustainable’? ‘How has the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions impacted the creation of employment opportunities in the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme’? ‘What will the impact on this programme be as a result of the budget cuts’? ‘Which national and provincial reserves are able to generate sufficient revenue to subsidise their operational costs’? ‘What measures have been put in place to support the conservation roles of those reserves and national parks that are unable to generate sufficient income resulting from travel restrictions’? The South African local government appears to be challenged by the requirements of monitoring air quality and the legal challenges are mounting against the DFFE. ‘Is the DFFE adequately targeting baseline monitoring and support for the monitoring of air quality in this regard’?

Ms C Labuschagne (DA, Western Cape) referred to the DFFE’s target of training 2 790 officials in Environmental Compliance and Enforcement. She asked for clarity on the timeframe of this target. She asked whether the Regulations on the gas and electrification grid has been published or reviewed and requested an update on its progress. Regarding the targets on oceans and aquaculture, she asked for clarity on the creation of 1 200 employment opportunities. She asked how the new centre established in the Free State for millions of Rands plays a role in supporting aquaculture. On the Sector Jobs Resilience Plans for the four sectors outlined in the presentation, she asked for clarity on which four sectors were referred to. Regarding Programme 4 (Climate Change, Air Quality & Sustainable Development), she asked for clarity on the coastal risks and vulnerability tools for the district municipalities that have been trained. She stated that the DFFE should work closely with the provinces and municipalities, especially those with limited capacity, to assist them in developing and implementing their own climate change adaptation strategies. It is necessary that these districts, municipalities, and local governments have the skills, the systems, and the budgets to implement what has been learned during the training provided. She agreed with Ms Bebee regarding the decline in budget allocation to the entities will have an impact on conservation and protection of biodiversity that does not only have intrinsic value but contributes to tourism revenue. She asked for clarity on the locations of the two new national parks that are planned. ‘How viable is the implementation of these two new parks given the budget cuts and the challenges experienced by the SANParks’? She asked for more details regarding the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tools that are implemented and that state managed protected areas are expected to achieve scores above 67%. ‘What are the criteria in this regard’?

Ms W Ngwenya (ANC, Gauteng) thanked the DFFE for the presentations made. She stated that President Ramaphosa deemed the biodiversity economy a priority during the 2021 State of the Nation Address. The DFFE has reduced the budget for the biodiversity economy by 14.1% for the 2021/22 financial year. She asked the DFFE to justify this budget cut and how it fits in with the prioritisation made by President Ramaphosa. She asked for clarity on how the budget cuts to Programme 1 (Administration) will affect the operationalism and service delivery of the DFFE in its various subprogrammes. ‘Does the DFFE have a finalised performance improvement plan’? Regarding Programme 9 (Fisheries Management), she asked for clarity on how much of the budget has been set aside for technologies and infrastructure in the allocation of commercial fishing rights, and the small-scale fishing rights. On Programme 6 (Environmental Programmes), she asked for an explanation from the DFFE on the lack of budget allocations to the Green Fund and how this move will affect efforts in moving towards the green economy.

Ms M Mokause (EFF, Northern Cape) referred to Programme 7 (Chemicals & Waste Management) and asked for clarity on whether the DFFE has any responsibility for asbestos-related activities in the 2021/22 financial year. If not, she asked why the DFFE has not considered that replaced asbestos roof sheets constitute hazardous waste. On Programme 2 (Regulatory Compliance & Sector Monitoring), she asked for clarity on what the main drivers are behind the significant decrease in this programme’s budget. ‘What measures are put in place by the DFFE to lower its expenditure on litigation and legal matters’?

Mr T Matibe (ANC, Limpopo) welcomed the briefings from the DFFE. He expressed concern regarding the significant decrease in the budget for Programme no. 2 (Regulatory Compliance & Sector Monitoring) as this is one of the DFFE’s key performance areas. Biodiversity is a crucial area that can be used to create employment opportunities for the people of South Africa. ‘How will the DFFE mitigate these budget cuts’? There is a need to fast-track the eradication and control of Invasive Alien Plants, specifically those directly affecting our limited water resources and water bodies, like the Water Hyacinth.

The Chairperson asked for clarity on the situation with the vacant position of the Chief Executive Officer of the SANParks. Regarding Programme 7 (Chemicals & Waste Management), she referred to the DFFE’s target of creating 2 000 employment opportunities. ‘What types of jobs will this entail and what is the sustainability of these jobs in the long-term’? ‘What type of target recipient will be focused on to fill these new vacant positions’? Regarding the ongoing water shortages across most of the municipalities, waste dumping in water bodies is a continuing challenge such as the dumping of disposable nappies and other forms of waste. ‘What measures are put in place by the DFFE to address the issues of illegal waste disposal’? She suggested that provinces and municipalities should be brought on-board on the waste economy master plan and assist in waste management to protect limited resources. She asked for clarity from the DFFE on how the budget cuts will affect the operationalism and service delivery under Programme 5 (Biodiversity & Conservation). She referred to the significant decrease in the budget allocations to the SANParks. ‘How will the DFFE ensure the efficient operations of the SANParks given these budget cuts, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the low revenue generated during the national lockdowns’? She stated that there is a need to continue to improve and maintain weather and air quality monitoring station networks to enable timeously production of early warnings to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme weather events and to ensure a healthy environment. The DFFE should work closely with the state-owned entities performing earth systems observation monitoring to coordinate efforts towards improving the monitoring networks across South Africa. What measures are put in place to address these issues of extreme weather and networks? It is crucial that the DFFE works closely with state owned enterprises to streamline their operations and services to ensure continuity of critical services and contribution towards the government’s economic recovery plans. She asked the Chief Financial Officer of the DFFE to submit a written response regarding the questions on what impact the budget cuts will have on the operations and service delivery of the DFFE.

Responses from the DFFE:

Deputy Minister Sotyo confirmed that the questions that were requested to be answered in writing will be provided to the Committee by the deadline that must be set by the Chairperson. She responded to the question on the vacant position of the Chief Executive Officer of the SANParks. In this regard, it was reported that an investigation is ongoing with law enforcement agencies regarding the suspension of the previous incumbent, and that someone has been placed in an acting position in the interim. The DFFE will continue to monitor the investigation and the matter at hand, especially given the high media coverage.

Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi, the Deputy Director-General: Biodiversity & Conservation responded to the question on whether the national and provincial reserves are able to generate sufficient revenue to subsidise its own operational costs. He stated that there is a published list of the national parks in South Africa that are under the management of the SANParks. There are five national parks that generate notable income including the Kruger National Park, the Table Mountain National Park, the Kalahari National Park, and the Tzitzikama National Park. The DFFE operates in a system called the system of cross-subsidisation meaning that as the other national parks may not necessarily generate sufficient income, those parks that do help in this regard to fund the operational costs of other national parks. The establishment of the two new national parks depend on the element of public good for the destined locations of the parks. These two parks will be established in the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape Provinces. A research council has been established to explore the fiscal impacts and challenges that must be addressed in this regard. Regarding the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tools, he responded that the indicators range from legal issues, institutional frameworks, organisational aspects, and managerial and financial aspects. This measure helps to indicate which areas are in need of interventions from the DFFE and which are performing well.

The Chairperson thanked the DFFE for the responses. Regarding the suspension of the Chief Executive Officer of the SanParks, she welcomed the investigation that is within the law enforcement agencies and that someone has been placed in an acting position in the interim. The Committee also welcomed the targeted Integrated Permitting System that will assist organisations who contribute to controlling the Invasive Alien Plants through processing them into new and useful products. She requested the DFFE to submit its written responses to all unanswered questions posed by Members by the next morning, on 12 May 2021.

Consideration of Committee’s reports and outstanding minutes:

The last item on the agenda was for the Committee to consider and adopt its reports and minutes from previous meetings. The Committee adopted its report on Minerals and Energy, and the report on Agriculture as discussed in previous meetings.

The meeting was adjourned.

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: