Hansard: NA: Debate on Vote 27: Environmental Affairs (OAC)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 14 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 14 May 2015 Take: 65
THURSDAY, 14 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE —
OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Old Assembly Chamber at 16:46.
House Chairperson, Ms M G Boroto, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 27 — Environmental Affairs:
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon House Chairperson, colleagues in the National Assembly, hon guests, ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour of tabling this Budget Vote of the Department of Environmental Affairs, with its programmes and priorities for 2015-16.
This budget reflects our mandate to protect the right of all South Africans to an environment that is not harmful to the health and wellbeing of all our people. It reflects the overwhelming mandate given to us by the ruling party, as the South African government, in order to address the triple challenges of job creation, poverty and inequality.
Our approach has four key outcome pillars: firstly, to optimise economic and job creation contributions through the environmental sector; secondly, to transform and transition to a sustainable and equitable society; thirdly, to enhance and safeguard environmental health and integrity; and fourthly, to influence the global developmental agenda.
Next month, we mark World Environment Day under the theme, Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care. It is a timely theme, for we know that the negative impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly felt, particularly by the vulnerable people and communities in South Africa and all around the world. As concerns for the environment grow, there is a global shift towards green, climate resilient and low-carbon development policies and pathways. Bolstered by this Environmental Affairs budget, we have within our grasp the opportunity to transition to a green and sustainable development pathway that prioritises climate change responses.
Regarding issues of a green economy, we would like to say that, in ensuring that South Africa’s environmental assets are conserved, protected and sustainably used, we will continue to prioritise and facilitate sustainable livelihoods for our people. The environmental sector continues to be very central to job creation and skills training. Through our National Green Economy Strategy, we continue to work towards promoting equitable, environmental and sustainable inclusive growth, and I dare say, also socioeconomic growth, because it’s also growth for our people.
Our National Green Economy Strategy has eight pillars. I’m not going to get into those pillars because I assume that all hon members and, indeed, South Africans know about them. They really deal with the environmental sector and the resources that we have, like water, and so forth.
As outlined in our Integrated Resource Plan, by 2030, we aim to have sliced our energy demands significantly through technological innovation, good behavioural practices and public commitment to more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy use. We plan to have an efficient, lower-carbon public transport system that makes everyday use of private vehicles an unnecessary extravagance. By 2030, our houses, offices and commercial buildings will no longer be energy drains but rather, energy sources supplying electricity to communities through smart meters and smart grids. These are just some of the goals laid out in the National Development Plan, NDP, which we have to achieve by 2030.
Let me turn to the programmes that focus on optimising the economic and job-creation contributions within the environmental sector. A key intervention to facilitate the transition to a green economy was the establishment of a national Green Fund, in 2012. This fund provides start-up funding for innovative and high-impact green economy projects that the private sector and banks would not necessarily fund. It also supports the transition to a greener economy, all the while working on poverty reduction and job creation.
To date, 53 projects have been approved by the fund’s board, including investment, research and capacity-building projects. These are yielding positive results in terms of job creation, with approximately 8 124 job opportunities created and at least 6 300 individuals trained since 2013. Green Fund interventions have realised some 30 000ha converted to conservation land use, benefiting landowners within the wildlife economy.
Waste management projects collected and recycled over 8 million kg of waste in 2014. This fund continues to make strides, with the recent approval of major projects within the thematic areas of energy and piloting technology for the recycling of plastic. This contributes significantly towards the management of plastic waste streams. In 2012, this fund was allocated an initial amount of R800 million and has now received an additional R590 million over the next Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF.
Our National Climate Change Response policy is being accelerated, and guided by the NDP. The development of the first phase of the Desired Emission Reduction Outcomes, Deros, and carbon budgets is under way. The carbon budget system will be introduced in five-year phases — an initial phase from 2016 to 2020, and the other phases from 2021. Our priority focus areas are communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, namely the indigent, in particular, rural dwellers and women.
Given its demonstrated capacity, the SA National Biodiversity Institute, Sanbi, has been appointed the National Implementing Entity, NIE, of the Global Adaptation Fund. What a nice thing! It’s globally, and it’s one of our own institutions right here, in South Africa. Recently launched pilot projects of the Global Adaptation Fund include the Greater uMngeni Catchment area in KwaZulu-Natal – and I’m sure people in KwaZulu-Natal are very happy about this – the Mopani District in Limpopo and the Namaqua District in the Northern Cape. We can see that these are vulnerable, not rich provinces.
These projects are funded to the value of US$10 million and the enhancement of an early-warning system is also being dealt with to protect local communities. This is part of what we are doing there – protecting those communities from extreme weather events and promoting climate-smart agricultural practices.
The SA Weather Service continues to host the Global Atmosphere Watch station at Cape Point. You know global means worldwide. So, once again, it’s here in this country. This network arose from the need to understand and control the increasing influence of human activity on the global atmosphere and to provide climate change information and services.
I will not at this point in time get into the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP. The Deputy Minister will cover that very important programme of our work, that is, job creation – and perhaps other members will, as well.
The waste sector also continues to be a source of job creation and core benefits. The National Environmental Management: Waste Act regulates waste management to protect health and the environment through measures to prevent pollution, ecological degradation, and to secure environmentally sustainable development. Waste is an economic concept. With an economic loss, every time resources are discarded as waste, we are actually losing. The sector is currently valued at around R50 billion per annum. A recent Council for Science and Industrial Research, CSIR, report indicates that at least R25 billion worth of value is locked up in South Africa’s waste streams. We are sending R17 billion of this to landfill sites according to the report. The CSIR is an organisation of scientists here, in South Africa.
Reducing, recovering and minimising waste provides opportunities for socioeconomic development; new jobs and businesses; maximising resource recovery for downstream manufacturing growth; and reducing reliance on declining natural resources. South Africa has been identified as one of five emerging markets with exciting opportunities in the waste sector. These include organic waste, recyclables and waste streams from large industrial sectors, such as power generation and mining.
Just this week, I opened the first ever Coca-Cola-approved bottle-to-bottle recycling plant on the continent. It’s right here in South Africa, functioning for the continent, in Wadeville, Gauteng province. [Applause.] Not only is this a locally owned and operated plant, but it has created approximately 41 O00 income opportunities in the polyethylene terephthalate, PET, bottle collection sector. Many of these recipients are women.
An estimated additional 15 000 opportunities have also opened up in the informal sector, including separation–at-source programmes, such as buy-back centres. The Coca-Cola Company lauded South Africa for taking the lead on the continent in the recycling space, as well as for its role in contributing towards a greener future and a sustainable economy.
Last year, we also launched the E-Waste Africa compact fluorescent lamp, CFL, recycling plant in Msunduzi, KwaZulu-Natal. This is also the first plant in Africa using such cutting-edge technology. [Applause.] That multinationals are increasingly choosing South Africa as an investment destination of choice in the recycling sector is evidence of the tangible gains being made in pursuit of our National Green Economy Strategy in South Africa. Thanks to the ruling party for its policies. [Applause.]
Another success story has been the waste tyre recycling sector. In November 2012, I approved the implementation of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of SA, Redisa, plan, which is an industry waste tyre plan. Its objective is to promote the sound management of waste tyres while also contributing to economic growth. As of December 2014, the following milestones have been achieved.
Ke kopa gore lo nkutlwelele, bagaetsho.
Firstly, 53 143 tons - which is 31% of waste tyres - have been diverted away from landfill sites, either to be recycled or reused for energy or recovery. Imagine where we would be if those tons were at landfill sites.
Secondly, 1 981 jobs have been created.
Thirdly, 181 small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, have been created in transporting, depot operations, processing and micro collectors. The list goes on, and the work goes on.
We know that a critical success factor is the establishment of economic value of these waste resources. A pricing strategy for waste management charges is now in place, as well as a Waste Management Bureau to oversee the disbursement of revenue collected. We are currently working with the National Treasury to implement this strategy. Initially, a tyre levy will be introduced, which Treasury will be implementing with effect from the last quarter of this year.
I take this opportunity to announce to this august House that, given these lessons that we have, we are now moving on to process three additional industry waste plans in the electronics, paper and packaging and lighting sectors. Again, we will be counting the number of jobs that will be created next year.
We confirm our commitment made at the National Waste Management Summit to develop regulations on separation at source, to ban plastic waste to landfill sites and to the moratorium on landfill sites. We have actually made several commitments which many of you may know about. I will not dwell on all of them.
I will now focus on chemicals. The chemicals sector remains an important contributor to our economy. However, the unmanaged release of hazardous chemicals into the environment poses significant threats. Our department has prioritised the development of a sound chemical management policy and regulation, compliance and implementation programmes for this year.
A further priority will be to facilitate the implementation of the Secondary Asbestos Remediation Plan. You know that asbestos is very dangerous to our people. The plan is there and we want to facilitate and start implementing it. Construction of the asbestos-free Mafefe Traditional Council office is under way in Limpopo. We have got to replace that office where there are threats of asbestos. The asbestos-polluted Khiba Junior Secondary School in the Northern Cape has been shut, with a new school scheduled for construction later this year.
Coming to air quality, in recognising, as we do, that pollution has severe negative impacts on the health of people and communities, in particular, the poor, the ANC-led government continues to advance pro-poor and pro-development laws and regulations. Industry compliance has been assessed and it is expected that full compliance with the new air quality standards will be attained without hindering growth and by really focusing on sustainable economic development. The 102 government-owned monitoring stations countywide continuously send data to the SA Air Quality Information System managed by our own institution, the SA Weather Service, which functions so ably.
With regard to biodiversity, I would like to say that without our richly endowed ecosystem services, natural resources and biodiversity base, there would be limited water, jobs that are provided through this, food, shelter, fuel and medicine, and the like; and that would be hugely damaging. Furthermore, the impact of climate change could easily be multiple times its current effects. In this context, a priority for this year is growing a sustainable, inclusive and transformed biodiversity economy. We will be hosting the Second Biodiversity Economy Indaba a few months from now to really look at the growth of this sector..
One of the core wildlife economy resources is our strategy to expand the network of national parks, heritage sites, and so forth. Just before I leave that part of the biodiversity strategy, I must say that we are focusing on bioprospecting issues, where we can provide medicinal plants, and so forth, and wildlife management because we see this as a new industry, potentially. We have been given a mandate to look at the possibility of creating new industrialists from a sector like this. We take that mandate very seriously and that’s one area we are going to focus on.
We are continuing to look at infrastructure in our SA National Parks, SANParks, to put in new infrastructure, refurbish the old, and look at the recent flood damage. To that effect, we have set aside an amount of R950 million, allocated to SANParks for infrastructural development. Another R42 million has been allocated for road improvements. An additional R12 million has been allocated to repair SANParks’ flood-damaged infrastructure. These initiatives don’t just create sustainable employment for many communities adjacent to the parks, but they also serve as beacons of hope in those rural areas for jobs, growth and sustainable development.
It is ironic that our very success in conserving South Africa’s biodiversity has turned us into a target for unscrupulous operators involved in organised, transnational environmental and wildlife crimes. Whether it is illegal logging or fishing, species smuggling, the dumping of toxic and hazardous waste, wildlife poaching or any other, environmental crime is often tied to other forms of criminal activity. For instance, South Africa is one of the global hotspots for threatened cycads. Thirty one per cent of South African cycads are classified as critically endangered, compared to the global average of 17%. It’s double the figure. Based on these recommendations by our scientists at Sanbi, we will soon release the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Management of Cycads.
Environmental and wildlife crimes result in devastating impacts on species, ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods, economies, and national and regional security, including the unique and fragile ecosystems and biodiversity that attract tourists to our shores. Despite huge increases in our security investment and international co-operation efforts, rhino poaching continues apace in South Africa. We will continue to intensify the integrated strategic management approach that was adopted by Cabinet and which continues to yield successes.
At this point in time, our appreciation goes out to all South Africans who continue to support us in the fight against rhino poaching, including our brave rangers who are at the forefront of fighting poachers in our parks and reserves. [Applause.] Let us all say no, not on our watch will rhinos be poached into extinction. No! Not on our watch!
Working with our national security agencies, we have strengthened all our national ports of entry and exit, such as international airports, and others. The Green Scorpions have been deployed at O R Tambo International Airport to ensure compliance and to undertake enforcement actions related to our biodiversity laws and regulations. They have already detected noncompliance with the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations relating to reptiles, and notices have been issued. After having been at O R Tambo International Airport for about a week, they had already stopped some of the consignments. Well done to our Green Scorpions! [Applause.]
With regard to the oceans policy developed last year, we identified economic potential and commercial, industrial or large-scale livelihood opportunities presented by the sustainable use and management of our oceans. Led by our President, Jacob Zuma, and guided by the NDP, we launched Operation Phakisa in July last year as a Big Fast Results mechanism to seize these oceans economy opportunities. We are moving on. Siyaqhuba!
The implementation of this oceans economy intervention is well under way with a budget allocation of R85 million just in the governance sector of the oceans economy. You know that it has four pillars. In this one particular pillar, there is already an allocation of R85 million that has been prioritised to develop the Marine Spatial Plan, the Oceans Bill, the establishment of 22 offshore marine protected areas and to support the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Finally, I come to international climate change. This year, 2015, is an important one on the UN calendar, as the focus shifts towards the adoption of a post-2015 development agenda and negotiations of a new Financing for Development round. South Africa, as the current chair of the Group of 77 and China, will play our significant role, in that regard. Poverty reduction was identified as the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. So, the focus post-2015 will be on ensuring that poverty is dealt with.
In order to support our national sustainable development efforts, the department has mobilised a total of US$80 million from international sources over the next three years. Of this, US$30,6 million has already been approved. The remaining US$49,8 million has been endorsed, meaning that it is on its way. These internationally supported initiatives will promote, among others, organic waste to energy and low-carbon technologies in small and medium-sector industries.
South Africa is an active participant in international climate change negotiations. We are heading for the 21st discussions at the Conference of the Parties, Cop, in Paris, in December this year. Last year, at the 20th UN conference in Lima, we agreed at the negotiation level that we will have to finalise the agreement this year.
We, as South Africans, are currently engaged in intensive public consultations. We are also developing our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, INDCs, to the Paris agreement, which will cover mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation. So, industry is ready and we are talking, as South Africans. We will table our INDCs on time, long before the 1 October 2015 deadline.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Minister, you are left with one minute. Please wrap up.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, NFCCC, secretariat has sent a message to this august House which said that we must thank you very much for having processed and acceded to the Kyoto Protocol, KP. Work is proceeding on the final operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund. We will be part of that. We are also working jointly with Namibia and Angola on the Benguela Current Commission, BCC, to ensure that the west side of our coast is well managed and that we actually utilise those resources properly.
The critical work in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean provide South Africa with critical information. Therefore, through our scientists, together with the Department of Science and Technology, we are exploring and working very hard on that.
We are hard at work, moving South Africa forward, facilitating poverty eradication programmes, promoting inclusive growth through job creation and above all, preserving the environment for future generations, as mandated by South Africa, the Constitution and the ruling party.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the chairperson of the portfolio committee, members of the portfolio committee and all hon members who are participating in this debate for their support at all times, and most importantly, our families that really suffer the most when we are hard at work, throughout our lifetimes. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr J M MTHEMBU
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Mr J M MTHEMBU: Hon Ministers present here, in particular Minister Edna Molewa, hon Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson, Members of Parliament, all our guests and officials of the Department of Environmental Affairs, we greet you.
Immediately after the ANC was unbanned by our people, when we came back after almost 30 years of forced exile for daring to say that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people, our glorious movement crafted and put before the South African populace a battery of policy positions. This was mainly as a redress mechanism to the historical injustices that black people suffered in this country over 350 years of colonial and Verwoerd’s apartheid rule.
Amongst these policy positions, in preparation then for a future democratic South Africa headlined, Ready to Govern: ANC Guidelines for a Democratic South Africa, the movement articulated environmental policy wherein it stated:
The ANC believes that all citizens of South Africa at present and in the future, have the right to a safe and healthy environment and to a life of wellbeing. Accordingly, the broad objectives of our environmental policy are aimed at fulfilling this right. In this context, growth and development within South Africa must be based on the criteria of sustainability.
It is this unmatched, incontestable foresight and thought leadership of the ANC that has always defined our actions in response to matters of the environment.
The ANC continued in its environmental policy articulation to put together guiding principles that would underpin adherence to the broad policy statement above. Those principles, amongst others, committed the ANC to sustainable development; equitable access to environmental resources; public participation in all planning decisions which affect the development and management of natural resources; public right of access to information and the courts on issues of environmental concern; an integrated approach to environmental issues that relates to all sectors of society; and lastly, the recognition by the ANC of the integrated nature of the global environment and the need for international agreement in policy-making. By all accounts and standards, the ANC policy on environment is not only futuristic, people centred and internationalist in its outlook, it is just revolutionary. [Applause.]
The ANC’s 53rd conference held in Mangaung, in 2012, further resolved on environmental protection and the green economy that we must drive the global effort to achieve the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that prevents anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The conference further resolved that we must implement green economy policy programmes and adapt and manage unavoidable and damaging climate change impacts through interventions that build and sustain our social, economic and environmental resilience.
We, as the ANC in this Parliament, are therefore truly impressed by and most appreciative of the department’s programmes and strategic plans for this year, which align with the broad policy perspectives and resolutions of the ANC. The department did not only craft progressive environment-friendly policies, programmes and legal instruments, in its strategic goal to protect and conserve our biodiversity. It also put in place well-managed, capable and competent institutions, like the SA National Biodiversity Institute, that continues to protect our mammals, plants, insects, snakes and indigenous flowers and trees. Through our botanical gardens, our biodiversity is not only protected but conserved for future generations.
We even know the state of our snakes and where various types of snakes are found in South Africa. We know the state of our biodiversity that Sanbi reports on regularly. We are also pleased that two new botanical gardens have been established in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo. It is therefore no wonder that, as South Africa, we are number three in the entire world after Brazil and Indonesia in terms of biodiversity. [Applause.] I can tell you this is not an accident. It is because of ANC policies. We are hard at work. [Applause.]
Another important institution in this regard is our SanParks that ensures the protection and conservation of our big animals, including the Big Five. Our parks are now not only a tourist attraction because of the wild animals. Hospitality innovations have also attracted tourists. Whilst we appreciate the work of our parks, in particular, let me join the Minister in appreciating the wonderful work done by our rangers in protecting our rhino. However, all of us need to do more. [Applause.]
Another important institution created by our government, through the Department of Environmental Affairs, is iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This institution has done magnificent work in coming with a cogovernance model with surrounding communities in the area of iSimangaliso in KwaZulu-Natal. By the way, for those who might not know where iSimangaliso is, let me just explain it. This is beautiful world heritage site that is well conserved for future generations by iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Let’s give them a round of applause. [Applause.]
The SA Weather Service continues its important work of alerting and warning all of us of severe weather patterns. Their weather stations that are everywhere and anywhere in our country are very important for our day-to-day activities, for aviation and various sectors of the economy. Indeed, we cannot do without any weather forecasting. Let us then thank the SA Weather Service for their work.
On the department’s strategic plan to improve and safeguard the integrity of our ecosystems and the creation of green jobs, indeed, through the environmental programmes - which are fondly referred to as “Working for ...” programmes - the department has been able to save thousands of hectares of land, agricultural produce and millions of livestock. It has also prevented real and possible destruction to property and households in the past years and will continue to do so in this coming year.
Through these “Working for ...” programmes, a lot of lives have been saved, as well. We are also impressed with the programme’s work on fighting alien invasive species that threaten our agricultural land, water streams, dams and rivers. The programme will continue to massify its work in this area. In its fight against deforestation and desertification, the department, through this programme, has planted millions of trees in the past and will continue to plant 3 million trees this year. This is just magnificent! [Applause.]
What is even more impressive are the numbers of work opportunities that have been created in the process. This programme came into being 19 and-a-half years ago. Of course, all of us know that it came into being when it was called Working for Water. Since then, over 876 work opportunities have been created, particularly for the poor and the marginalised, with a budget of over R21 billion.
This year, we expect this programme to employ an additional 34 000 people. It is this programme of Working for Water and Working on Fire, etc, and its excellent performance that led to the mainstreaming of the Working for Water model and the momentum to form the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP. The environmental programmes within the Department of Environmental Affairs remain a flagship of the EPWP.
We are very pleased with the work of the Eco-Furniture programme. The Department of Environmental Affairs, working together with the Department of Basic Education, is targeting putting over 500 000 learners behind a solid school desk for the first time in their lives. More than 1 000 previously unemployed youth will make the desks, using invasive alien wood. [Applause.]
Let us also congratulate this programme for averting disastrous threats to property, livelihoods and lives in the recent fires along Table Mountain, in the Western Cape. Let me take this opportunity, on behalf of the committee, to pay our condolences to the families of Working on Fire pilots, Hendrik “Bees” Marais and Darrell Rea, as well as Working on Fire helicopter safety leader, Justan Visagie, who all died in the line of duty serving our people in March and April this year, respectively. [Applause.] Let me also add our nation’s prayers for the suffering, loss of life and destruction of property in Nepal as a result of natural causes.
As the Minister has said, the negative effects of climate change are with us. We have just read in various newspapers that ice in the Antarctic is melting. If we, as the world community, do not act and come up with meaningful mitigations and adaptations to these negative effects, we definitely will have no earth to bequeath to future generations.
The world’s leading scientists have warned that if global warming is not limited to below 2ºC and rises to 4ºC or over 6ºC, the consequences will not be reversible.
Scientists warn us that there will be an unprecedented rise of sea levels with the destruction of coastal towns and total eradication of islands. We are warned that, if we do nothing up to 2050 to reverse these negative climate change consequences, there will be irreversible, destructive and deadly heat waves, droughts and floods. Scientists have warned us that, in fact, the disaster that will ensue on earth will be equivalent to 10 planes falling from the sky every day if we do nothing. This is scary.
We are very encouraged by our government’s Climate Change Response Policy, of course, and our National Green Economy Strategy, coupled with our government’s commitment and action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025. The Department of Environmental Affairs is championing our government’s 50-year scenario planning. , This work indicates a rise in greenhouse gas in the short term, a plateauing in the medium term and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the long -term.
The various instruments in the various sectors of the economy that have been put in place by our government to respond to this threat are worthy of praise. They include green buildings, adaptation measures in key sectors of the economy, moves towards a low-carbon, resilient economy, diversification of our energy mix and more emphasis on renewable energy sources.
As the Minister has alluded to, the discussions and engagement on this matter between our governments and various industries are most welcome. Of course, there is no way that government, working alone, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, we welcome the involvement of industry.
It is also our viewpoint that the portfolio committees in Parliament whose work has a bearing on climate change should also work together on this human threat. Working in silos will not assist in crafting and oversighting the response of the Republic of South Africa, working with other nations, to this threat.
There is also an important need for our Parliament to interact with our communities, particularly our schools and universities, on what our plans are and how best to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. I fully support this Budget Vote. Thank you, very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr T Z HADEBE
Mr J M MTHEMBU
Mr T Z HADEBE: Hon Chairperson, hon members and South Africans, greetings. Minister, the department has made positive progress to draft policies and legislation to conserve and protect the environment. However, significant challenges still remain. This is largely due to the lack of capacity to enforce compliance with the policies and legislation in local and provincial spheres of government.
For instance, the degradation of our ocean and estuaries continues unabated and the government, particularly your department, Minister, and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has all but turned a blind eye to it. Is that because the poor communities that are most dependent on ocean resources lack power and influence, or that the ocean species that are near extinction do not vote?
Let me narrate the story that was told by the community living along the Swartkops River in Port Elizabeth during my oversight visit earlier this year. I learned from the community that the ocean and coast of the city were once a beautiful place for families to visit, and swim and fish in. They were an economic powerhouse, contributing millions to the region’s gross domestic product and thousands of jobs. Today, however, this ocean faces growing challenges, from pollution to loss of habitat and sometimes, competing industrial uses.
This is a result of Nelson Mandela Bay’s failure to operate and maintain their infrastructure in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. With complete disregard in the past, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has had millions of litres of sewage spewed into the river which feeds into the estuary. The failure of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in this regard has led to a rapid deterioration of the estuary and ocean environment, followed by a drop in aquatic population in the area.
As a result, there has been a decrease in the number of tourists and in local unemployment, which currently sits at 36,6%. This shows how the national discourse and strategies become entangled with other spheres of government, and, thus, implementation at grassroots levels, where it matters most. Put quite simply, this has been a dereliction of duty on the municipality’s side.
There is urgent need to identify areas that are appropriate for use and those that need protection. This will ensure estuaries are protected, thereby creating a healthy ocean for generations to come.
I would like to quote former President uTata Nelson Mandela during the state of the nation address on 24 May 1994:
I am especially pleased that we have a Ministry dedicated to the issue of the environment. Its work must impact on many aspects of national activity and address the question of the wellbeing of society as a whole and the preservation of a healthy environmental future, even for generations not yet born.
We must be the keepers of this legacy.
Guided by these noble principles once more, we can face challenges and triumph by making decisions that put the lives of South Africa and its environment first. In upholding these noble principles, the DA calls for Minister Molewa to reverse her decision to grant postponements for compliance with the minimum emission standards in declared priority areas. Granting these postponements is not just a matter of law but has real and adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of the people in the communities surrounding these areas.
The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act states the postponements may only be granted if there is compliance with current national ambient air quality standards. Twenty-three of the approved applications for the postponement that were granted did not comply with current national ambient air quality standards, and were therefore granted unlawfully. This means that the Department of Environmental Affairs has knowingly and wilfully put the health of many South Africans at risk.
The department cannot ignore the human cost in terms of environmental degradation and health afflictions suffered by South Africans as a result of these postponements. Research attributes premature death and the deterioration of our climate and ecosystems to air pollution.
South Africa has one of the highest per capita emissions in the world. In light of international emission agreements, we would have expected that the air quality provisions would have been stringently adhered to. Each application for postponement should have included a credible health impact assessment and offset plan before it was approved. The Department of Environmental Affairs only requires offset plans by April 2016 with no indication of how these will be enforced. Mass polluters cannot continue to use our citizens as pollution filters.
The department has a constitutional mandate to provide an environment that is not harmful to the people’s lives, not to make excuses on behalf of the polluters. Minister, you must act without delay. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms A MATSHOBENI
Mr T Z HADEBE
Ms A MATSHOBENI: Chair, I debate here on behalf of the EFF because the member who participated in this committee is no longer a Member of Parliament. The EFF rejects the Environmental Affairs Budget Vote 2015-16. The constitutional mandate of the Department of Environmental Affairs is to give effect to the right of citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing ... [Interjections.]
Mr J M MTHEMBU: Chair, just on a point of clarity: As far as I know, the hon Morapela is a Member of Parliament and a member of this committee. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, what is your point of order now?
Mr J M MTHEMBU: Chair, the hon member is misleading the House. The hon Morapela is currently a Member of Parliament, and is the member who attends this committee on behalf of the EFF.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, I can’t verify those facts now, but I will check on them. Continue, hon member.
Ms A MATSHOBENI: Thank you, Chair, for protecting me. The constitutional mandate of the Department of Environmental Affairs is to give effect to the right of citizens to en environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations. However, the reality is that our groundwater system is polluted because we have mines that operate without water and use licenses without environmental authorisation in this country.
The reality is that the productivity of our agricultural land is compromised because chemicals and acids used during mining render the land around mines sterile and not suitable for agriculture. The reality is that the ANC-led government continues to invest in coal-powered energy generation, with devastating effects on present and future generations.
Your government, despite warnings from credible scientific voices, continues with its plans for shale gas fracking in the Karoo. The reality is that, because of extensive and government-sponsored land and freshwater system degradation, our country’s freshwater supply is in great danger. Your government’s commitment to protect fishing monopolies has led to serious overfishing, depleting our marine resources for the benefit of just a few, while the majority of our coastal communities are languishing in poverty. This is the real state of the environment, proudly bought to you by the ANC.
In 2012, you approved the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan. Its aim was to support and promote tyre recycling, providing the collection and depot infrastructure required to collect waste tyres from across the entire country and delivering them to approved recyclers. This could have created millions of jobs.
Under this plan tyre producers are charged a waste management fee of R2,30 plus VAT on every kilogram of new tyre rubber produced. Millions of rands have been collected, but nothing tangible has been done on tyre recycling. We have not heard any report on this, Minister. What has happened to all the money collected from the tyre manufacturers? [Interjections.] In the committee! I said in the committee, not here. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order!
Ms A MATSHOBENI: We must invest more in wind and solar energy, and move away from relying on coal energy. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! Order!
Ms A MATSHOBENI: It is possible to have 80% of our energy coming from renewable sources of energy in the next 20 years.
We must invest more in the rehabilitation and maintenance of our ecological infrastructure. This will create jobs and safeguard our
ecosystems. We must expand public transport to lower our carbon footprint. We must encourage the production of organic food from small scale agro-ecology. We must ban shale gas fracking. The Karoo is a water scarce area already. We cannot experiment with dangerous exercises, such as fracking.
Through practice and policy, we must adopt zero waste principles, as a country. The EFF advocates for a more sustainable future. We are the only political party, in this Parliament and outside, that advocates strongly for green energy sources. We are not fake; we don’t play. We want a green economy. We reject this budget unless the Department of Environmental Affairs is driven by a vision of attaining green economic freedom in our lifetime. Thank you.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN
Ms A MATSHOBENI
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Chairperson, the IFP accepts the budget. We do have some concerns, however, and it is something close to my heart: We are losing the war against the poaching of our indigenous wildlife.
Since 2008, our rhino population has been steadily butchered for those seeking to profit from the illicit sale of rhino horn. Our figures indicate an approximate 1 400% increase in the killings since 2008. No sane person could ever state that we are winning the war against rhino poaching after looking at such statistics. The question is why? Why, with all the resources at this government’s disposal, can we no longer protect our wildlife? Why is this Ministry not at code red level and incensed to the point of mania at the level of poaching that is being allowed to occur within our borders and in many of our national parks?
The year 2014 set a new record in rhino poaching when the number rose to 1 215 compared to 83 in 2008, and just 6 in 2000. Wildlife in our country is bleeding whilst the measures employed to prevent it are proving hopelessly inadequate. Our means of combating poaching require an entire rethink and complete government, interdepartmental and international buy-in in order to stop this horror story. Government must be committed to ending this wanton slaughter of our wildlife for nothing but the profiteering of a few select individuals and international crime syndicates.
Another issue close to the heart of the IFP and our leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is the continuing barbaric practice of captive-bred, tamed lion hunting, colloquially known as canned lion hunting in South Africa. Unlike poaching, and despite the hon Minister’s assertions to the contrary, the trade involving captive bred or canned hunting is still legal in this country and is still openly promoted and advertised as a source of revenue.
It is largely unmonitored. Departmental officials in the North West Province cannot even tell you how many permits for hunts have been issued in the province. The Ministry also seem to be very cosy with the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa, Phasa, in continuing to promote such for-profit barbarism that hides under the cloak of sport. In a confined space, what chances do drugged, captive and tamed lions have of escaping from the hunter?
We applaud the recent legislation by the Australian government to ban the import of all animal trophies from Africa, as well as the recent moves by SA Airways and Emirates Airlines to embargo the transport of all hunting trophies from South Africa.We call upon all transport carriers, be they by sea, land or air, to follow suit.
Minister, we urge you, again, to ban captive-bred, canned lion hunting! Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms H B KEKANA
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN
Mme H B KEKANA: Mmusakgotla, leswe ke karolo e e botlhokwa ya setšhaba sa rona eo gantsi e ikgatholosiwang le go sa tseweng tsia ke bontsi ba batho, le fa tota e le karolo e e botlhokwa ya matshelo a rona a tsatsi le letsatsi. Fa setšhaba sa Aforikaborwa se gola, leswe le lona le tswelela go gola, bogolo segolo fa setšhaba se tswelelapele mme go tlhagelela dithekenoloji tse dintshwa.
Re tshwanetse go lebana le kgwetlho ena go tlhama dikakanyo tse dintshwa ka ga tsela ya go tlhabolola ditsamaiso tsa rona. Sena ke go ya ka dipholisi tsa rona tsa ga jaana, eleng leano la tsamaiso ya letsirolo le Molao wa setšhaba wa Letsirolo, eo e leng molao wa yona Palamente ena. Se, sea kgonega.
Go na le dithotobolo tsa matlakala go ka thusa setšhaba go dirisa mekgwa ya go tsamaisa leswe le go netefatsa gore re ungwelwa go tswa mo ikonoming ya tsamaiso ya leswe. Ka go dira sena, re tla bo re mekamekana le botlhokatiro le bohuma jaaka go tlhagisitswe ke moPoresidente wa rona ka nako ya puo ya gagwe ka pulo ya Palamente ka Tlhakole monongwaga. Ka jalo, go na le tlhokego e e botlhokwa go tswa mo mokgweng o re o bonang le go tsamaisa leswe ka yona; gontse go lekane ka setso sa go latlhakaka.
Ke ka ntlha ya seno re akgolang Tona ya Merero ya tsa Tikologo mo go tlhomeng Komiti ya Pusogare ya Botsamaisi jwa Leswe ka Mopitlwe monongwaga. MaAforikaborwa, go dirisa leswe ka ditsela tse di maleba go mosola thata. Re motlotlo ka maikano a Lefapha la Merero ya tsa Tikologo e e dirileng ka thata go dira tlhabololo e e tsweletseng eo e nang le bokao jo bogolo mo mananeong a Botsamaisi jwa Leswe le Dikhemikhale la Lefapha.
Seno se bonala mo maikaelelong a lefapha a go tlhama ditiro di le 576 mo lephateng la botsamisi jwa leswe mo ngwageng wa ditšhelete wa 2015-16 fela, le go di oketsa go nna 10 500 ka ngwaga wa ditshelete wa 2019-20. Go ntse go le jalo, lefapha le batla go tlhoma dikgwebo tsa botsamaisi jwa leswe di le 20 tsa diSMMEs le matsema ka 2015-16, le go tlhatlhogela go palogotlhe ya 250 ka 2019-20. Ruriruri lehuma le botlhokatiro ga le a le bona ka ekonomi ya letsirolo.
Mabogo dinku a a thebana. Re tla bona letsirolo le fedile moAforikaborwa mo botshelong jwa rona. Puso ya ANC, ka Lefapha la Merero ya Tikologo e a re natlafatsa gore re lebe sešwa kamano ya rona le leswe. Re tlotlomatsa matsapa a a tseilweng ke puso, ditlhopha tsa selegae le kgwebo. Tswee-tswee, mmogo re le MaaAforikaborwa a re fokotse leswe ka go dirisa didiriswa sešwa.
Botsamaisi jwa Dikhemikhale le Letsirolo le okeleditswe Tekanyetsokabo monongwaga go ya go dimileone di le R72, 2 million. Ke se re tumileng ka sona mo Lefapheng lena. Wa lala, wa sala! A re tshegetseng le go fetisa Tekanyetsokabo ya Lefapha la Merero ya Tikologo. Ke enngwe ya mafapha a a itshupileng e bile e dira bontle thata. ANC e dumalana le Tekanyetsokabo ena.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I’m not sure about these interpretation earpieces. In the gallery, you might be struggling. Please assist! We do have them, but I’m not sure if they are working. If there are any officials here, please help us by helping our guests in the gallery. Thank you.
Mr M L SHELEMBE
Ms H B KEKANA
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Hon Chairperson, hon Members of Parliament, we seldom have the opportunity to express appreciation for a state department which is operating and functioning the way a department should in a developmental state. Today, we are presented with such a rare opportunity.
The protection of our environment is of the utmost importance, not only for us, but also for future generations. The fundamental principle of environmental protection is the sustainable use, enjoyment and development of a finite resource. We only have one earth, and if we don’t take care of it now, future generations will pay a heavy price. It is within this context of sustainable use that the NFP views the budget presented to us.
We note with concern that the fiscus has reduced the allocation for the department, which, in our opinion, is short-sighted. Protecting and conserving our environment ought to be one of the key priorities of our government, a sound investment for future generations. When looking at the proposed distribution of the money allocated, it is obvious that the department has attempted to prioritise to the best of its ability, considering the restrictions it is facing. That is to be commended. We do, however, note the low allocation for Programme 2, particularly if compared with the allocation of administering the department, as provided for in Programme 1.
Legal compliance is of the utmost importance if our legislation is to be given effect to. It does not help if we have world-class laws that look good on the paper but they don’t translate into actual enforcement and compliance. We can legislate as much as we want to, but implementation ultimately determines whether we achieve our goals, or not. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail now.
Similarly, the allocation for Programme 4 is, in our opinion, inadequate. Air quality management is not only an issue for future generations to deal with, but also for us, the present generation. The NFP is not in agreement with the recent decision of the department to give some of the worst air polluters in South Africa a five-year reprieve from compliance with the new minimum emissions standards under stricter air quality laws.
We believe that the international, environmental polluter pays principle should be applied equally in South Africa, regardless of whether it is a state entity or a private entity responsible for fouling the air that we breathe. The NFP is encouraged by the innovative approach the department is taking to Chemical and Waste Management, as provided for in the allocation of Programme 7.
We believe that recycling at grassroots level should be promoted with great enthusiasm, and that the economic benefits of it be channelled back to participating communities. Waste management may well be seen as a renewable resource and the opportunities which arise from these processes have the potential to make a significant impact on the lives of people. This would not only result in a cleaner environment, but also entrepreneurial and job opportunities which could flow from it.
Finally, when considering the allocations made for the entities reporting to the department, the NFP, once again, expresses appreciation for the balanced approach taken by the department. Sustainable environmental conservation and the protection of biodiversity are key areas against which successful environmental management can be measured. We are also of the opinion that the money allocated will be put to good use.
The NFP wishes to encourage these entities to increase their capacity to generate additional revenue, where possible.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): I am sorry, your time has expired.
Mr M L SHELEMBE: This will assist them to continue executing their respective mandates with the same measure of success as they do currently.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Thank you.
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Before I sit down ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Thank you. Your time has expired. [Interjections.]
Mr M L SHELEMBE: I support the budget. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Mr M L SHELEMBE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: House Chair; hon Minister of Environmental Affairs, uMama Edna Molewa; MECs present; hon chairperson of the portfolio committee, Mr Jackson Mthembu; members of the portfolio committee; Members of Parliament; our chairpersons and chief executives of public entities; our dearofficials; the private sector and our guests ...
... ake ngiqale ngokuthi umhlonishwa lo we-EFF, lo mnyango esikhuluma ngawo akuwona owezaMandla kaGesi, futhi akuwona owezaManzi. Ngakho-ke ungabofika la uzokhuluma into engekho; uzophupha emini.
In 1990, Dr Albie Sachs, a veteran of the ANC and former Constitutional Court Judge, wrote:
It is not just playing with metaphors to say that we are fighting to free the land, the sky, the waters as well as the people. Apartheid not only degrades the inhabitants of our country, it degrades the earth, the air and the streams. When we say Mayibuye i-Africa ... we are not only calling for the return of legal title, but also for the restoration of the land, the forest and the atmosphere. The greening of our country is basic to this healing.
Ake ngithi qaphu qaphu ngalo mnotho esithi yi-Wild Life economy noma umnotho wasendle. Sizokhumbula ukuthi izwekazi lethu linone kakhulu ngalokhu esikubiza nge-Biodiversity. La sisuke sikhuluma ngempilo yezilwane nezihlahla, ikakhulukazi lezi zasendle. Lokhu esikubiza nge-biodiversity noma lezi zilwane nalezi zitshalo zinomnotho ongasukumi phansi.
We have more than 10 000 game farms across the country. This wildlife economy is currently valued at R8 billion and most of this economy is currently in the hands of white owners. Our challenge is to take this huge economy and spread its benefits in an equal manner so that all our people stand to benefit as informed by the Freedom Charter’s call that the people shall share in the country’s wealth.
Ake ngithi kancane ngolwebele. Kubalulekile ukuthi sikhumbuzane ukuthi lo mnotho sasingawazi, sasingasondeli nokusondela kuwona ngoba wawuqhoqhobalwe yibona laba ontabakayikhonjwa, bengafuni lutho okusondela ngakuwo. Ngamanye amazwi bona babewogombela kwesabo. Ngisho bona laba. Lokhu-ke kwakuyinto embi kakhulu ngoba sikholwa ukuthi leli yifa labo bonke abantu balapha eNingizimu Afrika. Wafika-ke uhulumeni waKhongolose waqala ukuyivula iminyango yalo mnotho.
We have worked closely with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, its Land Restitution programme and the private sector towards identifying and mobilising new landowners and emerging wildlife farmers to participate in this lucrative sector. We have received requests from traditional authorities and many farmers across the country to assist with the improvement of their land and the establishment of linkages with the private sector. Together with the Chief Lands Claim Commissioner, we have also agreed to restore and develop a minimum of 18 currently redistributed game farms and unproductive communal land into well-operated commercial game reserves.
Leli gatsha-ke liholwa uMama Skumsa Mancotywa, oyibambela loMqondisi-Jikelele wethu, nethimba lakhe. Ngiyathanda ukukubeka lokhu yikhona nizothi uma nizifuna lezi zinto nazi ukuthi ubani okufuneka nimthinte emnyangweni ningalokhu nibamba thina ngezidwaba la uma sidlula. Thina siwumnyango sithi kubalulekile ukuthi siwuphule lo mgogodla walo mnotho ukuze abantu abamnyama bahlomule nabo. Siyaqhuba siyasebenza.
Ake ngithinte kancane kulokhu esikubiza ngokunganyelwa kwemfucuza. La sikhuluma ngemfucuza yohlobo lonke. Bona ontabakayikhonjwa laba bakhela abantu izindlu ezifulelwe ngetsheboya. Basidalela inyakanyaka ongakaze uyibone. Lokhu sikubona ikakhulukazi ezifundazweni ezifana ne-Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natali naseLimpopo. Sinohlelo-ke siwumnyango lokukhuculula le nyakanyaka eyadalwa yilabo ababedla izambane likapondo. Lolu uhlelo luzodla imali enkulu kakhulu, yingakho kuzofanele ukuthi sihlanganisa yonke iminyango ethintekayo ngoba uma sithi luzobhekelelwa uMnyango wezeMvelo luzosilimaza ngasemasentini. Sizokhothama laphaya kwi-Green Fund ukuze sikwazi ukwenza lo msebenzi.
Siyazibuza mihla namalanga ukuthi: Ingabe abantu, ikakhulukazi abamnyanma, babeyogula kuze kube nini ukube uhulumeni kaKhongolose akazange ahole? Ingabe kwakuyoshabalala abantu abangakanani? [Ihlombe.] Leli gatsha liholwa uMqondisi-Jikelele uMark Gordon nethimba lakhe. Siyaqhuba siyasebenza siwuhulumeni kaKhongolose.
Ake ngichaze kanje ngaphambi kokuthi ngiye ezinhlelweni zethu, ngesikhathi uMongameli wezwe, uMaphum’ephethe, ememezela ukuthi uHulumeni uzokwakha amathuba emsebenzi ayizigidi eziyisithupha, wayengasho ukuthi yena qobo lwakhe uyophuma engena umuzi nomuzi athi, Nqo nqo nqo MaGumede; qo nqo nqo MaMthembu, wayengasho lokho. Wayeqonde ukuthi uhulumeni, ngeminyango yakhe, iyona eyokwakha amathuba emisebenzi – sonke siyiminyango yahulumeni sizonikela kulesiya sibalo sakhe ayesishilo.
Ngikuchaza lokhu ngoba siye sizwe la ngesinye isikhathi nje, mhlawumbe futhi ngalo isonto elidlule, kunomhlonishwa owayemi la ememeza ethi, “Mongameli, aphi amathuba emisebenzi owathi uzowakha?” Akuyena uMongameli; yena wayememezela ukuthi thina ngeminyango yethu sizokwakha leyo misebenzi.
Nazi ezinye zezinhlelo zethu siwumnyango. Sine-Working for the Coast, Working on Waste, Working on Land, Working on Fire, People and Parks, Kids in Parks, njalonjalo.
Sinolunye uhlelo oluhle kakhulu esilubiza nge-Eco-Furniture programme – ngiyazi ukuthi uBaba uMthembu ubesekushilo lokho, kodwa-ke vele ingoma emnandi iyaphindwa; yingakho ngizoyiphinda. [Uhleko.]. Ngalolu hlelo sakhe amadesika angama-169 000 okwamanje; siphikelele ekwakheni ayizi-200 000 kuwona lo nyaka.
A further 550 000 are planned for the 2015-16 financial year.
Sisebenzisana noMnyango weMfundo eyisiSekelo, njengoba eshilo uBaba uMthembu. Ngalolu hlelo sizama wona amathuba emisebenzi lawo okuthiwa awekho. Kulolu hlelo sisebenzisa izihlahla lezi esithi ngomabonw’ abulawe ama-alien trees phela.
This branch is led by our deputy director-general, Dr Guy Preston, and his team.
In the previous financial year, in response to the objectives of the NDP and government, and through the Expanded Public Works Programme, our department also created 50 281 work opportunities; 16 878 are fulltime equivalent job opportunities. Of these work opportunities, 50% were created for women, 66% for youth and 1,2% for people with disabilities. As an aside, 2 395 fires were fought by the Working on Fire programme during the 2013-14 financial year, and up to October 2014-15 a further 2 692 were attended to.
Sathula nje sathi ake sibayeke laba bantu ngoba bathanda ukuba nenkinga. Sizokhumbula ukuthi kube nemililo emikhulu la eKapa. Sabona abantu besukuma khona la kule Ndlu bezincoma bethi imisebenzi yabo leyo. Kwakungewona umsebenzi wenu; umsebenzi owawenziwa ngalo lolu hlelo lwe-Working on Fire. [Ihlombe.] Cha bese ngikushilo lokhu okubizwa umama lo owayebelesela la. Wacishe waze waphuka intamo impela ebuza uMongameli ukuthi, “Iphi imisebenzi?”
Olunye uhlelo lwethu i-People and Parks programme kanye ne-Kids in Parks programme. Nalapha futhi sizokhumbula ukuthi amapaki lawa sasiwabukela kude, siconsa amathe simi laphaya emasangweni, sibukela bona ontabakayikhonjwa bengcebeleka bodwa nabathandwa babo kula mapaki. [Ihlombe.] Baze babhake imibhalo ethi “abamhlophe bodwa”, besibukela kude sakuthi sasingebantu abafana nabo. Namhlanje ngoba befuna abakufunayo sebethi bamele abantu abamnyama. Phinde! Siyaphika siwuhulumeni waKhongolose sithi, lokho kokuthi bamele abantu bamnyama bayokuxoxela amagwababa echobana!
Wafika-ke uhulumeni waKhongolose wathi phinde la mapaki ayovulelwa bonke abantu, abamnyama nabamhlophe. Singcebeleka nabo namhlanje.
Last year, the Kids in Parks programme was successfully implemented, affording 4 873 learners and 189 educators ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr L B Mashile): Minister, please round up in 30 seconds. Your time has actually expired.
IPHINI LIKANGQONGQOSHE WEZEMVELO: Ake ngithi-ke sengizoyiphetha imbenge, olunye lo phiko lwethu i-SA Weather Services – uluchazile uBaba uMthembu. Sizonikhumbuza kule Ndlu ukuthi lolu phiko lwethu uphiko olubaluleke kakhulu ngoba iningi lenu njengoba nila nize ngezindiza, beningeke nifike la ukube lolu phiko belungekho. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.]
Mr M WATERS: House Chairperson, on a point of order: I hope you are going to show the same leniency to the opposition Members of Parliament when they speak, and give them an extra minute.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Well ...
Mr M WATERS: Either we stick to the time or you be lenient to everybody, please, Chair. Thank you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): I am strict on time. Thank you very much.
Ms J STEENKAMP
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Ms J STEENKAMP: Chairperson, just in short, I altered my speech a little bit after watching a movie with my three-year-old niece yesterday, so, I think it is very appropriate. Let me start off by quoting Elsa, from the Disney movie, Frozen. She sings:
Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
Minister, it is time that we let go and rethink South Africa’s horrific approach to waste disposal. Our landfill sites are truly in a state. They are overflowing and not regulated properly, if at all. Let it go, Minister. It is time that we adopt and nourish a pro-recycling mind set within our society and starve our bloated landfills. A great start would be to use the example of a wonderful little town called Greyton, right here, in the Western Cape.
Last year, Greyton phased out single–use, plastic shopping bags almost completely. Due to their ability to become airborne, plastic bags have led to a multitude of problems throughout the country. These include littering our streets, being ingested by livestock and leaking toxins into the environment. They are also a significant threat to our marine life and have wreaked havoc on our coastline’s ecosystem. Every year, it is estimated that millions of marine creatures suffer from plastic ingestion or entrapment.
There is also a need to educate our citizens and to incentivise recycling in South Africa. Yes. However, that is not enough. We can’t hold it back anymore, Minister. Let us make waste valuable. Give it a value and put a price on waste. The government needs to set an example by pursuing and implementing innovative recycling practices and sustainable energy-related policies and programmes. We need to change mindsets and educate people to think twice. We need to show them why they should rethink, reuse, reduce and recycle before just throwing something away.
For instance, one of our international trade partners, Sweden, has a waste–to-energy programme. It generates 20% of the nation’s district heating and generates electricity for a quarter of a million houses. Sweden has also actually run out of waste. They don’t have a landfill site. They have gone into a trash-for-cash initiative and partnership with all their neighbouring countries. meaning They are buying waste from other countries. That’s what I mean.
Considering our electricity crisis and overflowing landfill sites, this could be the perfect solution to help both problems currently plaguing South Africa. I repeat: Let it go, let it go! [Interjections.] Turn away and slam the door on the current horrific approach to waste disposal. I’m glad you know the song.
Minister, I implore you, your department and your colleagues in the energy portfolio to heed my words and consider this proposal - if not for your sake, then for our nation’s future. I thank you. [Applause.]
HON MEMBERS: Let it go! Let it go!
Mr S P MABILO
Ms J STEENKAMP
Mr S P MABILO: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, the people’s movement, the ANC, has declared 2015 as the year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. The ANC-led government has the responsibility to ensure that the right of its citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing, and to an environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations is guaranteed.
The purpose of the oceans and coasts programme is to promote, manage and provide strategic leadership on oceans and coastal conservation in our country. South Africa has oceans and coasts which are priceless assets. Indispensible to life itself, they also contribute significantly to our prosperity and overall quality of life.
The National Coastal Access Strategy was developed to assist coastal provinces and municipalities to prioritise some of their coastal access initiatives that need to be included in municipal documents, such as the Integrated Development Plan, IDP, and the Spatial Development Framework, SDF. The strategy seeks to address the following key coastal issues: firstly, to improve pedestrian access above the high-water mark; secondly, to improve infrastructure for access; thirdly, to prevent exclusive use; and lastly, to address conflicting rights between public interest, private property owners and communal and traditional users. The National Coastal Management programme, NCMP, therefore represents the commitment of the ANC-led government towards realistic and tangible goals that will benefit the coastal environment and ensure its sustainability.
The Freedom Charter says the national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people. Our oceans are amongst our most precious resources. They provide us with nutritious food, recycle oxygen and help to keep our climate system in balance. They also offer significant economic opportunities, not just in well-established industries, such as fisheries and transport but also in newer sectors, like off-shore exploration and wind and wave energy generation, where innovation can help us meet new demands and sustainably develop available resources.
The NDP identified the ocean economy as one of the key drivers to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by the year 2030. Our President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, in his 2015 February state of the nation address said the following, “Our economy needs a major push forward. We would like to share with you our nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs”.
Operation Phakisa is aimed at growing the ocean economy and other sectors. This will take centre stage in the ANC’s developmental and growth agenda. As the ANC, we are certainly delighted and very optimistic about the government’s Operation Phakisa initiative. It promotes economic growth and job creation in line with the goals outlined in the NDP. In October 2014, President Jacob Zuma officially launched Operation Phakisa following six weeks of intensive and thorough investigation to unlock the potential of South Africa’s oceans and their contribution to the country’s economy.
The New Growth Path targets 5 million jobs from 2010 to 2020. This target will require vigorous action to reduce concentration and to diversify the economy, while ensuring adequate infrastructure, skills and the appropriate regulatory framework. It also requires the state to promote and support new innovative activities that can add value and generate employment on a large scale. We need to ensure growth in the core productive sectors of new areas of economic growth, such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas.
The investigation found amongst others, that South African’s ocean economy has the potential to contribute more than R20 billion to the GDP by 2019, and to create at least 1 million jobs. The ocean economy outlines the following opportunities: shipping and port facilities; fisheries; aquaculture; energy; tourism; biotechnology and submarine mining.
The Department of Environmental Affairs has a key role to play with other relevant government departments and stake entities towards the successful implementation of this initiative. Our role in this regard is particularly focused on marine protection services and ocean governance. This entails the protection of the ocean environment from all illegal activities and the promotion of its multiple socioeconomic benefits.
It is therefore, pleasing to learn that the Department of Environmental Affairs will table the Oceans Bill during the 2015-16 financial year. This will certainly pave the way for the promulgation of the necessary legislation that will propel the successful implementation of Operation Phakisa. The legislation, once enacted, will provide a clear foundation for marine spatial planning. We welcome the announcement by the Minister on the massive millions that are invested for governance around Operation Phakisa.
With regard to Antarctica, which has not been inhabited by any nation before, there are interesting developments that our country should take into consideration. South Africa was one of the first signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. We cannot ignore that. Major powers have voiced their interest in the continent’s resource potential, strongly suggesting the current prohibition of resource exploitation will be revised after 2048. These developments pose a potential threat to the longevity of the Antarctic Treaty system. Our country must reposition itself to play a strategic role in the Antarctic space by virtue of its proximity to the continent.
In conclusion, the ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.] [Time expired.]
Ms D CARTER
Mr S P MABILO
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, at the outset, Madam Minister, I trust that you and your department are painfully aware of the recent approval by the Department of Mineral Resources of an application to explore for phosphates by the drilling of prospecting holes across the West Coast’s most sensitive marine habitat and its richest fishing grounds, off Langebaan.
Minister, you will recall that this follows recent amendments to our mining legislation which now disempowers your department and empowers the Department of Mineral Resources with the authority to regulate, consider and approve environmental assessments relating to mining activities. I would appreciate it if you would respond to and comment on this when you reply to this debate. In retrospect, are the amendments in the best interests of our environment and sustainable development, or are we sniffing a Mininggate?
Madam Minister, I’m seeking your views and comments, given that the Department of Mineral Resources will also shortly publish regulations governing the exploration process for shale gas in the environmentally sensitive Karoo. The mandate of the department is onerous and multifaceted.
Cope would like to commend the department’s work on the Working on Fire programme that has done sterling work throughout our country. It truly represents a public programme that meaningfully adds value whilst affording citizens employment and skills development. Cope wishes to convey its condolences, once again, to those pilots and fire fighters who perished saving our property, environmental land, farmlands and lives.
I would like to agree with the Minister. I would like to say I wish we could say, “Not on our watch.” However, the reality is that the number of rhinos butchered by poachers has increased this year despite all initiatives, to date. We are currently in May, but more worrying is this. Of the 393 rhino that have been butchered this year, 290 of them were lost in the Kruger National Park. It is not just the rhinos that are threatened, but also our elephants. We are losing the war and the buck stops with you. Have you considered the vicuña parallel, which would empower communities and save our rhinos and our elephants? We can also learn from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, as well as the Kenyan government.
According to the Institute for Security Studies, current water demand in the country exceeds supply and the gap is expected to grow over the next 20 years. Minister, this is a grave situation that does not require political obfuscation. On eNCA last night, your counterpart, the Minister of Water and Sanitation – I almost used another word there – downplayed the situation, claiming that the demand for water only amounted to some 75% of supply. This is not true. Minister, can you tell us: What is the real situation?
I am receiving reports of continued sewage spillage into tributaries feeding into the Midmar Dam, the primary source of water for Pietermaritzburg and uMgungundlovu. This is not a new issue. It has been festering for years. I cannot help but think that your department is toothless and that the system of co-operative governance between Environmental Affairs, Water and Sanitation and the local and district municipalities is failing.
I am running out of time.
An HON MEMBER: Let it go!
Ms D CARTER: You can’t let it go! [Interjections.] Minister, you are in this boat. Your family is in this boat. My family is in this boat, as are the students from Settlers High School, Aadila and Clare. I am asking of you: Please, keep it afloat.
Ms J M MALULEKE
Ms D CARTER
Man J M MALULEKE: Mutshamaxitulu, Holobye wa Ndzawulo ya Mbangu, Xandla xa Holobye wa Ndzawulo ya Mbangu, Vaholobye na Swandla swa Vaholobye, Swirho swa Palamende, vatirhelamfumo, vaendzi va hina, na mi losa.
I joined the earlier voices in expressing our deepest shock at the loss of a life well-lived - the life of our stalwart, both in the ANC and the struggle for liberation, our own Mme Ruth Segomotsi Mompati. We will continue to shield the massive political footprints that you left. They will never fade away. Not in our lifetime. May your soul rest in peace, Mama Ruth.
Tona, nka direla mokgatlho wa ANC phoso e kgolo, fa ke ka se bolelele setšhaba sena gore re a itlotlomatsa fa re tswetse kwa mafatsheng a kwa ntle. Fa re ne re le kwa Peru, Motl Hadebe le Motl Shelembe ke dipaki gore Tona ya kwa Namibia ya tsa Merero ya Tikologo e re boleletse fa maAforikaborwa a le botlhokwa mo go bone. Ba itumelela thuso e e tswang mo go bona. O re boleletse gore ba kile ba leletsa rre Moporesidente mogala gore a re okeletse matsatsi gonne ba ne ba bona gore maAforika a mangwe a tla tlhaelwa ke dintlha tse di botlhokwa tse di tlang le maAforikaborwa ka Cop 17. Re a itumela, Mma. [Legofi.]
I am privileged to take part in this critical budget debate which is, in a way, intended to preserve the resources that we have in order to reduce the threats of natural disaster that have taken the entire globe by surprise. My focus will be on biodiversity.
This interaction, which also includes human beings, provides us with a number of essential natural services that we call ecosystem services. These services include food production, material for shelter, clean air and water, medicine, as well as places for healing and enjoyment. Moreover, the ecosystem services that are derived from biodiversity are considered alongside its potential to yield economic benefits, contributing towards improving livelihoods and creating employment. These are the foundations of human wellbeing and a vital source of many of our lives.
Biodiversity is an important aspect of an environment. It is in this context that the Constitution protects the environment. This, not only for the present generation, but for the future generations too, through measures that promote conservation and secure ecologically sustainable development and the use of natural resources, while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
It is in this respect that one of the key mandates of the Department of Environmental Affairs is to protect and enhance environmental assets and natural resources through sustainable use. This can be promoted and developed through the sustainable utilisation of biological resources such as hunting, game farming, game breeding, as well as bioprospecting, biotrade and the natural product markets. These contribute significantly to economic development and thus to our country’s GDP.
Dintlha tse dingwe ke a ditlola, le fa Motlatsatona a re: Pina e monate e a boelediwa. Ke dira jaana, go boloka nako.
I’m proudly informing the hon Carter that the ANC noted in its 53rd conference the upsurge in rhino poaching and the detrimental effects thereof to the country’s national heritage, ecology, environment and tourism. It is therefore resolved that harsher sentences be handed down to those convicted of this crime.
There has been an alarming increase in rhino poaching, countrywide. However, the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management was signed with the Minister of Tourism of Mozambique so as to strengthen antipoaching efforts in the Kruger National Park and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park through joint co-operation with South Africa’s counterpart in Mozambique.
Regarding the decreasing demand of rhino horn in the international community, the committee appreciates the steps taken by the government of Mozambique in establishing an environmental police unit. This unit will secure the margin of the transfrontier park, which the Kruger National Park is part of, on the of Mozambican side. The committee equally welcomes the commitment by the Mozambican government to remove the human settlement within the Transfrontier Park on site. That will go a long way in the fight against the poaching and killing of our rhino species.
The committee welcomes the wildlife crime initiatives undertaken by the department and relevant security agencies, such as the SA Police Service, SAPS, Defence, Intelligence and the Hawks to stop local and international syndicates from poaching and killing our wildlife, particularly rhinos. As a country, the third most biodiverse in the world, we owe it to future generations to protect and preserve our heritage.
The ANC supports the Budget Vote. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms T STANDER
Ms J M MALULEKE
Nksz T STANDER: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo nani manenekazi, siyabulisa. [Hon Chair and ladies, good evening.]
After 21 years, our democracy is led by a broken man and crippled by a perpetual system of insiders and outsiders. The western border along the Kruger National Park is a perfect depiction of this inequality. These poor communities are suppressed by poor service delivery, stifled by the lack of quality education or meaningful employment, and subjected to crime or turn to crimes, like poaching because they haven’t had the freedom, fairness or opportunity to better their lives.
The Minister of Home Affairs has failed to implement immigration controls that prevent the influx of undocumented foreign nationals along the southwest border of the Kruger National Park where the majority of poaching incidents now originate. The Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans has failed, along with the Police, to secure South Africa’s borders or so much as a cross-border hot pursuit agreement, to foil the daily armed insurgences on the sovereignty of our state and butchering of our natural heritage.
The SA Revenue Service has failed to implement customs controls adequately at points of entry, permitting the free trafficking of illegal wildlife and plant specimens abroad. The State Security Agency has failed to gather and co-ordinate actionable intelligence to disrupt organised crime syndicates that manipulate the supply and demand of illegal flora and fauna. The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services has failed to legislate strict penalties or capacitate their courts with sufficient skilled magistrates to deter environmental crime. [Interjections.]
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has failed - and I’m so glad you agree! - to develop norms and standards for threatened and protected species while they play Ping-Pong with the Department of Environmental Affairs, deflecting their responsibility. The Ministry of Economic Development, yes, has failed to initiate employment opportunities in poor communities that would provide an alternative to poaching activities. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Order, order! Allow the member to continue.
Ms T STANDER: The Ministry of Environmental Affairs has failed to include adjacent communities adequately in conservation through beneficiation schemes and increased access to the very parks to which they belong. Further, it has failed to focus on essential international demand-reduction campaigns – the ultimate solution to the poaching crisis.
Rhino are not more important than people, nor is rhino poaching more important than critical issues, such as poor service delivery, poor education, unemployment, corruption and crime. However, it is the failure of this ANC-led government to uphold the rule of law and ensure good governance which results in our people risking their lives on a daily basis, either to protect our natural heritage, or to pilfer it from the rest of us.
Minister Molewa, through you, Chair, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora will not lift the ban on trade in rhino horn next year, in March. Your rhino trade committee is perpetuating debate that is polarising our country, dividing our efforts and wasting crucial time to save an iconic species. It is shameful that the ANC is endorsing an illegal activity as a quick win for its own government’s failures.
We need to stop feeding off ANC lip service and window dressing.
Botswana, Swaziland and other countries all successfully protect their rhino because they have the political will.
Apho kukho injongo, kukho indlela. [Where there’s a will, there’s a way.]
Find the will and South Africans will find the way. Enkosi. [Thank you.] [Applause.]
Mr Z S MAKHUBELE
Ms T STANDER
Mr Z S MAKHUBELE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and other Ministers who may be here, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests and fellow South Africans, a very good evening to you all. Let me first and foremost just attend to a few parties, because others may not be worth even responding to. I won’t say that they spoke nonsense here, but there was no sense in what they were saying at all. [Laughter.] So, we need not respond to them. However, perhaps we should respond to those parties that happened to attempt to do some politicking here. [Interjections.]
There’s an argument, referring to all relevant Ministers, and so on, that government has failed. Where we’re sitting, we know that we have not engaged many of the other portfolio committees, to deal with them and agree with them as to exactly what needs to be done. We are still going to do that and it is known within the portfolio committee. That is our programme. [Interjections.] Let me then paint the context of where we are and the future we’re going to so that I respond to some of you, as you are asking this.
I take this opportunity to participate in this budget debate with pride and confidence on behalf of the ANC, for I know the ANC-led government has done a lot to bring about a change for the better in the area of environment, climate change and air quality management. The people of South Africa have the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, and to have their environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, as it is enshrined in the Constitution.
Where do we come from? Poor air quality remains one of our most challenging environmental legacy issues from our apartheid past. Environmental regulation, policies and services were formulated within a framework that perpetuated social inequality, benefiting only the narrow interest of a minority. It generally disregarded the impact of poor environmental quality on black communities. In the past, black settlements were often located near industrial areas that exposed black people to heavy incidents of pollution. That promoted environmental racism.
This situation was aggravated by the fact that certain polluting industries, notably the mining industry, were, largely, shielded from environmental regulation. In addition, prior to 1994, they were not required to rehabilitate land after closure. Consequently, dust blowing from mine dumps and the toxic residue of open mine stockpiles continues to affect the health of our people in nearby settlements that surround these open mine stockpiles. Kosovo and Barcelona here in Philippi and Khayelitsha, in the Western Cape, are some examples of what I’m talking about.
Vulnerability to climate change is dictated by both individual and social factors. The livelihood context, gender, age and social class, level of income, education, and asset holdings all combine to determine the vulnerability and coping abilities of individuals and communities in our country. The past 20 years have realised the sustained effort by our government to mitigate the consequences of apartheid’s poor environmental planning on historically marginalised communities. Our government has made significant progress in transforming a largely fragmented environmental governance framework to address the historical legacy of inequality, and strategically placing our country on a path to sustainable development that benefits all South Africans and those who live in the Republic.
It is important to mention that national averages of the state of air, as measured by the government-owned monitoring stations, indicate compliance with national ambient air quality standards. We are, however, mindful of the fact that there are significant noncompliances in the priority areas, which are the Vaal Triangle and Highveld areas. In this regard, areas of noncompliance have been declared priority areas and the ANC-led government has focused its attention on and resources to resolving these problems. The industries located in these areas often refuse to take responsibility and blame the pollution on domestic burning of coal. We want to state that the burning of coal in people’s homes is a problem which we are addressing, but industries should invest in reducing their emissions, too, because they are significant, continuous sources of air pollution.
The department’s strategic objectives for air quality management are consistent with Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan that seeks to achieve an environmentally sustainable society, expanded low-carbon economy and reducing emissions by 2030. The 2015-16 budget allocation of the Department of Environmental Affairs is reflective of this reality and also of the ongoing urgency needed to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions, climate change impacts and improved air quality.
Mutshamaxitulu, ndzi rhandza ku tivisa tiko hinkwaro leswaku mfumo wa ANC wu endlile swilo swo tala ku antswisa xiyimo xa rihanyu eka moya lowu hi wu hefemulaka, ngopfu-ngopfu eka tindhawu leti nga na tifeme letikulu leti thyakisaka mbango. [Va phokotela.] ANC yi seketela mitirho ya ndzawulo na mpimanyeto wa mali leyi va nyikiweke. Vanhu va fanele ku hefemula moya lowu tengeke.
The ANC supports Budget Vote No 27. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Mr Z S MAKHUBELE
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon House Chair, first of all, I would like to express our appreciation for the debate. Thank you, Chairperson and Chief Whip for elaborating on all our programmes.. I think it is very clear that you have been reading the policies which we have formulated and you were able to speak to those policies and follow what is happening in South Africa. I say this because it is, indeed, necessary that, as we praise you, we also comment on some of the issues mentioned by other hon members.
It is clear, hon member from the EFF, that it is necessary that we go and read, starting from simple policies, such as the National Green Economy Strategy and the oceans economy’s Operation Phakisa. Also, just be aware that this is not a Water Affairs debate. I actually do not know what to say when I respond to this discussion.
Hon member Radebe, regarding the management of estuariies, it is important also to say to you that the reason we have had a relook at the Integrated Coastal Management Policy in its entirety was exactly to begin to deal with those issues and support our municipalities. Again, we have to engage on these matters in the committee so that we can be au fait with the situation and not simply blame municipalities where, actually, there are issues related to coastal management.
The Minister of Tourism was here. Perhaps we should say that there was a loss of Blue Flag status along the lines of our coast but they have since been returned. So, the situation is not as bad as it’s been projected in this august House. The Blue Flag status has been returned in all areas.
I think it is important that, before I go too far with other very intensive issues, as raised by Carter and the IFP, regarding the rhino, as well as issues of so-called canned lion hunting, I will address the hon Stander. We were not in a debate on a contest of who has failed today. We are debating policies of this environment and not about police, etc.
We have said it to you, time and again. Please ask your hon colleagues who are serving in other committees - or your study group members in other areas - to actually go and engage in those other portfolio committees. Here, I do not know what you are doing and saying. Just keep quiet and learn so that you become a little bit cleverer. [Interjections.] The issue here is really about ... she is making a noise and I won’t ... she has failed!
The issue here is to understand that we have actually put in place an integrated approach to fighting rhino. We have told you time and again how we are working with Mozambique. You have actually heard what the Defence Force is doing, what the police are doing and what the Mozambicans are doing. It is important just to listen and stop serving the NGO movement because that is exactly what you are serving. You are not serving the DA. Perhaps, the sooner they realise that, the better for them, as well.
Ms D KOHLER: On a point of order, Chair!
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Canned lion hunting ...
Ms D KOHLER: Point of order, Chairperson!
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Canned lion hunting ...
Ms D KOHLER: Point of order, Chair!
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Madam, canned lion hunting.
Ms D KOHLER: Point of order!
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Just hold on a second, Minister. What is your point of order?
Ms D KOHLER: I would ask you to ask the Minister to withdraw her imputation that this is not a DA member and that she works for someone else. As she well knows, that is against ethics and ethical behaviour of a Member of Parliament. She has cast the worst aspersion upon our member. Withdraw, please! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): I really did not hear what was said. Hon ... [Interjections.]
Ms D KOHLER: I would ask, then, that the member’s speech is reviewed by your good self, sir.
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon member, perhaps we will really need to check the Hansard and verify what has been said and come back on that. Can we do it that way?
Ms D KOHLER: Sir, it is your job to check the Hansard and come back to us with a ruling. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): That’s correct, yes. Thank you very much, hon member. Hon Carter, are you up on a point of order?
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, on a point of clarity or maybe on a point of privilege: Is the hon Minister saying that I, Deidre Carter, am serving an NGO here? Was that what she was saying, or is she perhaps benefiting from the sale of rhino horn and the slaughtering of rhino in this country? Because it is all it can be! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): No, I thought that is what we said we are going to verify. [Interjections.] Order! Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: I am coming for you, Carter. Wait. I am coming. [Interjections.] I am coming for you.
Ms D CARTER: With pleasure. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Let it go! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Order! Order, hon members! Order, hon members! I need to really know what is it that I am going to verify. Hon Minister, can I check with you whether you are saying that the hon member is working for an NGO or is serving the interest of an NGO. What have you actually said? [Interjections.] No. Can you allow the hon Minister to respond?
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: The hon member is working for the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. She is serving the interests of an NGO. That is what I am saying.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Alright. Alright.
Ms D KOHLER: I will, once again, Chair, ask that you check the Hansard for our benefit.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: That is precisely what I have said. Can I continue?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Thank you very much. Can the hon Minister continue and finish up? [Interjections.]
Mr D D D VAN ROOYEN: Chair, on a point of order ...
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: You see ... Thank you very much hon Carter. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Order, hon members! Hon van Rooyen.
Mr D D D VAN ROOYEN: The member keeps on referring to the Minister as benefiting from rhino poaching. I think she is casting aspersions and that is a very serious allegation. Could you please rule on that matter?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Chairperson, I am not prepared to withdraw that. The Minister is forever coming and I am not prepared to withdraw that. Go back to Hansard and check it.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter, all I am saying from this side is that a point of order has been raised, that you have said that she is benefiting from ... Now, the question is, is that what you have said?
Ms D CARTER: Hon Chairperson, you can check the Hansard. I did ask if she is benefiting. [Interjections.] I am asking the question: Is she benefiting? Why is she forever running away from the issue? Why is she running away? I am asking the question and I will say it again: Are you benefiting from the slaughtering of our rhinos in this country? [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter, whether you have put it in the form of a question or a direct statement to her, you are actually casting aspersions on her, as member of the House. Can I request you to simply withdraw that?
Ms D CARTER: Hon Chairperson, I will withdraw if the Minister withdraws that I am deployed here by an NGO. Then I will withdraw if she withdraws ... [Interjections.] ... otherwise we will have to go to the Hansard.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter, you have confirmed. Thank you for withdrawing it. [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, I am not prepared to withdraw it. I have said that I will not withdraw. Firstly, you can go to the Hansard. Secondly, the Minister has also cast aspersions on me, so therefore that’s ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter, I will go to the Hansard when there is no ruling but when there is a ruling, there is no need to go to the Hansard. You are now requested to withdraw the statement you have made - that she is benefiting from the rhino horns.
Ms D CARTER: Chair, I asked the question whether she is benefiting because judging by the way she behaves, it does look like it and I’ve got to ask the question. In this House, we are protected to ask questions. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter, we have always enjoyed your support. We are now indicating that, whether you are putting it in the form of a question or as a direct statement, you are casting aspersions on her. The public out there are taking it as such. Therefore, I am requesting you to withdraw it. [Interjections.] I’m requesting you to withdraw that statement, whether it is in a form of a question ... just ...if you could withdraw that.
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, in terms of which Rule do I have to withdraw a question? [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Carter, you really know that when you have said what you have to the hon Minister, you have to do it by means of a substantive motion. You clearly know that one and therefore I am not sure when you ask for the Rule what your intention is, because you have cast aspersions on the Minister and that is what we are requesting you to withdraw. I am awaiting your response.
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, I have said it once and I am saying it again. I am not prepared to withdraw. You can ask me to leave the House but I am not prepared to withdraw it.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Can you then do so?
Ms D CARTER: What do you want me to do, Chairperson?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Can you then leave the House, as you have indicated?
Ms D CARTER: I will then, with pleasure, but I am not prepared to withdraw. My question stands! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Thank you very much. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Order, hon members! Can you allow her to leave the House. [Interjections.] Hon Minister, complete the debate.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Thank you very much, hon House Chair. The hon Shelembe raised a question about the shortfall on some of the projects of parastatals and the fact that they need to raise revenue. We have listened to that. It is only because of the fact that, as we allocate funds, sometimes during years of this nature ... and last year, there was a shortfall. Indeed, you know the economic situation of the world. So, we encourage our parastatals to raise funds.
Hon Steenkamp, thank you very much for reminding us and for telling the nation about what the ANC is doing regarding the waste management programme. What you have been spelling out here about the waste management programme, and so on, are actually things that we are doing. We are doing them in terms of the regulations and policies of the ANC. So, it is good that you understand and raise them, as we always do and implement them.
I will not even attempt to speak to the issues of Cope anymore, but just come back to issues raised by the hon Radebe. We did ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R MDAKANE): Try to round up in a minute, Minister.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Excuse me?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Round up within a minute.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Alright. On the issues about rhino poaching, you will recall I have said the following again and again to hon members of the portfolio committee. We will have to be exposed to the measures that government is implementing so that we are on the same level of understanding but also assisting in this big fight that we are faced with. It is important to do so and not come and pay lip service here to this issue and talk about those who may have failed when you actually can’t even lift a finger. I have never heard of any intelligent argument or contribution that comes from some of the hon members in this House, and particularly other parties.
Let us work on this issue of rhino poaching. It is a very big issue. It is very complex and we are continuing to fight. We will never ever stop fighting, and we will not listen to those who are just shouting. I did say that my skin gets thicker and thicker, especially when I listen to some of the people just reiterating what NGOs are saying. I thank you very much, hon Chair. [Applause.]
The Committee rose at 18:52.
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