Question NW1301 to the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

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02 July 2020 - NW1301

Profile picture: Winkler, Ms HS

Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

1) With reference to the reply to question 834 on 29 May 2020, (a) what progress has the Department made in establishing the stakeholder forum, (b) who has been invited to the specified forum, (c) how is the Department advertising for stakeholder inclusion on the platform, (d) who is the departmental contact person for queries on the stakeholder platform, and (e) is there a time-frame for the establishment of the stakeholder forum; and 2) whether there is a time-frame for th9 69Bbliahment and conclusion of a health study, given the urgency of the health concern in the area; if so, (a) by what date will the health study be commissioned, (b) who will be appointed to conduct the health study on air pollution in the South Durban Basin, and (c) wh0 I9 the contact person/s in the Department commissioned to initiate the health study?

Reply:

1 a) Progress in establishing the stakeholder forum has been severely impacted by the lockdown restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently a stakeholder mapping exercise i9 Underway aimed at ensuring that all affected stakeholders are part of the forum. This exercise is being undertaken in conjunction with the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal Province, which have provided a database of existing air quality stakeholders in the South Durban Basin (SDB).

(b) The stakeholders that have been identified for the mapping exercise and inclusion in the forum are Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) /Community Based 0ganÏ98tI0n8 (CBO's) that are active in air quality issues in the SDB, industry organisations in the SDB (specifically those who have an impact on air quality), departments responsible for air quality management across all three spheres of government, academia and any other interested and affected parties that may be identified in due course

(c) As already indicated, the Department is working closely with the municipal and provincial officials who have provided the Department with a database of existing air quality stakeholders. The database has been used to announce the establishment of the forum as well as the stakeholder mapping exercise currently under way. Prior to the lockdown restrictions, the plan was to hold community gatherings in the SDB as a means of introducing the forum. This plan will be implemented once the restrictions Ioosen up enough to allow community gatherings to take place

(d) The contact person in the Department is Vumile Senene (Director: Air Quality Management Service), Tel: (012) 399-9217, Email: vesenene@environment.gov.za

e) Completion of the initial stakeholder mapping and •on-boarding sessions' for stakeholders happened at the end of June 2020. The on-boarding sessions will assist the stakeholder to contribute to the terms of reference for the forum and other related aspects. The first virtual meeting will take place on 22 July 2020 and the Department has already sent out a letter to identified stakeholders introducing the forum.

(2) (a) The process to conduct the South Durban health study has been initiated by the department. The department, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and the Provincial government are in the process of concluding the Terms of Reference (TORs) for the study. The TORs will then be consulted with the various stakeholders, which include indU9tdes, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and academia. The Department is determined to use available channels to expedite inputs from all affected and interested parties. As such the first stakeholder consultation will be conducted on 22 July 2020 and it will be a virtual meeting given the Covid-19 restrictions on both travel and meeting/gatherings .

b) Once the TORs are finalised, the government Supply Chain Management process will be followed to appoint a qualified and suitable service provider. Any potential service provider is allowed to submit a proposal, which will be evaluated following the Supply Chain Management process and National Treasury Regulations. The plan is to conclude the appointment of the service provider during this financial year and start the actual work in the next financial year (2021/22). Given the financial constraints and the experience with the precious health studies conducted in the Highveld and Vaal Triangle Air shed priority areas, this study is planned for a maximum of 36 months.

c) The National Air Quality Officer, Dr Thuli Khumalo, is the person responsible for the health study. Her contact details are: tkhumalo@encironment.gov.za Tel (012) 3998187.

Regards

MS B D CREECY,

MINISTER OF FORESTRY, FISHERIES AND THE EWIRONMENT

DATE: 2/07/2020