18 April 2019 - NW793
Purdon, Mr RK to ask the Minister of Environmental Affairs
(1)Whether her department brought the agreement between the National Research Foundation and SA National Parks to establish a new national park in the Northern Cape to any meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs; if not, (a) why not and (b) by what date will her department bring the agreement to the Committee; if so, what are the relevant details; and (2) what is the latest update on the due diligence regarding the specified agreement?
(1) The agreement has not been brought to the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs.
(a) South African National Parks (SANParks) is still completing internal approval processes for the agreement; and
(b) the agreement will be tabled to the next Board meeting during 2019. Upon the completion of internal approval processes, the agreement will also be submitted to the Minister of Environmental Affairs for consideration, since the authority to establish new national parks rests with the Minister. Once the Minister has considered and given SANParks the green light to proceed with the project, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and SANParks will be ready to bring the agreement to the Committee.
(2) The agreement between the National Research Foundation (NRF) and SANParks for the possible establishment of a new national park around the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio astronomy facility in the Northern Cape, should be considered as ongoing. The Business Plan for the establishment of the new national Park was considered and approved by the Board in 2018. The Board provided the Chief Executive Officer of SANParks with a mandate to negotiate the draft Contractual Agreement between SANParks and the NRF.