ATC150505: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs on the Strategic Plan 2015/16—2019/20, Annual Performance Plans (Apps) 2015/16 And The Budget Vote 27 of the Department of Environmental Affairs (Dea) and the Entities: The South African Weather Services (Saws), South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi), Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (Isimangaliso) and the South African National Parks (Sanparks) dated 28 April 2015.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2015/16—2019/20, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLANS (APPS) 2015/16 AND THE BUDGET VOTE 27 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS (DEA) AND THE ENTITIES: THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICES (SAWS), SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY INSTITUTE (SANBI), iSIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK AUTHORITY (iSIMANGALISO) AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS (SANPARKS) DATED 28 APRIL 2015.
The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the Portfolio Committee) having considered the directive of the National Assembly to consider and report on the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plans and Budget allocations of the Department of Environmental Affairs (hereinafter the Department) and all entities reporting to it, tabled by the Minister of Environmental Affairs in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (Act No 32 of 2003), reports as follows:
During March and April 2015, the Portfolio Committee invited the Department as well as the entities reporting to it, namely, the South African Weather Services (SAWS), South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso) and the South African National Parks (SANParks) to present the overview of their medium term Strategic Plans, Annual Performance Plans and their Budget allocation for 2015/16 financial year as well as Medium Term Expenditure Framework allocations for 2016/17 and 2017/18, respectively.
2.1 Overview of the Department of Environment Affairs and its Entities
The Department is mandated to ensure the protection of the environment and the conservation of natural resources, balanced with sustainable development and the equitable distribution of the benefits derived from natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. This is to be achieved while giving effect to the right of the nation to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing. This mandate is enshrined in Section 24(b) of the Constitution, which stipulates specifically that “all South Africans have the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of the present and future generations” through relevant legislation and environmental sound policies.
2.1.1 Legislative mandate
The core business of the Department is underpinned by the Constitution and the following pieces of legislation:
- National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998) (which is a regulatory framework for the management and protection of environmental resources and coordination in relation thereto) was enacted to provide for the following subsidiary, issue-specific legislation on biodiversity and heritage resources; oceans and coasts; climate change and air quality management; and waste and chemicals management.
- National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of 2004) - regulates air quality.
- National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act 10 of 2004) - regulates and sets out the mechanisms for managing and conserving South Africa’s biodiversity, its components and institutions (e.g., SANBI).
- National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No 59 of 2008) - regulates waste management; provides for national norms and standards for regulating the management of waste by all spheres of Government; and provides for the licensing and control of waste management activities.
- National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (Act No 24 of 2008) - establishes a system of integrated coastal and estuarine environmental management in the Republic; ensures that development and the use of natural resources within the coastal zone is socially and economically justifiable and ecologically sustainable; determines the responsibilities of organs of State in relation to coastal areas; controls dumping at sea and pollution in the coastal zone.
- National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Amendment Act, 2004 (Act No.31 of 2004) - provides for a national system of protected areas in South Africa as part of a strategy to manage and conserve the country’s biodiversity.
- World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act 49 of 1999) provides for the cultural and environmental protection and sustainable development of, and related activities in a world heritage site.
The Department fulfils its mandate through formulating, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of national environmental policies, programmes and legislation with the additional support from its entities, such as iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso), the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), South African National Parks (SANParks), and the South African Weather Services (SAWS). It is noteworthy that the main activities of the Department are divided into seven programmes, comprising of the following:
Programme 1: Administration;
Programme 2: Legal, Authorizations Compliance and Enforcement (LACE);
Programme 3: Oceans and Coasts;
Programme 4: Climate Change and Air Quality Management;
Programme 5: Biodiversity and Conservation;
Programme 6: Environmental Programmes; and
Programme 7: Chemicals and Waste Management.
3. Medium Term Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans (APPs) of the Department and its Public Entities for 2015/16
As the national partner to provinces in a concurrent function, the Department leads the environmental sector by setting the policy and legislative framework and the norms and standards required for environmental protection and environmentally sustainable development in the country. This role is evident through the large numbers of policy and legislative instruments initiated, processed and administered by the Department.
3.1 Outcome-based Strategic Map
In developing it’s 2015 - 2019 medium term priorities, the Department considered what is outlined in Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,1996 as amended as well as the contribution that is required from the environmental sector towards the realization of the future state as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 which requires transition to a society and the economy that is internationally competitive, equitable job creation and sustainable (resilient, green and low carbon).Therefore, the Department’s strategy is underpinned by the following four outcomes/goals that will form the core basis of their medium term priorities, namely:
- Optimizing contribution of the environmental sector to economic development;
- Safeguarding and enhancing ecological/environmental integrity;
- Facilitating and supporting social transformation; and
- Influencing the global agenda on environmental management and sustainable development.
It is against this background that the Portfolio Committee received briefings from 17th, 20th, 24th March and 14th April 2015, from the Department and its entities on strategic plans, annual performance plans for 2015/16 financial year and medium term budget allocations for the 2015/16 -2019/20. This was to ascertain whether the allocated budget to the Department and its entities was aligned to achieve the strategic outcomes conceived in the respective strategic plans and Annual Performance Plans (APP) documents and also to determine whether the budget is aligned with the Government’s strategic priorities for the current 2015/16 financial year, as informed by the Nation Development Plan.
This report, therefore, details the findings, observations, and recommendations of the Portfolio Committee after its engagement with the Department and its entities on the matters outlined above. In addition to the 2015/16 Budget (including the Estimates of National Expenditure for the MTEF period), tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Finance, the Portfolio Committee was also briefed by the Department on the following documents, which were also tabled in Parliament:
- The Strategic Plan of the Department for 2015/16—2019/20;
- The Annual Performance Plan of the Department for 2015/16;
- Medium Term Expenditure Framework Allocations for 2015/16-2019/20 as tabled by Minister of Finance for DEA and Entities;
- The Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans for 2015/16 of the Department’s entities:
- South African Weather Service (SAWS);
- iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA);
- South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI); and
- South African National Parks (SANParks).
3.2 Department of Environmental Affairs
The Department provides leadership in environmental management, conservation and protection to ensure the sustainability of the South African environment for the benefit of South Africans and the global community in perpetuity.
3.3 Departmental Strategic Goals
The Department’s strategic goals over the medium term are to:
- Ensure environmental economic contribution is optimised – Facilitate sustainable socio-economic growth and development by catalysing, optimising and scaling up contribution of the environmental to economic prosperity, contributing to an environmental sustainable, low-carbon economy as a result of a well-managed just transition;
- Ensure Environmental/Ecological Integrity is safeguarded and enhanced by providing leadership in promoting and ensuring environmental sustainability through management, utilisation, conservation, protection and valuing of our natural resources, including management of threats to environmental integrity (climate change, waste and chemicals, atmospheric pollution and alien invasives);
- Ensure socially transform and transitioned communities - Facilitate sustainable socio- economic growth and development by catalysing, optimising and scaling up the contribution of the environmental sector to economic prosperity contributing to an environmentally sustainable, low carbon economy as a result of a well-managed just transition; of the environmental sector;
- Ensure Global Agenda is influenced and obligations are met by enhancing regional and international cooperation supportive of South Africa’s environmental/sustainable development priorities and influence the global environmental agenda; and
- Build a capable and efficient Department to improve departmental service delivery capacity and capabilities through creation of a harmonious and conducive working environment and provision of delivery platforms such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and services, development and implementation of an effective Human Resource strategy to attract, develop and retain a skilled , transformed and diverse workforce that performs in line with the Department’s culture and values, aligning and transforming business processes and systems to support strategy execution and sound corporate governance, thereby optimising efficiencies and strategic agility.
3.4 Relationship between the Department’s strategic goals and the NDP
The Department’s Strategic Plan as well as the strategic plans of the entities reporting to it are aligned with the vision of the country aptly articulated and contained in the National Development Plan, which maps out the vision of the country for the 15 years ahead or so. For example, The NDP explicitly notes that South Africa’s primary approach to adapting to climate change is to strengthen the nation’s economic and societal resilience. This includes ensuring that all sectors of society are more resilient to the future impacts of climate-change by undertaking the following, among others:
- Creating employment;
- Increasing levels of education and promoting skills development; and
- Maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and the many services that they provide.
It is indisputable that the Department and its entities play critical roles in this regard. More specifically:
- The departmental strategic plan that seeks to develop and publish South Africa’s Sustainable Development indicators is in response to the NDP, which succinctly states that “Sustainable development indicators that incorporate environmental performance is a key requirement for developing the planning capacity required to ensure environmentally sustainable development of human settlements”.
- The Department’s strategic objective to implement four environmental awareness campaigns is in response to the NDP’s Vision 2030 that specifically requires the nation to invest in consumer awareness, green product design, recycling infrastructure and waste-to-energy projects, which results in significant strides to becoming a zero-waste society. Similarly, the Department’s objective to create 12 buy-back and recycling facilities in 2015/16, increasing to 27 in 2019/20, should also be seen in the light of this NDP Vision 2030.
- The Department’s objective to make meaningful contribution towards job creation and poverty eradication is anchored in the NDP, which recognises that “the development of environmentally sustainable green products and services, including renewable energy technologies, ‘would’ contribute to the creation of jobs in niche markets where South Africa has or can develop a competitive advantage”. The quest for departmental entities to contribute to the same objective of job creation and poverty eradication must be seen in a similar light.
- Furthermore, the Department’s objectives in its Strategic Plan to conduct two mitigation potential and impact studies as well as update the Terms of Reference for carbon budgets clearly indicate that it has aligned its programmes with the key objective of the NDP that of “transition to low-carbon economy”.
- The ongoing rhino protection initiatives undertaken notably by the Department, SANParks and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in particular, and the protection of our network of protected areas more broadly, are in direct recognition of the view expressed in the NDP that “The biodiversity and ecosystems in conservation areas are national assets”, and hence must be protected and/or conserved. In fact, “ecosystem protection” is considered one of “Guiding principles for the transition” required by the NDP Vision 2030.
3.4.1 Relationship between SANParks’ strategic goals and the NDP
SANParks’ efforts in maintaining the integrity of South Africa’s ecosystems is consistent with one of the guiding principles for the transition contained in the NDP, that is, “eecosystems protection”, which acknowledges that human wellbeing is dependent on the health of the planet.
3.4.2 Relationship between the South African Weather Service’s strategic goals and the NDP
Vision 2030 of the NDP states that adaptation strategies be implemented in conjunction with national development strategies, including disaster preparedness, which is made possible by the ability of SAWS to appropriately predict weather and disaster situations beforehand.
3.4.3 Relationship between the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority’s strategic goals and the NDP
The emphasis of the NDP on job creation is succinctly captured in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority’s strategic goals to improve access to work and income generating opportunities by 1530 jobs in 2015/16; increase revenue sharing with the land claimants to R861 000 in 2015/16, increasing to R890 000 in 2016/17; and increase the number of BEEE SMMEs, inter alia.
3.4.4 Relationship between the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s strategic goals and the NDP
The requirement in the NDP for South Africa to respond effectively to climate change, especially adaptation is captured in one of SANBI’s strategic goals, that is, to provide policy support on Climate Change Adaptation by establishing an effective implementing entity for the Global Adaptation Fund (GEF).Similarly, SANBI’S strategic goal to establish two new National Botanical Gardens in Limpopo Province, can be considered as an adaptation strategy to make national botanical gardens withstand the threats of climate change.
3.5 Budget allocation of the Department and its Public Entities
The Department’s original budget allocation over the MTEF period was R5 980 256 in 2015/16, R6 559 473 in 2016/17 and R6 639 261 in 2017/18. The National Treasury has since reviewed and reduced the Department’s total budget allocation to R5 947 989 in 2015/16, 6 467 479 in 2016/17 and 6 637 923 in 2017/18, which shows decrease of one per cent, two per cent and three per cent annual cuts over the medium term, respectively as a result of unfavourable economic environment..
The DEA total allocation budget for 2015/16 is R5 947 989 billion and is split into three, as follows:
- 60 per cent investments towards implementation of environmental projects both in the Public Sector through EPWP programmes and in the private sector through Green Fund investments;
- 20 per cent transfers to the public entities, namely SAWS, SANBI, iSimangaliso and SANParks; and
- 20 per cent for the remaining departmental mandates.
Whilst the growth in the Department’s allocation is below inflation with compensation of employees growing with 6.6 per cent based on anticipated cost of living adjustments, operational budget (goods and services) allocation only increased by 3 per cent due to cuts over the MTEF period and transfers to Expanded Public Works (EPWP) Programmes and the Entities increased by 5.5 per cent. The Department anticipates increased spending pressures over the MTEF, as a result of inter alia reduced budget allocation for the integrated permitting system, increase in ICT costs by 35-40 per cent, increased operating costs of the two vessels, helicopter services and fuel supplies to the Antarctica and Marion and Gough Islands Research.
The breakdown of the budget allocations, are summarized in Tables 1 and 2 below:
Table 1: Departmental Budget allocation over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
MTEF Budget Allocations
Legal, Authorisations and Compliance
Oceans and Coasts
Climate Change and Air Quality
Biodiversity and Conservation
4 058 (4 229)
Chemicals and Waste Management
87 073 (90 612)
5 947 989
6 467 479
6 537 923 (6 656 391)
Table 2: Public Entities Budget allocation over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
South African National Parks (SANParks)
South African National Biodiversity (SANBI)
South African Weather Service (SAWS)
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
1 194 583
1 356 183
1 225 087
Source: National Treasury (2015) Estimates of National Expenditure. National Treasury, Pretoria.
3.6 Strategic Priorities for 2015/16 per programme
The Department has demonstrated that it was fully capacitated as it spent 99.7 per cent of its allocated budget for the 2014/15 financial year, although the auditing of the Department’s 2014/15 financial statements is still underway. The Department also received an unqualified Audit Report in the 2013/14 financial year.
Programme 1: Administration
The purpose of the Administration Programme is to provide leadership, strategic centralized administration and executive support, corporate services and facilitate effective cooperative governance, international relations and environmental education and awareness.
The strategic objectives of this programme for the 2015/16 – 2017/18 financial year include:
- Equitable and sound corporate governance;
- Value focused funding and resourcing (leveraged public and private sector investments);
- Adequate, appropriately skilled, transformed and diverse workforce;
- Secure harmonious and conducive working environment;
- Strengthened leadership and embedded DEA culture;
- Aligned Department’s processes to enable the effective execution of strategy;
- Efficient and effective ICT systems;
- Improved profile, support and enhanced capacity for environmental sector;
- Effective partnerships, cooperative governance and local government support;
- Enhanced sector monitoring and evaluation;
- Effective knowledge and information management for the sector;
- Enhanced international cooperation supportive of South Africa’s environmental priorities; and
- Strengthened knowledge science and policy interface.
The Department plans to achieve the above-mentioned strategic objectives by inter alia:
- Achieving 100 per cent compliance with statutory tabling and prescripts and continuing to get a clean audits;
- Increasing expenditure on affirmative procurement to 61 per cent of all procurement;
- Mobilising US$20 million in 2015/16 and US$40 million in 2019/20 from international donors to support South Africa’s and Africa’s environmental programmes;
- Implementation of the Department’s Environmental Programmes expansion plan;
- Developing a financial model for the biodiversity sector;
- Reducing the vacancy rate to 9.5 per cent from the current baseline of 10.5 per cent;
- Implementing three Human Resource Development Plan interventions, including, recruitment of 100 interns, issuing of 70 bursaries and 80 per cent implementation of the Department’s Workplace Skills Plan;
- Increasing employment targets for women in senior management to 50 per cent;
- Implementing nine funded master plan initiatives;
- Producing and distributing four stakeholder publications;
- Implementing four environmental awareness campaigns;
- Recruiting 100 unemployed youth and implementing learnership programmes;
- Implement 100 per cent of the Local Government Support Strategy
- Conducting four Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) sessions;
- Training 200 officials/councillors on waste management;
- Publishing the South African Environmentally Sustainable Development Indicators Policy makers Outlook;
- Developing environmentally sustainable development indicators;
- Approving, by Cabinet, the ‘Report by the Task Team tasked with investigation of the advantages and disadvantages’ of a possible limited trade horn;
- Implementing action plan for hosting the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora COP 17 (CITES) conference in 2016; and
- Draft and develop sensitivity map for the aquaculture Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA).
Programme 2: Legal, Authorisations Compliance and Enforcement (LACE)
The purpose of this programme is to promote the development of an enabling legal regime, licensing and/or authorization system that promotes enforcement and compliance with relevant environmental legislation.
The strategic objectives for this Programme are to:
- Improve compliance with environmental legislation; and
- Coherent and aligned multi-sector regulatory system and decision support across government.
Through this programme, the Department aims to:
- Implement multilateral and bilateral interventions through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs);
- Coordinate and reinforce joint collaborations with key law enforcement agencies in South Africa and across the Border;
- Develop a database, information system for wildlife;
- Increase the number of inspections of authorisations in facilities located in environmentally-sensitive areas from 86 in 2014/15 to 115 by 2015/16;
- Increase the percentage of administrative enforcement actions resulting in compliance from 75 to 80 per cent by 2016;
- Increase the number of officials trained in environmental compliance and enforcement by 280 in 2015/16, increasing to 1 540 by 2019/20;
- Increase the number of environmental authorisations inspections for compliance from 140 in 2015/16 to 1 060 in 2019/20;
- Increase the number of criminal cases finalised, with dockets handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by 28 in 2015/16 to 156 in 2019/20;
- Increase joint compliance operations conducted from 7 in 2015/16 to 40 in 2019/20; and
- Identify shale gas baseline sensitivity information and conduct stakeholder consultations.
Programme 3: Oceans and Coasts
The purpose of the Oceans and Coasts Programme is to promote, manage and provide strategic leadership on Oceans and Coastal conservation.
The strategic objectives of this programme for the 2015/16 financial year include:
- Managing threats to environmental quality and integrity;
- Strengthening knowledge, science and policy interface;
- Conserving, managing and using ecosystems sustainably; and
- Enhancing sector monitoring and evaluation.
In managing threats to environmental quality and integrity, the Department aims to:
- Implement the National Coastal Management Programme interventions. This will be done by developing the Draft National Guideline on Coastal Rehabilitation during the 2015/16 financial year and finalising it during the 2019/20 financial year. The Department also aims to develop the Draft National Norms and Standards for Coastal Management setback lines in the 2015/16 financial year, and these will be implemented and monitored in four provinces by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Develop a number of priority areas with coastal access. The Department plans to do this by developing a draft coastal area strategy. The plan is to finalise a stakeholder consultation for designation of coastal access for three priority areas during the 2015/2016 financial year;
- Designate coastal access for four priority areas by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Develop and implement the ocean and coastal management strategies and plans. This will be implemented by completing a national review of coastal effluent disposal during the 2015/16 financial year. There is also a plan to develop a national guideline on coastal rehabilitation; develop and implement national norms and standards for coastal management setback lines; and complete six initiatives addressing land-based sources of marine pollution, by the 2019/20 financial year; and
- Develop and implement ocean and coastal management strategies and plans. This will be done by developing a Draft Antarctic Strategy during the 2015/16 financial year and the plan is to develop and implement the Strategy by the 2019/20 financial year. There are also plans to approve the National Framework on Marine Spatial Planning during the 2015/16 financial year and approving of the Marine Spatial Plans for South African Ocean by the 2019/20 financial year.
In strengthening knowledge, science and policy interface, the Department plans to:
- Develop a number of peer-reviewed scientific publications, including theses and research policy reports. The Department aims to have 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications during the 2015/16 financial year and the number to increase to 27 by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Undertake marine top predator population estimates and ecological studies. The target for the 2015/16 financial year is population estimates of 12 mainland seabird breeding species and the number to increase to 18 plus four Antarctic seabird species by the 2019/20 financial year; and
- Undertake ocean and coastal research and survey, and monitor projects undertaken. This will be achieved by, amongst others, completing the National Plankton Monitoring Protocol and finalising the Terms of Reference for study on effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) during the 2015/16 financial year. The Department also plans to develop the South African Science Plan for Indian Ocean Research Cruises during the 2015/16 financial year and to undertake the first multidisciplinary Indian Ocean Research Cruise by the 2019/20 financial year.
In conserving, managing and using ecosystems sustainably, the Department aims to:
- Develop a number of Estuary Management Plans. This will be achieved by developing two additional Estuarine Management Plans during the 2015/16 financial year and increasing the number to 35 by the 2019/20 financial year; and
- Develop a percentage of Exclusive Economic Zones under Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The Department intends to achieve this by developing the 4 287.532 square kilometres maintained as MPAs; and further develop MPA regulations for public comment during the 2015/16 financial year and declare the 53 594.15 km2 as MPAs by the 2019/20 financial year.
In enhancing sector monitoring and evaluation, the Department plans to:
- Publish the State of Environment Report on Oceans. This will be achieved by compiling the annual report card on key ocean and coastal indicators during the 2015/16 financial year and by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Develop and implement the Oceans and Coasts Monitoring and Evaluation Programme. The Department plans to achieve this by developing and piloting the Water Quality Monitoring Programme in Port St Johns during the 2015/16 financial year; and
- Implement the National Oceans and Coasts Water Quality Monitoring Programme in one priority area by the 2019/20 financial year.
Programme 4: Climate Change and Air Quality Management
The purpose of this programme is to improve air and atmospheric quality, lead and support, inform, monitor and report efficient and effective international, national and significant provincial and local responses to climate change. The South African Weather Service’s mandate contributes to this programme
The strategic objectives of this programme for the 2015/16 financial year include:
- Managing threats to environmental quality and integrity; and
- Minimising negative impacts on health and well-being.
Through this Programme the Department aims to:
- Conduct two mitigation potential and impact studies by finalising one National Carbon Sink Atlas and update mitigation analysis;
- Finalise Terms of Reference for updating Carbon budgets (2021-2025 and 2025-2030), Finalise new regulations for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHE) and update guidelines for mitigation plans by 2019/20;
- Finalise the pollution prevention plans for carbon budgets in 2016-2020 in 2015/16 and updating mix of measures for achieving DEROs in five economic sectors by 2019/20;
- Develop and implement five Climate Change Adaptation Strategy/Plan for South Africa and facilitate Adaption Sector Plans for Agriculture, Water, Health, Rural Settlements and Biodiversity;
- Conduct climate change risk analysis in two provinces;
- Increase the number of government-owned air quality monitoring stations reporting to South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS) from 100 in 2015/16 to 120 in 2019/20;
- Increase the number of air quality monitoring stations meeting a minimum of 80 per cent data recovery from 40 by 2015/16 to 50 by 2018/19;
- Increase by 90 per cent facilities with Atmospheric Emission Licences reporting to the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory Systems (NAEIS) in 2015/16 to 100 per cent in 2019/20;
- Implement Annual Plans for three priority areas Air Quality Management Plans (AQMPs) for Highveld, Vaal Triangle Airshed and Waterberg-Bojanala;
- Compile and monitor framework for reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions by industry and in 2015/16 publish climate change; and
- Evaluate 2000-2012 Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory reports.
Programme 5: Biodiversity and Conservation
The purpose of this programme is to ensure the regulation and management of all biodiversity, heritage and conservation matters in a manner that facilitates sustainable economic growth and development. The South African National Parks, South African National Biodiversity Institute and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park also contribute to this programme.
The strategic objectives of this programme include:
- Conserve, manage sustainable use of ecosystems;
- Improved access, fair and equitable sharing of benefits; and
- Improve socio-economic benefits.
Through this programme, the Department intends to:
- Conclude five benefit-sharing agreements in the current financial year, increasing to a total of 25 by 2019/20;
- Establish 10 sustainable natural resource based enterprises annually in support of wildlife economy vision 2020,
- Draft Elephant Research Strategy in 2015/16 and conduct elephant research on five focus areas of the strategy in 2015/16; and
- Finalize one policy-based recommendation on intensive breeding of wildlife.
Programme 6: Environmental Programmes
The purpose of this programme is to ensure the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programmes that has important implications for the environment and to conceptualize and implement green economy projects in the environmental sector.
The strategic objectives of this Programme for the 2015/16 financial year are to:
- Create 34 824 Full Time Equivalent (FTEs) jobs in 2015/16, and 191 673 in 2019/20;
- Increase the number of work opportunities by 66 150, for women, youth and people with disabilities;
- Increase the number of school desks equivalents from 200 000 in the 2015/16 financial year to 220 000 by 2019/20;
- Rehabilitate 120 wetlands per annum and increasing to 150 wetlands;
- Clear 192 293 hectares of invasive alien plants; and
- Suppress 90 per cent of the wildfire incidents.
Programme 7: Chemical and Waste Management
The purpose of the Chemicals and Waste Management Programme is to manage and ensure that chemicals and waste management policies and legislation are implemented and enforced in compliance with the chemicals and waste management authorisations, directives and agreements.
The strategic objectives of this programme for the 2015/16 financial year are to:
- Manage threats to environmental quality and integrity;
- Minimise negative impacts on health and wellbeing; and
- Ensure growth in industries that depend on environmental services.
In managing threats to environmental quality and integrity through this Programme, the Department plans to:
- Review three Industrial Waste Management Plans (IndWMP) during the 2015/16 financial year and these include e-waste, lighting and paper and packaging;
- Increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfill by 25 per cent in the 2015/16 financial year in respect to tyres. The Department plans to increase the percentage to 90 per cent and 80 per cent of paper and packaging by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Authorise the identified 259 waste disposal facilities by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Develop and implement a number of chemicals and waste management instruments. by updating the National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention during the 2015/16 financial year;
- Finalise the Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) phase out plan for municipalities as well as the study on impact of Minamata Convention during the 2015/16 financial year;
- Audit 15 waste management facilities during the 2015/16 financial year;
- Create 12 buy back and recycling facilities in 2015/16;
- Remediate five hectares of asbestos contaminated land per annum;
- Create 576 jobs within the waste management sector in the 2015/16 financial year, increasing to a total of 10 500 by the 2019/20 financial year;
- Establish 20 waste management enterprises (SMMEs and cooperatives) in 2015/16; rising to a total of 250 in 2019/20; and
- Additionally, a considerable of amount of revenues during the MTEF period, through the waste economy.
3.7 Entities reporting to the Department of Environmental Affairs
3.7.1 South African Weather Service (SAWS)
The mandate of the South African Weather Services was established in terms of the South African Weather Service Act (Act No 8 of 2001). Accordingly, SAWS mandate is to provide two distinct services, i.e., the public good service, which is funded by the Government and commercial services where the user-pays principle applies. This entails maintaining, extending and improving the quality of meteorological services, providing risk information which is essential for minimising the impact of disasters, collecting meteorological data over oceans and fulfilling Government’s international obligations under the World Meteorological Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
For 2015/16 financial year, the South African Weather Services priorities are to;
- Develop dissemination platforms for air quality in support of weather and climate variability, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and programmes;
- Conduct air quality modelling and forecasting system feasibility study;
- Develop new products and services of both public good and commercial mandates;
- Develop applications for renewable energy sector products;
- Provide five regional severe weather guidance maps for the SADC countries and Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre;
- Conduct stakeholder surveys to determine satisfaction levels;
- Develop and implement organisation programmes and campaigns that promote the organisation as per the implementation plan and communication strategy;
- Grow aviation revenue from R98.4 million in 2015/16 to R101 million in 2016/17;
- Develop National Education Plan for Atmospheric and other related sciences;
- Increase the number of bursaries awarded and absorb bursars in SAWS; and
- Ensure that there is adequate funding for Infrastructure Life-cycle management, Aviation Master System Implementation Plan and Human Capital Requirements.
3.7.2 iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso)
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority in KwaZulu-Natal was established in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act (Act No 49 of 1999), with the mandate to ensure that effective and active measures were implemented in the Park for the protection and conservation of World Heritage Convention values; promote empowerment of historically disadvantaged communities living adjacent to the Park; promote, manage, oversee, market and facilitate optimal tourism and related development in the Park; and encourage, sustain, invest and contribute to job creation.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority priorities are to:
- Optimise empowerment activities in the Park in a commercially and environmentally sustainable manner that improves the livelihoods of historically disadvantaged communities living adjacent to the Park;
- Ensure that the World Heritage values are conserved by detecting poaching incidents, and illegal developments;
- Improve access to work and income generating opportunities by creating 1530 jobs in 2015/16;
- Increase revenue sharing with the land claimants to R861 000 in 2015/16, increasing to R890 000 in 2016/17;
- Increase the number of BEEE SMMEs;
- Develop tourism skills; and
- Increase visitor numbers.
3.7.3 South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
SANBI was established in September 2004, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act No 10 of 2004). The mandate of the Institute is to monitor and report regularly on the status of South Africa’s biodiversity, all listed threatened or protected species, ecosystems and invasive species; and the impact of any genetically modified organism that has been released into the environment. The Institute is also mandated to act as an advisory and consultative body on matters relating to organs of State and other biodiversity stakeholders; coordinate and promote the taxonomy of South Africa’s biodiversity; manage, control and maintain all national botanical gardens, herbaria and collections of dead animals that may exist; and advise the Minister of Environmental Affairs on any matter regulated in terms of the Act, and any international agreements affecting biodiversity that are binding on South Africa.
SANBI’s strategic priorities for 2015/16 financial year, are to:
- Position SANBI as the employer of choice in the biodiversity sector by recruiting black biodiversity professionals through structured internships and post graduate studentships;
- Implement effective, efficient and transparent supply chain financial management systems to maintain the unqualified financial statements;
- Identify, monitor and manage all risks and implement the Risk Assessment Plan;
- Implement marketing initiatives and activities to promote, profile and maintain brand visibility and to also keep stakeholders informed through appropriate platforms for internal and external stakeholders;
- Add 20 new indigenous plant species to the living collections of the combined network of National Botanical Gardens;
- Finalise the establishment of two new National Botanical Gardens in Limpopo and Eastern Cape Provinces;
- Increase visitor numbers annually by two per cent;
- Publish National Invasive Species Assessment and Update national invasive species list, annually;
- Coordinate training and capacity-building programme with municipal, provincial and other relevant decision makers to share lessons learnt;
- Increase access to biodiversity data, information and knowledge;
- Provide scientific evidence to support policy and decision-making relating to biodiversity, including impacts of climate change by conducting national assessments of biodiversity, assess impacts of genetically-modified organisms, sustainable trade and support for the wild life economy; and
- Provide policy support on Climate Change Adaptation by establishing an effective implementing entity for the Global Adaptation Fund.
3.7.4 South African National Parks (SANParks)
SANParks was established in terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act No 57 of 2003), with the mandate to conserve, protect, control and manage national parks and other defined protected areas and biological diversity. SANParks’ strategic priorities are to:
- Optimise economic contribution through tourism and associated activities by growing revenue streams through effective and efficient use of tourism products;
- Enhance conservation and ecological integrity of National Parks system in order to improve the conservation through park expansion and effective management of sustained ecosystems and heritage resources;
- Enhance protection and conservation of wild life in national parks, including protection of the rhino;
- Optimise socio-economic beneficiation through the effective community socio-economic development of SMMEs support leading to sustainable enterprise development, job creation and efficient equity partnering;
- Enhance stakeholder engagement to improve environmental stewardship and organisational reputation though proactive strategic stakeholder engagements, facilitating environmental education and implementation of a dynamic media relations programme;
- Promote effective and efficient corporate governance that will enable the Park to optimise its corporate governance, business processes and systems to achieve corporate goals; and
- Strengthen Human Capital and Management by developing skilled workforce and healthy working environment.
The SANParks priorities for 2015/16 financial year are to:
- Develop and implement the Fundraising Policy Strategy and implement seven revenue generating products;
- Increase the total number of visitors to the national parks from 5 235 095 to 5 440 000;
- Implement six species protection interventions, including rhino and elephants;
- Increase access to national parks from 18 000 to 18 100;
- Implement two environmental educational programmes;
- Increase the total number of fulltime equivalent jobs from 5 686 to 6 254;
- Facilitate socio-economic development through SMMEs, creation of temporary jobs through EPWP projects and community-based initiatives;
- Maintain an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General by promoting effective management of the human capital by way of building a learning organisation underpinned by corporate values;
- Increase the employment targets for women by 36 per cent from 34 per cent and people with disabilities by one per cent from 0.9 per cent;
- Grow its revenue base through tourism from eight per cent to 11 per cent by promoting effective management of national parks, for example, by expanding total area added to national parks, rehabilitate areas with alien and invasive species, implementing the Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, and implementing the Cultural Heritage Programme; and
- Facilitating socio-economic development through SMMEs, creation of temporary jobs through EPWP and community-based initiatives; and
- The ongoing challenge that bedevils the SANParks is the relentless poaching of rhinos in the national parks, therefore SANParks will also enhance the protection and conservation of wildlife in the national parks, in the protection of the rhino species.
4. Portfolio Committee Findings and Observations
The Portfolio Committee having considered the inputs by the Department and its four entities, has made the following observations:
- The Portfolio Committee appreciated the presentation made by the Department and its entities on annual performance plans and their budget allocations;
- The Portfolio Committee welcomed the clear linkages between the Department, its entities programmes and the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030.The Committee appreciated the practical linkages between the Departmental strategic plan and particularly Chapter 5 of the NDP which states that the transition to low-carbon economy and society will be informed by the need to reach consensus on the challenges and trade-offs involved in implementing climate change policies. In this respect, the Departments key priority of transitioning to a low carbon, climate resilient economy and sustainable society is most welcomed;
- The Portfolio Committee is also encouraged by the Department’s incorporation of its four new strategic goals to accommodate the transition to a society and economy which is internationally competitive, sustainable and equitable;
- The Portfolio Committee noted that the Department’s dashboard strategy did not explicitly show risk and mitigation factors in the dashboard, but it is satisfied that the risks and mitigation measures were rather embedded in the various components of the strategy, as stated during the presentations;
- The Portfolio Committee observed that the Department’s strategy did not clearly outline how the Department intended to interact and influence other Government departments, such as Energy, Minerals, Transport, etc. to achieve its mandate in transitioning to a low-carbon economy;
- The Portfolio Committee fully understood the financial and economic constraints faced by the country and appreciatively noted that the reduction of the departmental budget allocation over the medium term, would not have a negative impact on the service delivery priorities of the Department in the spirit of doing more with little;
- The Portfolio Committee also noted the necessity and the urgent need for the Department enforcement initiatives by the Department with regard to the implementation of air pollution regulatory framework, and encourages the Department to think broadly to link pollution that occurs in specific areas to particular sources of pollutants. This will make it possible to link specific industries and hold them accountable to the public health diseases that happen to our communities as a result of the industry’s actions. Currently, the Government is unable to identify and punish the polluting industries in certain areas, as their liability cannot be judicially established;
- The Portfolio Committee also noted the absence of a comprehensive study that outlines the impact of air pollution on human health and the natural environment, particularly in air pollution hotspots;
- The Portfolio Committee noted the effort that the Department makes in working with the industry to reduce South Africa’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and further encourages the Department to upscale its efforts in this regard, consistent with our international commitment to reduce GHG emissions below business-as-usual by 34 per cent by 2020 and 42 per cent by 2025. This interaction with industry and government as a whole, will give concrete meaning to Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as agreed to in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP20, last year in Lima, Peru and as to be reported in UNFCCC COP21 this year in Paris;
- The Portfolio Committee commended the Department’s view that the scope of the INDCs should include all elements agreed in Durban at UNFCCC COP17, comprising mitigation, adaptation, technology, capacity-building and transparency, not just mitigation, as advocated by some countries. The Committee encourages the Department to rally like-minded parties around its position, as nations prepare to submit their INDCs in preparation for UNFCCC COP21;
- The Portfolio Committee noted that the recycling industry in many parts of the world is growing fast and this boom in recycling industry is translating into sound social, environmental and economic benefits for society. Consequently, the Committee highly supports the Department’s plans to boost recycling industry to keep waste out of landfills and reduce health hazards in the process of creating green jobs in the waste sector;
- The Portfolio Committee observed the wildlife crime-control initiatives undertaken by the Department and relevant security agencies such as SAPS, including Hawks and Crime Intelligence; South African Revenue Services; Defence; and National Intelligence to stop local and international syndicates from poaching and killing our wildlife, particularly rhino’s. As a country, the third most biodiverse in the world, we owe it to future generations to protect and preserve our heritage. The Committee will engage with parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Police; Home Affairs; Defence; and Intelligence as well as their respective national Government departments and entities involved in wildlife protection in order to strengthen law enforcement capability;
- In decreasing the demand for the rhino horn in the international community, the Committee appreciates the steps taken by the government of Mozambique in establishing an Environmental Police Unit that would secure the margins of Transfrontier Park, on the side of Mozambique which Kruger National Park is part of. The Committee equally noted the commitment by the Mozambican government to remove the human settlements within the Transfrontier Park on the Mozambican side;
- The Portfolio Committee further noted the efforts that the other consumer countries such as Hong Kong and Vietnam are making notably by implementing awareness campaigns and responding to their reporting obligations under the CITES. This will also go a long way in the fight against the poaching and killing of our rhino species;
- The Portfolio Committee noted the plans and decisions of the Department and its entities to involve communities surrounding our parks, in real wildlife economic initiatives, notably the SANParks’ People and Parks Programme and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park’s co-management initiatives. These initiatives, apart from creating the necessary jobs in those communities, they also engender a sense that these parks also belong to our people and serve their interests;
- The Portfolio Committee also noted the Department’s and broader government plans to capitalise and ensure economic activities in our oceans and coasts. As evidenced by the Pakisa economic initiatives, this bold decision will drastically improve our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ensure creation of jobs, which are highly needed in the country;
- The increase in the number of Enforcement Monitoring Inspectors (EMIs) will translate in the timeous prosecution of those who disregard our environment laws. It will be a serious deterrent to any acts of impunity from the side of industry and the public sector with regard to our environmental frameworks;
- The Portfolio Committee noted the Department’s efforts in putting together the coordinated and integrated permitting system that will come into effect this year. It further noted the scope of the permitting system that covers air, EIA and waste, but currently excludes the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPs) Regulations, which account for the CITES species;
- The Portfolio Committee appreciated the appointment of Green Scorpions at the entry points at the O.R Tambo International Airport as well the Kruger National Park to strengthen our law enforcement efforts against illicit practices; and wildlife crime; and
- The Environmental Programmes in the Department continue to be a buffer against environmental degradation as well as removal of invasive alien species from our environmental ecosystem. These programmes, apart from capacity they possess to skill the unskilled youth, they also contribute in ensuring livehoods for the individuals and the families of those who participates in them. They are therefore, not only an important environment protection mechanism but they also are a major job creator, within our Expanded Public Works Programme that is worth noting.
4.1. South African National Parks (SANParks)
- The Portfolio Committee noted the improvement on access to the national parks. However, there is a need to increase access figures and link the surrounding communities with parks’ activities;
- The Portfolio Committee appreciated the concept of Transfrontier Parks and considers them as a significant tool in adapting to the threats that climate change poses to our network of protected areas. It is in this respect the Committee encouraged the Department (as well as SANParks) to step up the coordination of law enforcement efforts with other security agencies to discourage ongoing security infiltration of our borders and effectively tackle the concentration of poachers in the vicinity of the Kruger National Park;
- The Portfolio Committee noted the introduction of education programmes for consumer countries, in the Far East such as Vietnam as positive step for the rhino demand reduction;
- The Portfolio Committee welcomed the installation of early warning technologies to detect poachers in the parks, particularly in Kruger National Park;
- The Portfolio Committee encouraged the Department, SANParks and relevant security cluster Department relevant security clusters to conduct joint security patrols between South Africa and Mozambique border, and further noted with encouragement the Department’s interaction with their Mozambican counterparts to effectively counteract wildlife crimes, particularly the poaching of the rhino species;
- The Portfolio Committee expressed concern on the slow implementation of employment equity targets for women and people with disabilities, particularly by the SANParks and SAWS, after 21 years into democracy;
- The Portfolio Committee welcomed the staff morale and support programmes implemented by SANParks for rangers and their families, including accommodation, recreation, psychological and legal support; and
- The Portfolio Committee further welcomed the Energy saving initiatives implemented in SANParks.
4.2. South African Weather Service (SAWS)
- The South African Weather Service (SAWS) initial presentation did not reflect broadly their planned targets for the 2015/16 and over the medium term, and hence the Committee requested SAWS to return with a revised presentation;
- It is the only entity that provides severe weather warning in the country and therefore its importance cannot be overemphasized. Its revised APPs and budget gave a clear and unambiguous goals and indications of how they intend meeting their constitutional mandate;
- SAWS is also very important for our aviation as well as certain key industries, including agriculture and construction. For our airlines to fly to any destination, it is imperative for them to know the weather conditions they will be flying in to avoid any accidents and fatalities. Similarly, for industry both agriculture and construction, to engage in any industrial planning and activities, knowledge of actual weather is of critical importance;
- The Portfolio Committee encouraged the Department to ensure that SAWS does not experience budget cuts, considering the entity’s significant infrastructure investment and maintenance, including radar networks; and
- The Portfolio Committee commends SAWS enhanced regional support to all Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in providing capacity building on weather forecasting and related activities through various courses to scientists.
4.3. iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso)
- The annual performance plans of iSimangaliso clearly articulated and highlighted the priorities of the entity to protect and conserve isimangaliso as a world class heritage site;
- The Portfolio Committee considers the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority’s plan to increase revenue sharing with the land claimants very innovative and encourages other protected area management authorities/agencies to implement this benefit-sharing initiative in the running of their protected areas where communities have a stake to enhance the sense of ownership;
- The Portfolio Committee commended the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority for their good work, but it was concerned about the two weeks reporting of incidents , particularly, the poaching and illegal developments incidents in the Park; and
- The entity was encouraged to package and brand their Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan documents better.
4.4. South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
- The Portfolio Committee having considered the Annual Performance Plans of SANBI, it was satisfied that the priorities of our country to protect and conserve our biodiversity flora and fauna, will continue to be met by SANBI;
- The Portfolio Committee congratulated the SANBI’s Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for being presented with the Garden of the Year Award at the 2015 International Garden Tourism Awards, held in Toronto, Canada; and
- The Portfolio Committee also noted SANBIs continuous and proactive management of scientific biodiversity information and knowledge.
5. Committee Conclusions and Recommendations
Having considered the strategic plans, annual performance plans and budget allocations of the Department and its entities, the Committee recommends the following:
- The Portfolio Committee welcomes the linkages between the Department’s budgetary planning and disbursement of funds with its new four strategic goals and priorities;
- The Portfolio Committee notes that the 2030 Vision of the NDP has informed the Department’s strategic priorities, annual performance plans and its seven programmes as well as its four entities;
- The four key strategic goals of the Department are able to ensure coordination and collaboration within all seven programmes of the Department as well as its four entities in meeting the constitutional mandate of the Department as stated in Section 24 (b) of the Constitution, which states that all South Africans have the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of the present and future generations through relevant legislation;
- The annual performance plans and strategic priorities of the Department and its four entities are a testimony and clear indication by our government to meet its constitutional mandate of protecting the rights of all South Africans from an environment that is harmful to their health or wellbeing and a clear measurable commitment to have the environment protected for the benefit of the present and future generations;
- The commitment by the Department to work with industry to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2025, is again an indication of the respect our country has for international agreements on climate change;
- There is an urgent need for the Department to undertake or commission studies to determine the externalities of air pollution in priority areas to particularly assess economic costs (e.g., loss of life, wage losses, decline in agricultural productivity, etc.); social costs (medical services costs and loss of life expectancy); and environmental costs, that is, damage to the various components of ecosystems;
- The Portfolio Committee will conduct a follow up visit to the Kruger National Park and spend more time to ascertain whether what they undertook to do, with regard to the protection of rhino species in particular, has been implemented;
- The Portfolio Committee recommends that SANParks should consider increasing its employment targets for women and people with disabilities, consistent with the existing employment equity legislation.
- There is an urgent need for a broad and coordinated parliamentary engagement on rhino poaching with the parliamentary portfolio committees on Home Affairs, Intelligence, Defence and Police in a meeting to produce a parliamentary response to the ongoing onslaught on our rhino population;
- The Portfolio Committee will also interact with its counterparts in Mozambique, Vietnam, and other rhino horn consumer countries, in coordinated and intra-parliamentary effort to curb the continuing poaching and killing of our rhino species;
- The Portfolio Committee acknowledges the incredible work done in the ‘’Working For’’ programmes, especially the Working on Fire in stopping the fires in Cape Town recently. These programmes are not only important for the protection of our environment but also for the wellbeing of our communities, livelihoods of the individuals involved and their families; and
- The Portfolio Committee recommends that the rerouting of funds generated from the plastic bags levy and other environmentally-related levies towards environmental protection, should be considered. Therefore, the Portfolio Committee will approach the National Treasury on this matter.
The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs recommends to the House to adopt the Department of Environmental Affairs Budget Vote 27 budget allocation for 2015/16 financial year, with the allocation of R5 947 989 billion.
Report to be considered.
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