ATC180510: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs on the Strategic Plan 2018/19—2020/21, Annual Performance Plans (Apps) 2018/19 and the Budget Vote 27 of the Department of Environmental Affairs (Dea) and The Entities: the South African Weather Service (Saws), South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi), Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authrority and the South African National Parks (Sanparks), dated 10 May 2018.

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2018/19—2020/21, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLANS (APPS) 2018/19 AND THE BUDGET VOTE 27 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS (DEA) AND THE ENTITIES: THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE (SAWS), SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY INSTITUTE (SANBI), ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK AUTHRORITY AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS (SANPARKS), DATED 10 MAY 2018.

 

  1. Background

 

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, and in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (Act No 32 of 2003), reports as follows:

 

  1. Introduction

 

On 20, 27, 28 March and 17 April 2018, the Portfolio Committee invited the Department as well as the entities reporting to it, namely, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), South African Weather Services (SAWS), iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA) 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 the 2018/19 financial year as well as medium term expenditure framework allocations for 2018/19 and 2019/20, respectively.

 

  1. Overview of the Department of Environment Affairs and its Entities

 

The mandate of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is to ensure the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources, balanced with sustainable development and the equitable distribution of the benefits derived from natural resources for current and future generations. This is to be achieved while giving effect to the right of the nation to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing as stated in section 24(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 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.

It is in this context that the Department embraces the value of being proactive in fostering innovative thinking and solutions to environmental management, premised on an anthropocentric approach that recognises the centrality of people in all the facets of environmental management.[1]

 

Moreover, placing people at the centre of environmental management is critical for sustainable management and also for ensuring the integrity of measures that are put in place to secure the protection and sustainability of the nation’s environmental assets. It is important that the Department is a high performance-driven organisation and serves with integrity, as the custodian and ambassador for South Africa’s environment that should be bequeathed to future generations in a manner that encourages its sustainability indefinitely.

 

  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.

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 the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso), the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), South African National Parks (SANParks), and the South African Weather Service (SAWS). It is noteworthy that the main activities of the Department are divided into seven programmes, comprising the following:

 

Programme 1: Administration provides leadership, strategic centralised administration and executive support, corporate services and facilitates effective cooperative governance, international relations and environmental education and awareness.

 

Programme 2: Legal, Authorisations, Compliance and Enforcement (LACE) promotes the development of an enabling legal regime, licensing and authorisation system that ensures enforcement and compliance.

 

Programme 3: Oceans and Coasts promotes, manages and provides strategic leadership on oceans and coastal conservation, including relevant research and specialist services, as they pertain to the costal and oceans environment.

 

Programme 4: Climate Change and Air Quality Management formulates policies, administers legislation and implements systems to improve regulation, monitoring and compliance over climate change and air quality. This Programme improves air and atmospheric quality, leads and supports, informs, monitors and reports efficient and effective international, national and significant provincial and local responses to climate change through the South African Weather Service.

 

Programme 5: Biodiversity and Conservation ensures the regulation and management of all biodiversity, natural heritage and conservation matters in a manner that facilitates sustainable economic growth and development.

 

Programme 6: Environmental Programmes is the largest departmental programme (in terms of budget allocation) and deals with the implementation of expanded public works programme and green economy projects in the environmental sector.

 

Programme 7: Chemicals and Waste Management manages and ensures that chemicals and waste management policies and legislation are implemented and enforced in compliance with chemicals and waste management authorisations, directives and agreements.

 

  1. linkages between the Departmental Priorities and the National Development Plan Vision 2030

 

The National Development Plan (NDP) Vision is that by 2030, South Africa’s transition to an environmentally sustainable, climate-change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society will be well underway. To achieve this requires, first and foremost, attaining of the NDP outcomes relating to the transformation of society and an economy, which is internationally competitive, equitable, job creating and sustainable (resilient, green and low-carbon), inter alia. Thus, the NDP explicitly acknowledges that the transition to an environmentally sustainable future, which is carbon constrained would require the decoupling of economic growth from natural resource degradation and depletion. There is therefore a need to build human capital and technological base for implementation of programmes that will grow the economy without increasing South Africa’s emissions profile.

 

The strategic priorities of the NDP that directly bear on the work of the Department are as follows:

 

  • Ecosystems are sustained and natural resource are used efficiently;
  • An effective climate change mitigation and adaptation response;
  • An environmentally sustainable, low-carbon economy, resulting from a well-managed just transition;
  • Enhanced governance systems and capacity; and
  • Sustainable human communities.

 

Consequently, the Department’s key outcomes in respect to the NDP’s include the following:

 

  • Environmental Economic Contribution Optimised: This entails facilitating sustainable socio-economic growth and development by catalysing, optimising and scaling up the contribution of the environmental sector to economic prosperity;
  • Ecological Integrity Safeguarded and Enhanced: To realise this key outcome requires the Department to provide leadership in promoting and ensuring environmental sustainability through the management, utilisation, conservation, protection and valuing of the Republic’s natural resources;
  • Socially Transformed and Transitioned Communities: The Department envisages driving socio-economic transformation and transition by optimising the fair and equitable sharing of benefits and enabling social development; and
  • Global Agenda Influenced and Global and Local Obligations Met: The Department would play a significant role in ensuring that international cooperation that it engages in is supportive of South Africa’s environmental and/or sustainable development priorities. This is indeed a noble objective, considering that the impacts of environmental disturbances do not recognise political boundaries or environmental improvements in a country do not only benefit the country where the improvements are made, particularly in terms of climate change mitigation as well as air and water pollution abatement. The ongoing biodiversity diplomacy in the southern African region and beyond, in minimising wildlife loss due to poaching, is a case in point.

 

3.1        Medium Term Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans (APPs) of the Department and its Entities for 2018/19

 

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.

 

To account for the Department’s strategic role, including the above, the Portfolio Committee received briefings on 20, 27, 28 March and 17 April 2018, from the Department and its entities on their strategic plans, annual performance plans and budget for the 2018/19 financial year. 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 (APPs) documents and also to determine whether the budget is aligned with the Government’s strategic priorities for the current 2018/19 financial year, as informed by the NDP.

 

This report, therefore, details the findings and recommendations of the Portfolio Committee after its engagement with the Department and its entities on the matters outlined above. In addition to the 2018/19 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 2018/19—2020/21;
  • The Annual Performance Plan of the Department for 2018/19; and
  • The Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans for 2018/19 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).
    1. 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.

 

  1. Departmental Strategic Goals

 

The Department’s strategic goals over the medium term are to:

 

  • Ensure Environmental Economic Contribution is optimised to facilitate sustainable socio-economic growth and development by catalysing, optimising and scaling up contribution of the environmental sector to economic prosperity, thereby 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 effective 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 invasive species);
  • Socially transform and transition communities to enable 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;
  • 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Budget allocation to the Department and its Entities

 

The 2018/19 Budget allocations to the above seven departmental programmes are contained in the following Table 1 that compares the current Budget (2018/19) with the previous one (2017/18). Overall, the Department received a nominal increase of about R265 million in the current 2018/19 financial (R7.1 billion) relative to the past 2017/18 financial year when the Department received R6.8 billion. This reflected a 3.66-per cent nominal increase, whereas it translates into nearly a 1.55-per cent reduction in the budget allocated to the Department. In fact, what appears to be an increase is actually a significant budget reduction of about R106 million in real rand terms, meaning that the Department had more money in the past financial year than in the current year. This is of great concern, considering the mounting pressures that society exerts on the different facets of the South African environment. Evidently, the Department is implementing cost-containment measures to ensure that the reductions do not adversely affect service delivery and the core mandate of the Department. It is thus not unexpected that the Administration Programme, the Chemicals and Waste Management Programme and the Biodiversity and Conservation Programme are the three departmental programmes that realised positive budget allocation both in terms of nominal and real terms, as indicated in the following Table 1 below.

 

The Biodiversity and Conservation Programme received a favourable budget allocation in the current 2018/19 relative to the past 2017/18 financial year. The allocation reflected a nominal increase of R76.9 million and a real increase of R36.6 million, respectively. Notwithstanding, three sub-programmes (Protected Areas Systems Management, iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority and the South African National Parks) experienced real reductions of R14 million, R3.4 million and R8.5 million, which are of concern, especially considering the critical role of these three sub-programmes in sustaining the country’s biodiversity. The need for a progressive budget allocation to the two conservation-focused entities of the Department are further elucidated below in the section that deals with “Transfers to the Four Departmental Entities”, including Table 2.

 

Conversely, the Legal, Authorisations, Compliance and Enforcement saw just over five per cent nominal increase, but reveals a real decline when compared to the past year’s budget allocation. It ought to be recalled that the Department has a duty to enforce compliance with all environmental legislation that descend from the section 24(b) of the South African Constitution. The Department does this via the LACE Programme, which should receive appropriate allocations to its different sub-programmes due to the ongoing multifaceted pressures on the environment, mainly originating from poachers, mining, industrial pollution, agriculture, urbanisation and climate change, among others. However, the LACE Programme received a nominal increase of R9.5 million, which in real terms shows a reduction of R400 000 in the current budget relative to the 2017/18 budget allocation to the same Programme. Only one sub-programme (Compliance Monitoring) out of six achieved a real increase; two (Legal, Authorisations, Compliance and Enforcement & Corporate Legal Support and Litigation) attained zero increase, meaning their respective allocations are the same as last year; and three (Integrated Environmental Authorisations, Corporate Legal Support and Litigation & Law Reform and Appeals) experienced reductions.

 

This trend in budget reductions in real terms in the current financial year affects other departmental programmes such as the Oceans and Coasts Programme, Climate Change and Air Quality as well as the Environmental Programmes. Accordingly, three departmental programmes received more allocation than the past financial year and four departmental programmes are worse off in the 2018/19 financial year. It is worrying that the Department’s ability to perform may face more budgetary constraints in the 2018/19 year relative to the past few years due to mounting pressures on ever-diminishing, limited environmental resources across the different components.

 

Table 1: Departmental Budget allocation trend (2018/19—2020/21)

Programme

Budget (millions)

Nominal Rand change

Real Rand change

Nominal % change

Real % change

R million

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2017/18-2018/19

2017/18-2018/19

Administration

863.0

941.8

1 021.9

1 090.1

78.8

29.7

9.13

3.44

Legal, Authorisations, Compliance and Enforcement

179.8

189.3

203.5

217.2

9.5

-0.4

5.28

-0.21

Oceans and Coasts

468.5

492.0

508.1

538.7

23.5

-2.1

5.02

-0.46

Climate Change and Air Quality

294.9

294.5

305.7

323.8

-0.4

-15.8

-0.14

-5.34

Biodiversity and Conservation

696.5

773.4

800.1

845.8

76.9

36.6

11.04

5.25

Environmental Programmes

3 928.2

3 871.3

4 107.0

4 334.5

-56.9

-258.7

-1.45

-6.59

Chemicals and Waste Management

417.3

550.3

585.6

619.1

133.0

104.3

31.87

25.00

TOTAL

6 848.2

7 112.6

7 531.9

7 969.2

264.4

-106.4

3.86

-1.55

 

Source: National Treasury (2018) Estimates of National Expenditure. National Treasury, Pretoria.

 

  1. Transfers to the Four Departmental Entities

 

Departmental transfers to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority and the South African National Parks (SANParks) were reduced in real terms by R3.4 million and R8.5 million, which are of concern, especially considering the critical role of these entities in sustaining the country’s biodiversity. The shortfall in departmental transfer to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority is expected to be mitigated by commercial revenue from park entry fees, concession fees from accommodation and licence fees from tourism activities, which are expected to increase at an average annual rate of 6.2 per cent, from R18.4 million in 2017/18 to R22 million in 2020/21. The completion of ongoing park infrastructure improvements are expected to enhance the Park Authority’s capacity to attract tourists and hence generate revenue. Similarly, the reduction in the departmental transfer to SANParks is expected to be counterbalanced by the income that parks derive from tourism. It is stated that fighting poaching crimes, particularly rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park and abalone in Western Cape, remains a top priority for the parks. Consequently, additional amounts of R104 million for combatting wildlife crime and R66.8 million for marine protection have been provided by the Department over the medium term. However, it is not immediately clear how much of these additional allocations is available for rhino and marine species protection in the current financial year.

 

It is further worth noting that the Waste Management Bureau, which was established in 2016 in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Management Act (2014), is tasked with promoting and facilitating the minimisation, reuse, recycling and recovery of waste by providing specialist advice and support for the development of integrated waste management plans for industry and municipalities. The Bureau is also tasked with monitoring the implementation of industry waste management plans and managing the disbursement of revenue generated from charges for waste management. To carry out these and other related responsibilities and associate activities, the Bureau receives an allocation of R1.2 billion over the medium-term.[2]

 

Table 2: Current transfers to the four departmental Entities relative to the past 2018/19 financial year.

Departmental Entities

Budget

(R million)

Nominal change

Real change

Nominal % change

Real %

change

 

2017/18

2018/19

2018/19

2018/19

2018/19

2018/19

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority

34.5

32.8

-1.7

-3.4

-4.93

-9.88

South African National Parks

285.3

292.0

6.7

-8.5

2.35

-2.99

South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

249.9

325.8

75.9

58.9

30.37

23.58

South African Weather Service (SAWS)

205.5

200.0

-5.5

-15.9

-2.68

-7.75

 

Source: National Treasury (2018) Estimates of National Expenditure. National Treasury, Pretoria.

 

  1. Strategic Priorities per Programme for 2018/19

 

The Department has demonstrated that it was fully capacitated as it spent 99.7 per cent of its allocated budget for the 2016/17 financial year. However, the Department has not tabled its Annual Report to Parliament on time for the past two consecutive years, as a result of not adhering to the application of the Modified Cash Standard (MCS), in respect to DEA’s Programme 6. This led to the unavailability for consideration of the Annual Report of the Department during the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) process for the past two consecutive years.

 

Programme 1: Administration

 

The purpose of the Administration Programme is to provide leadership, strategic centralised 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 2018/19 – 2020/21 period include:

  • Enhanced environmental sector performance and profile;
  • Facilitate intergovernmental planning, implementation and monitoring with the aim to improve sector performance (local government support);
  • Improved stakeholder engagement/participation, education and awareness initiatives (environmental behavioural change);
  • A capable and efficient Department by improving departmental service delivery capacity and capabilities through the creation of:
  • Creation of secure, harmonious and conducive working environment;
  • Adequate, appropriately skilled workforce acutely aware of employment equity requirements needed;
  • Equitable and sound corporate governance;
  • Efficient and effective information technology systems; and
  • Enhanced international cooperation supportive of South Africa’s environmental and sustainable development priorities and resource mobilisation.

 

The Department plans to achieve the above-mentioned strategic objectives by, inter alia:

  • Obtain an unqualified audit opinion without any matter of emphasis;
  • Achieve 98 per cent budget expenditure by the end of 2018/19 financial year;
  • Achieve 65 per cent of expenditure on affirmative procurement;
  • Mobilise US$20 million in 2018/19 from international donors to support South Africa’s and African environmental programmes;
  • Have DEA’s Expansion Plan approved;
  • One project in the TFCA investment catalogue funded;
  • Reduce the vacancy rate to eight per cent;
  • Implement two Human Resource Development Plan interventions, including the recruitment of 100 interns and issuing of 70 bursaries;
  • Increase employment equity targets for women in senior management and people living with disabilities to 50 per cent and two per cent, respectively;
  • Process and resolve disciplinary cases within 90 days;
  • Finalise the online Oceans and Coasts Information Management System and three set of decision support tools;
  • Conduct 40 community outreach engagements, and three environmental awareness campaigns implemented per quarter, namely rhino, waste management and ocean economy;
  • Implement 100 per cent annual action plan for Local Government Support Strategy;
  • Recruit 100 unemployed youth and implementing learnership programmes;
  • Conduct 16 Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) sessions;
  • Commission one integrated environmental sustainability systematic policy research project;
  • Develop and implement Environmental and knowledge management tools, namely a web-based climate change monitoring and evaluation system; one spatial tool for mining and biodiversity; and finalisation of the testing of the South African environmental meta database Phase II;
  • Develop and approve 12 South Africa’s International Environmental and Sustainable Development negotiating positions for Climate Change (two) Biodiversity (seven) Chemicals and Waste (1) and High level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (two);
  • Publish the South African Environmentally Sustainable Development Indicators Policy makers Outlook;
  • Prepare and submit within required timeframes to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation mandatory international reports; and
  • Table the 2017/18 National Environmental Management Act, Section 26 Report at Parliament.

 

The Department noted the following challenges for all of its seven programmes, with a minor deviation in the Oceans and Coasts Programme:

 

  • Human resources-related concerns, especially in securing cooperation from internal stakeholders on the implementation of controls; and
  • Human and financial resources/cooperation from key stakeholders (e.g., municipalities).

 

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 authorisation system that promotes enforcement and compliance with relevant environmental legislation.

 

The strategic objectives for this Programme are to:

  • Improve compliance with environmental legislation by ensuring effective compliance and enforcement;
  • Coherent and aligned multi-sector regulatory system and decision support across government;
  • Manage threats to environmental quality and integrity; and
  • Strengthen knowledge, science and policy interface.

 

Through this Programme, the Department aims to:

 

  • Maintain the percentage of administrative enforcement actions, resulting in compliance at 75 per cent, consistent with the estimated performance in the past (2017/18) financial year;
  • Issue 220 administrative enforcement notices for non-compliance with environmental legislation;
  • Increase the number of criminal cases finalised, with dockets handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) from 31 in 2016/17 to 44 in 2018/19;
  • Maintain 155 inspections of environmental authorisations;
  • Conduct 55 joint compliance operations;
  • Train 720 officials in environmental compliance and enforcement;
  • Implement one Annual Action Plan for protection and management of Rhino populations;
  • Develop two legislative interventions for generic electricity grid infrastructure EMPr and recommendations for NEMA/SEMA are aligned;
  • Finalise the minimum environmental requirements for preparation of SDFs for incorporation into SPLUMA;
  • Finalise the shale gas Strategic Assessment; and
  • Implement the Environmental Sustainability policy action plan (Phase II- 12).

 

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 2018/19 financial year include:

  • Threats to environmental quality and integrity managed;
  • Strengthening knowledge, science and policy interface; and
  • Ecosystems conserved, managed and sustainably used.

 

Through this Programme, the Department aims to:

 

  • Implement the National Coastal Management Programme interventions. This will be done by finalising the Draft Hotspot Identification Report (coastal vulnerability) and the ICM Act requirements for coastal management lines incorporated into one National Park Management Plan;
  • Implement coastal water quality guidelines;
  • Submit Antarctic Strategy to Cabinet for gazetting;
  • Marine Spatial Planning Bill submitted to NCOP and National Assembly for adoption;
  • Develop one sub-regional plan;
  • Conduct population estimates of eight mainland sea bird breeding species, plus one sub-Antarctic sea bird conducted;
  • Compile synopsis Report on the distribution and state of South African seal population;
  • Review top predator studies (over the last decade);
  • Review plankton monitoring approach;
  • Peer-review Research Report on the Effectiveness of MPAs;
  • Survey three priority areas (Kei Estuary, West Coast Offshore & Orange River Estuary);
  • Produce 18 peer-reviewed scientific publications;
  • Undertake three relief voyages to the Marion islands, Gough and SANAE;
  • Service three Moorings deployed over last three years on SAMBA and ASCA lines and undertake the second multidisciplinary Indian Ocean Research Cruise IIOE2;
  • Compile the baseline assessment Report for the Estuary Management Plan;
  • Declare 18 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs);
  • Implement the Policy on Boat Based Whale Watching and White Shark Cage Diving and issue permits quarterly;
  • Develop three Estuary Management Plans; and
  • Implement the National Oceans and Coasts Water Quality Programme in ten priority areas for the four coastal provinces; namely: Eastern Cape (3), KZN (3) WC (3) and NC (1).

 

The Department noted the following challenges under this Programme:

 

  • Obtaining the necessary human and financial resources in implementing the various activities; and
  • Ship availability in the case of estimating top predators, ocean and coastal research, and survey and monitoring of projects undertaken.

 

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 2018/19 financial year include:

  • Coherent and aligned multi-sector regulatory system and decision support across government;
  • Threats to environmental quality and integrity managed; and
  • Minimising negative impacts on health and/or well-being.

 

Through this Programme the Department aims to:

 

  • Gazette the National Climate Change Response Bill for public comments;
  • Implement the National Framework for Climate Services;
  • Implement the National Framework for Climate Services and produce the associate Annual Plan Report;
  • Approve the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and action plan;
  • Implement the Provincial Situational Analysis and Needs Assessment (SANAs) Annual Plan and compile the associated report;
  • Update the Draft Mitigation Potential Analysis for 2018;
  • Process and finalise 50 per cent carbon budgets PPP within the required timeframes;
  • Develop the Final low GHG Emissions Development Strategy;
  • Produce four Green Economy and Green Fund Quarterly Implementation Reports;
  • Increase the National Air Quality Indicator from 1.20 to 1.15;
  • Produce four Climate Change flagships quarterly implementation reports;
  • Implement annual plan to support Climate Change Adaptation Sector Plans for six sectors;
  • Ensure that 80 government-owned air quality monitoring stations report to the South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS) and 80 per cent of facilities with AELs reporting to the NAES;
  • Implement annual air quality management plans for Highveld, Vaal Triangle Airshed and Waterberg-Bojanala priority areas;
  • Compile Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation Report; and
  • Draft 2000-2017 GHG inventory report.

 

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 Authority also contribute to this Programme.

 

The strategic objectives of this Programme include:

 

  • Coherent and aligned multi sector regulatory system and decision support across government;
  • Ecosystems conserved, managed and sustainably used;
  • Improved access, fair and equitable sharing of benefits; and
  • Strengthened knowledge, science and policy interface.

 

Through this Programme, the Department intends to:

 

  • Revise the National Biodiversity Framework and submitted to Cabinet for approval;
  • Publish the NEM Biodiversity Amendment Bill for public comments;
  • Publish the regulations for the domestic trade in rhinoceros’ horn/products for implementation;
  • Implement the one priority action of the regional engagement strategy for biosafety and conduct a regional risk assessment workshop;
  • Gazette draft amendments of norms and standards for the management of elephants for public participation;
  • Finalise draft regulations for the domestic trade of rhinoceros’ horn/products;
  • Draft notice for prohibition of the powdering or shaving of rhinoceros’ horn and domestic trade finalized for approval;
  • Implement the Annual Plan for People and Parks Conference Resolutions;
  • Identify and map two million hectares of Biodiversity Economy Land for transformation;
  • Develop three implementation plans for the National Biodiversity Economy Nodes;
  • Implementation of four biodiversity economy initiatives;
  • Approve five benefit-sharing agreements;
  • Secure funding and 10 business plans for biodiversity economy proposals in support of wildlife economy vision 2024, which will result in a total of 50 by 2019/20;
  • Increase the land under conservation by 13.2 per cent (16 492 882 ha/121 991 200ha);
  • Assess to ensure that 77 per cent of state-managed protected areas have METT score above 67 per cent;
  • Convene Research Indaba and the Annual Report on the Implementation of Biodiversity Research Strategy;
  • 500 hectares of land for indigenous species identified and cultivated;
  • National Game donation for transformation in the wildlife sector approved;
  • Train 200 biodiversity entrepreneurs in the 2018/19 financial year;
  • Conduct and implement three initiatives of BioPANZA; and
  • Establish the Biodiversity Economy Sector Transformation Charter.

 

Programme 6: Environmental Programmes

 

The purpose of this Programme is to ensure the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) that has important implications for the environment and to conceptualise and implement green economy projects in the environmental sector.

 

The strategic objectives of this Programme for the 2018/19 financial year are to:

 

  • Improve socio-economic benefits;
  • To ensure that ecosystems are conserved, managed and sustainably used;
  • Threats to environmental quality and integrity managed;
  • Enhanced sector monitoring and evaluation.

 

Through this Programme, the Department intends to:

 

  • Create 39 991 full time equivalent (FTEs) jobs in 2018/19;
  • Create 75 043 work opportunities, 55 per cent of those opportunities being accessed by women and 65 per cent by youth;
  • Maintain the number of youth benefiting from various Environmental Programmes at 48 778;
  • Support 2 400 SMMEs: wildlife economy, ocean economy and Environmental Programmes;
  • Establish 38 overnight visitor and staff accommodation units;
  • Create 153 862 accredited training person days;
  • Finalise and coordinate four flagship programmes by drafting three climate change policy flagship business plans;
  • Rehabilitate 155 wetlands;
  • Restore 32 192 hectares of land and 2 116 kilometres of accessible coastal line cleared;
  • Target for early detection 70 invasive alien species;
  • Clear 189 155 hectares of invasive alien plants;
  • Follow-up treatment of 625 932 hectares of land cleared of invasive alien species;
  • Suppress 90 per cent of the wildfire incidents;
  • Finalise the third SAEO Report;
  • Review and publish the fact sheets for the prioritised environmentally development indicators; and
  • Submit to management the six emerging issue response options.

 

 

 

 

 

Programme 7: Chemicals 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 2018/19 financial year are to:

 

  • Manage threats to environmental quality and integrity;
  • Minimise negative impacts on health and wellbeing;
  • Coherent and aligned multi-sector regulatory system and decision support across government;
  • Enhanced sector monitoring and evaluation; and
  • Growth in industries that depend on environmental services.

 

Through this Programme, the Department plans to:

 

  • Finalise PCB phase out plan for municipalities;
  • Finalise the National Chemicals Management Policy for submission to Cabinet;
  • Update the National Waste Management Strategy;
  • Develop the norms and standards for the management of abattoir waste;
  • Finalise the national survey for waste disposal;
  • Assess three industry waste management plans for Executive Authority decision (e-waste, paper and packaging);
  • Increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfill by 60 per cent in the 2016/17 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 12 unlicensed waste disposal facilities in the 2017/18 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 2017/18 financial year;
  • Develop Draft Mercury Management National Action Plan for the Minamata Convention;
  • Develop the register for industrial chemicals;
  • Develop the National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention;
  • Conduct 25 environmental performance assessments;
  • Divert 30 per cent of waste tyres to the landfill sites;
  • Ensure that 400 micro-collectors and waste pickers benefited from waste recycling;
  • Publish the State of the Waste Report; and
  • Create 1 000 jobs in the sector in this financial year.

 

  1. Entities reporting to the Department

 

5.1  South African Weather Service (SAWS)

 

The South African Weather Service (saws) is a section 3a entity established in terms of the South African Weather Service Act (Act No 8 of 2001) as amended, Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and associated treasury regulations.

 

Accordingly, SAWS mandate is to provide two distinct services, i.e., the public good service, which is funded by the Government of South Africa and commercial services where the user-pays principle applies. This entails:

 

  • Maintaining, extending and improving the quality of meteorological services and ambient air quality-related information services for the benefit of all South Africans;
  • Provide public good services and commercial services to all South Africans;
  • Ensure ongoing collection of meteorological and ambient air quality data over South Africa and surrounding southern oceans for the use by current and future generations;
  • Be the long-term custodian of reliable national climatological and ambient air quality record;
  • As the Aviation Meteorological Authority, to fulfil the international obligations of the government under the Convention of the World Meteorological Organisation;
  • Provide services that are sensitive to the demographic realities of the country;
  • Fulfil such other weather-related or ambient air quality information and international obligations as the Minister may direct; and
  • Be the custodian of the SAAQIS.

 

  1. Alignment with the Government Priorities

 

The mandate of SAWS is aligned with the following Government priorities:

 

  • SAWS focuses its attention on enabling the National Development Plan Vision 2030 through enabling communities to become more agile in terms of climate change and weather responsiveness;
  • The meteorological and climatological scientific research and analysis contribute to national policy development and implementation;
  • National Climate Change Response Policy, leading the early Warning Systems enhancement;
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Projects;
  • The long term Adaptation Scenarios used nationally and within the region;
  • Resolving energy challenge (e.g., through the development of the South African Wind Atlas);
  • Growing the Ocean Economy, including Coastal Tourism; and
  • National Framework for Climate Services.

 

The strategic goals and objectives for the 2018/19 financial year include:

 

  • Integrated Services Strategy (ISS) aimed at developing client-centric, innovative and quality products and services;
  • The development and implementation of a sustainable revenue strategy (Business Model);
  • The acquisition, optimisation and maintenance of world class infrastructure;
  • The identification and engagement with strategic partner’s/service providers for specified services in order to establish a competitive advantage;
  • Compliance with designated national and international standards;
  • Effective stakeholder engagement to foster brand awareness and quality client service;
  • Attraction, development and retention of a competent workforce;
  • The development and implementation of a fit-for-purpose organisational structure; and
  • The provision of conducive and adequate workspace that maximises productivity.

 

For the 2018/19 financial year, the South African Weather Service priorities are to:

 

  • Provide 96 per cent radar data availability;
  • Provide 96 per cent of SAAQIS availability;
  • Provide optimal infrastructure and systems support in the development of advanced technologies for observations, information dissemination and exchange;
  • Ensure 100 per cent completion of community weather smart needs analysis report across all targeted communities for the development of products and services to improve weather resilience, including the development of the Public Good Strategy;
  • Provide one product or service for a community segment and maintain delivery of five existing products;
  • Provide three sector specific information to the market for agriculture, energy and water sectors;
  • Ensure 100 per cent completion of a 5-year marketing plan for climate and agricultural sector;
  • Maintain 80 per cent of radar data availability and 90 per cent SAAQIS availability;
  • Maintain 92 per cent employee retention rate for core and critical skills;
  • Develop the annual dual career path programme;
  • Implement and achieve 20 per cent of the doctoral programme annual milestones;
  • Increase employment equity rate as per the organisational EE Plan (74 per cent Africans, three per cent people with disabilities, 40 per cent women in core positions and 42 per cent in management);
  • Implement stakeholder engagement plan for national education plan;
  • Implement and achieve 80 per cent of annual targets of the Regional Training Centre;
  • Award 62 bursaries and absorb 60 per cent of bursars in the organisation;
  • Implement 80 per cent of Communications Strategy programmes;
  • Increase traffic volumes across media platforms by 10 per cent;
  • Implement 80 per cent of planned programme activities for all targeted stakeholder groups;
  • Implement three national frameworks for climate services for agriculture, energy and water and health;
  • Conclude one partnership that translates into applications or products for decision-making in modelling and forecasting system;
  • Publish 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles in accredited international journals where SAWS scientists are leading authors;
  • Grow aviation revenue to R188 million in 2017/18; and
  • Ensure that there is adequate funding for infrastructure life-cycle management, Aviation Master System Implementation Plan and Human Capital Requirements.

 

The SAWS Strategic Risks for the 2018/19 financial year include, amongst others:

 

  • Slow commercialisation of its products and services and inability to market effectively;
  • Lack of cutting edge technology, proliferation of foreign weatherApps for smart phones and their increasing usage in South Africa;
  • Increased competitors in the African market and limited customer base;
  • Inability to secure adequate funding from Government and other sources;
  • Inadequate maintenance of ICT services;
  • Limited attraction of critical skills and retention;
  • SAWS not positioned as key role player in Climate Change; and
  • Limited revenue streams.

 

 

 

 

  1. iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA)

 

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority in KwaZulu-Natal was established in 2002 in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act (Act No 49 of 1999), with the mandate to ensure that effective and active measures are 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.

 

  1. iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA) linkages with the NDP Vision 2030

 

The mandate of the IWPA is aligned with the following Chapters of the NDP:

 

  • Economy and Employment by reducing unemployment, increased GDP and broad ownership of assets;
  • Environmental Sustainability and Resilience through land and oceans protection, energy efficiency, zero emission building standards and investment in rural livehoods;
  • Social Protection by providing support through labour market initiatives such as EPWP, skills training and development;
  • Improving education, innovation and training;
  • Inclusive rural economy through tourism initiatives; and
  • Improving health care, prevent and reduce the burden of disease through deterring and treating of HIV/AIDS cases.

 

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority’s strategic goals for 2018/19 are:

 

  • Park operations to ensure the regulation and the management of the World Heritage values in a manner that facilitates sustainable economic growth and development;
  • Transformation to improve access to job and income generation opportunities for previously disadvantaged individuals and communities;
  • Commercialisation to position the Park as a premier tourism destination; and
  • Effective governance and administration to improve the framework for policy-making in iSimangaliso, promote innovative research that supports management objectives and develop, implement and maintain cost efficient and effective system that supports the execution of business processes.

 

 

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority priorities for 2018/19 are to:

 

  • Ensure that six Park meetings are attended with day-to-day conservation manager;
  • Complete six new audits;
  • Deploy 120 environmental monitors in the Park;
  • Follow-up treatment of 45 000 hectares of land from which invasive alien plants had been cleared;
  • Clean 320 kilometres of accessible coastline;
  • Increase the number of hectares burnt in controlled burning programme;
  • Process 80 applications in respect of developments in buffer zone;
  • 100 per cent legal action taken after the identification of illegal developments/activities;
  • 100 per cent completion of the annual infrastructure maintenance programme;
  • Conduct 60 annual stakeholder engagements, including Park forums;
  • Develop and implement the five-year Communication Strategy;
  • Host two community-based communication events;
  • Ensure that the World Heritage values are conserved by detecting poaching incidents and illegal developments;
  • Improve the number of full time equivalent jobs by 550 in the 2018/19 financial year;
  • Increase the number of training days to 4 800;
  • Provide 37 bursaries to deserving students;
  • Increase visitor numbers by 250 000;
  • Implement three annual Park events;
  • Obtain an unqualified audit opinion;
  • Maintain percentage of skills retention by 90 per cent;
  • Increase revenue to the Park from commercial sources by 20.7 million;
  • Implement the commercial development plan by 80 per cent;
  • Implement four annual marketing events and public relations programme;
  • Implement the Parks Monitoring Programme relating to the ecological health of Lake St Lucia;
  • Attract 5000 learners visiting the Park in this financial year;
  • Increase the number of BEEE SMMEs to 100; and
  • Implement plans to mitigate the impact of identified threats to rare and endangered species.

 

Strategic risks for iSimangaliso include:

 

  • Managing the impacts of a rapidly changing and increasing legal environment on service delivery and benefit sharing;
  • Incompatible land uses outside the Park impact on World Heritage values;
  • Inadequate funding secured for benefit-creating programmes; and
  • Limited skills in the area.

 

  1. 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 goals are to:

 

  • Render an effective and efficient corporate service;
  • Manage and unlock benefits of the network of National Botanical Gardens as windows to South Africa’s biodiversity;
  • Build the foundation for biodiversity science;
  • Assess, monitor and report on the state of biodiversity and increase knowledge for decision-making, including adaptation to climate change;
  • Provide biodiversity policy advice and access to biodiversity information;
  • Provide human capital development, education and awareness in response to SANBI’s mandate;
  • Manage and unlock the biodiversity conservation contributions and benefits of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa;

 

SANBI’s priorities for the 2018/19 financial year, are to:

  • Spend one per cent of payroll allocated on staff development;
  • Increase employment equity rate as per the organisational EE plan (50 per of female staff in senior and top management and three per cent people with disabilities, 45 per cent women in permanent and contract positions);
  • Increase revenue by three per cent (R2 660 792 million) generated on exchange transactions;
  • Ensure 90 per cent availability of SANBI’s ICT network and business services;
  • Implement effective, efficient and transparent supply chain financial management systems to maintain the unqualified financial statements;
  • Implement 100 per cent of risk action mitigation plans;
  • 100 per compliance, quarterly performance report monitored against the approved APPs, PFMA and ENE Reports;
  • Implement 102 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 or Millennium Seed Bank Partnerships;
  • Finalise the site development plan and cultural heritage survey for Thohoyandou Botanical Garden;
  • Finalise the Basic Assessment Report for Kwelerha National Botanical Garden for planned infrastructure developments and appoint the Environmental Officer;
  • Implement 45 maintenance/development projects and complete two SANBI capital infrastructure projects;
  • Increase visitor numbers annually by five per cent;
  • Compile information on 4 200 South African plants and update four ecosystem classification;
  • Finalise the addition of 56 000 biodiversity records to the database;
  • Publish 85 scientific research papers in accredited journals;
  • Conduct 65 risk analysis for invasive species;
  • Complete National Biodiversity Assessment Synthesis as well as non-detrimental findings for the scientific authority to support NEMBA regulations;
  • Produce two environmental support tools and three knowledge resources to support biodiversity informatics and biodiversity mainstreaming development;
  • Convene five learning or coordination events and four training sessions to share lessons learned in capacity development amongst provincial, municipal or other relevant decision-makers;
  • Ensure 100 per cent response within stipulated timeframes to relevant written requests from DEA and other organs of state;
  • Lessons learned and experiences arising from SANBI’s work as the National Implementing Entity for UN Convention on Climate Change Adaptation Fund are shared on four platforms;
  • Ensure that 15 universities participate in the biodiversity career programmes aimed at attracting young people into the sector;
  • 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;
  • Encourage 100 black biodiversity professionals to participate in structured internships and postgraduate studentships;
  • Ensure that 54 000 beneficiaries participate in the “Kids in Gardens” Programme and celebrate nine environmental theme days;
  • Facilitate and assess three new platforms;
  • Increase visitor numbers to 432 000 to the National Zoological Gardens; and
  • Publish five study books under PAAZA.

SANBI’s Strategic Risks encompassed the following:

 

  • Insufficient MTEF funding from the National Government;
  • Inadequate and critical failure of ICT infrastructure and services;
  • Skills shortage in critical areas; and
  • Negative impact of horticultural collections in the gardens due to water shortage.

 

  1. 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 develop, expand, manage and promote a system of sustainable national parks that represents the country’s biodiversity and heritage assets through innovation and best practice for the just and equitable benefit of current and future generations.

 

SANParks contributes to the following NDP priorities:

 

  • Economy and employment where SANParks plays a key role in employment creation through the implementation of EPWPs;
  • Economic infrastructure, where SANParks plans to spend more than R672 million on various infrastructure projects;
  • Inclusive rural economy, where SANParks contributes to rural development through corporate social investment initiatives and community development programmes in communities adjacent to national parks;
  • South Africa in the region and the world, in which case SANParks promotes regional corporation and promotes exchange of conservation expertise with countries such as Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia as well as beyond (e.g., the most recent transfer of six rhinos from South Africa to Chad);
  • Improving education training and innovation by implementing a comprehensive environmental programme, which sees over 200 000 learners to participate in the programme;
  • Building safer communities, as a major player in conservation management, where SANParks has a responsibility to protect natural resources under its management. This includes programmes to liquidate poaching of rhinos, elephants, abalone and cycads; and
  •  Building a capable and developmental state by contributing to transformation objectives of the country through the implementation of BEEE Charter. This includes skills development, enterprise development and preferential procurement programmes.

 

SANParks’ strategic priorities for the 2018/19 – 2020/21 are to:

 

  • Consolidate the land under conservation to 2 395 hectares, which leads to tourism opportunities;
  • Provide input on declarations relating to the establishment of MPAs;
  • Manage parks effectively (METT);
  • Reduce fossil fuel/energy and water use within parks by introducing water metres and solar energy in partnership with neighbouring communities;
  • Review the SANParks Management Plans for the Kruger and Richtersveld national parks;
  • Implementation of Black and White Rhino Strategy, especially anti-poaching activities;
  • Two per increase in arrests for key species;
  • Develop the cultural heritage resource and mobilisation strategy;
  • Champion South Africa’s and SANParks positive conservation influence in Africa through research and f peer-reviews, etc.;
  • Increase the gross operating tourism revenue by eight per cent (year-on-year) currently estimated at R 667 899 million;
  • Increase black visitor numbers to national parks by two per cent in this financial year plus four per cent on overnight;
  • Host the annual tourism investment summit to attract domestic emerging black markets and international investors;
  • Implement new revenue generating products, which will provide opportunities to black-owned and female-owned SMMEs;
  • Promote sustainable resource harvesting, such as through wildlife farming, aquaculture, honey bush and fynbos and medical plants;
  • Develop land claims beneficiation packages;
  • Support 400 SMMEs and ensure that they partake in the enterprise development incubation programmes, in this financial year;
  • Promote environmental education partnerships in science labs and libraries;
  • Host 80 000 visitors during the SANParks week;
  • Improve representative conservation estate to improve the conservation estate through effective and efficient management of national park systems;
  • Effectively manage ecosystem, species and cultural heritage assets to successfully manage sustainable ecosystem and cultural heritage resources;
  • Enhance tourism returns and diversify the visitor base;
  • Diversify and enhance tourism opportunities and experiences to attract and retain old and new markets by enhancing the Park-Visitor-Experience;
  • Optimise contribution to the green and blue economy to optimise the country’s contribution to community socio-economic development, job creation and efficient equity partnering;
  • Enhance awareness and skills to improve environmental awareness amongst communities through targeted SANParks environmental educational programmes;
  • Enhance knowledge for decision-making to continuously generate knowledge and information for better decision-making;
  • Enhanced stakeholder engagement to improve environmental stewardship and organisational reputation through a proactive and strategic stakeholder engagement;
  • Accountable corporate governance to foster systematic and robust approach that will enable optimisation of corporate governance to achieve corporate goals;
  • Conducive working environment to improve workplace cohesion and harmony and healthy working environment; and
  • Ensure financial sustainability to generate organisational revenue streams through the effective and efficient management of financial resources.

 

SANParks priorities for the 2018/19 financial year are to:

 

  • Increase total terrestrial area of 3 569 hectares to be added to national parks;
  • Maintain the State of Biodiversity rating of three or above by completing biodiversity baseline report;
  • Develop a State of Area Integrity Assessment rating and complete the energy and water consumption audits;
  • Review two park management plans in the 2017/18 financial year;
  • Reduce by two per cent the recorded fatalities of rhino and elephants poached per annum in the Kruger National Park;
  • Implement 100 per cent of the planned activities pertaining to the Rhino Management Strategy;
  • Publish 30 peer-reviewed research papers;
  • Grow gross tourism revenue from seven per cent to 10 per cent by promoting effective management of national parks, for example, by expanding the total area added to national parks, rehabilitate areas with alien and invasive species, implementing the Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, and implementing the Cultural Heritage Programme;
  • Generate total revenue from fundraising per annum to R54 million;
  • Implement six species protection interventions, including rhinos 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 to 5 904 created through EPWP;

Increase employment targets by ensuring that 40 per cent of management positions are filled by females, 2 per cent of people with disabilities of the total staff complement;

  • Create 110 internship opportunities to deserving students;
  • Implement two green and one blue economy projects;
  • Increase the total number of participants in Environmental Education Programmes to 218 000 per annum and provide free access to 54 000 entrants;
  • 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;
  • Retain vacancy rate at five per cent; and
  • Grow its revenue base by 72 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.

SANParks strategic risks include:

  • Revenue reduction due to budget cuts;
  • Wildlife crime that may result in the depletion of certain highly desired species;
  • Inability to acquire new arms or retain the existing ones; and
  • Insufficient budget for infrastructure establishment and maintenance.
  1. Committee Observations

 

Having considered the inputs by the Department and its four entities, the Committee has made the following observations:

 

  • The Committee appreciated the information presented by the Department and its entities on their budget allocations and annual performance plans, particularly the linkages of their strategic goals with the National Development Plan Vision 2030;
  • The Committee further expressed its disappointment on the late tabling of the Department’s 2015/16 Annual Report and the non-tabling of the Department’s 2016/17 Annual Report to-date. However, the Committee appreciated the progress in the discussions currently underway between the Department, National Treasury and the Auditor-General Office, as presented by the Acting Accountant-General in the last meeting facilitated by the Committee on this matter.
  • The Committee noted with concern the state of affairs regarding the challenges associated with the collection of the waste tyre and recycling, following the winding up of REDISA;
  • The Committee also noted with concern that there were officials appointed/seconded to the Waste Management Bureau since 2017, but the position of the Chief Executive Officer remains vacant despite the fact that the Committee was informed previously that an Acting CEO was appointed to head the Bureau;
  • The Committee further noted with concern that the Director-General plays two roles as an accounting officer of the Department and for the Waste Management Bureau;
  • The Committee noted the absence of reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in terms of the linkages between this global development paradigm and the Department’s Annual Performance Plan for 2018/19, although we have, as a nation, subscribed to the domestication and hence the implementation of the SDGs; and
  • The Committee welcomed the formulation of the Draft National Policy on Game Donation by the Department;

 

South African National Parks (SANParks)

  • The Committee was concerned about the lower target set by SANParks for the decrease in the number of rhinos killed; and
  • The Committee is further concerned that low rhino fatalities at the hand of poachers currently may not necessarily mean that we have turned the tide in the fight against rhino poaching in the absence of a more recent rhino population survey.

 

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA)

 

  • The Committee commended the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority for their good work and the Committee was hoping that the Minister will extend the term of the Board beyond September 2019;
  • The Committee encouraged the Park Authority to continue improving its park-people relationships by proactively addressing potential conflicts; and
  • The Committee appreciated the excellent work being done by the Acting CEO, Professor Anis Karodia, particularly in improving the relations between IWPA and the surrounding communities, as well as other critical stakeholders.

 

South African Weather Service (SAWS)

 

  • The Committee noted with concern that the SAWS Board is generally weak, lacks understanding of the principles of good corporate governance, does not consist of suitably qualified members as required by section 5(2)(a) of the SAWS Act and is incapable of providing effective leadership to the organisation as required by section 6 of the South African Weather Services Act No 8 of 2001, as amended. This explicit weakness in the SAWS Board is of great concern as the Committee often has to struggle to obtain certain critical information for exercising its oversight duty over SAWS from the Board, which does not always appear to know the information being sought by the Committee despite clear requests from the same. There were instances where the Chairperson of the Board had presented information to the Committee on behalf of the Board, but only for the same presentation to be disowned by other members of the Board in the same meeting. Logically, this state of confusion imposes unnecessary cost on the public purse at the disposal of SAWS.

 

South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

 

  • The Committee commended SANBI Board for running the organisation well. The Committee also thanked the outgoing Chairperson Ms Nana Magomola for her outstanding work in chairing the Board and wished her well in her future endeavours; and
  • The Committee was mindful of the additional mandate given to SANBI in managing the National Zoological Gardens to SANBI.

 

  1. Committee conclusion and Recommendations

 

Having considered the strategic plans, annual performance plans and budget allocations to the Department and departmental transfers to its four entities, the Committee was pleased with the effort that the Department had put into formulating its Strategic Plan, the Annual Performance Plans and Indicators, and relevant Performance Targets for the 2018/19 financial year. The Committee considered them realistic and achievable despite budgetary constraints. The Committee was also acutely aware of the capability of the Department to prudently use the allocations made to it to fully implement its strategic plans, annual performance plans, indicators and targets that it set for itself, as shown by the Department’s ability to consistently spend about 98 per cent of its budget in the past successive financial years. Notwithstanding, the Committee recommends as follows:

 

  • The Committee expressed its disappointment for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 annual reports by the Department as a result of the dispute with the AGSA regarding the application of Modified Cash Standards. The Committee, therefore, urges that the dispute be resolved expeditiously, without the prospect of recurring any further. This must happen before September 2018. The Department should resolve the dispute with the National Treasury and AGSA on the application of the Modified Cash Standard to find a lasting solution to enable the Department to table its annual report on time, as the Committee had already facilitated and convened the relevant meetings for this engagement in Parliament;
  • The Chief Executive Officer of the Waste Bureau should be appointed as a matter of urgency to fully have an unwavering focus on operationalising the Waste Economy for the benefit of the poor in our country, while reducing waste;
  • The Department should formulate policy proposals for dealing with excessive plastic bag pollution in the marine space, which is increasingly becoming a challenge for marine biodiversity;
  • The Department should update the Committee on the status of domestication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South Africa, featuring the progress made; coordination across departments or organs of state; whether the SDGs are already influencing South Africa’s development priorities; and challenges encountered thus far, inter alia;
  • SANBI should from time to time update the Committee on the status of absorption of the National Zoological Gardens and its progress in settling in at its new home.
  • SANParks should determine the existing rhino stock in the wild through a credible survey to properly assess whether we are winning the war against rhino poaching;
  • SANParks should review the target of “two per cent reduction in poached rhinos” to adequately reflect the public efforts and resources put in rhino conservation in national parks;
  • SANParks and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority should continue improving their park-people relationships by proactively addressing potential conflicts with adjacent communities to enhance the sense of ownership of parks in these communities. In so doing, the communities would serve as effective firewalls against poaching in national parks;
  • The Committee calls on the Minister to dissolve the current Board of SAWS so as to create certainty and stability in the organisation, considering the destabilising and destructive role played by the Board.  This negative role is impeding the ability of the South African Weather Service to effectively play its critical role in aviation and meteorological space.

 

The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs recommends to the House to adopt the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Budget Vote 27 allocation for the 2018/19 financial year, with the allocation of R7.113 billion.

 

Report to be considered.

 

 


[1] Department of Environmental Affairs (2018) Department of Environmental Affairs Strategic Plan 18/19 — 2020/21. Department of Environmental Affairs, Pretoria.

[2] Ibid.

Documents

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