South Africa: Forests, Fisheries and Environment Present Minister Barbara Creecy’s Budget to NCOP
Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy on Tuesday presented a number of initiatives implemented by the Ministry in collaboration with provinces and district and local municipalities to ensure that environmental services reach all sectors of society.
Minister Creecy confirmed the country’s commitment to contribute its fair share to the global effort to tackle climate change, highlighting the role that the Presidential Climate Change Coordination Committee will play in overseeing the coordination of necessary policies. to achieve a long-term goal of net zero emissions and advice on the opportunities offered by the transition to low-carbon development and the ways to achieve it.
To achieve this, the Ministry has helped all district municipalities to develop adaptation strategies to climate change through the “React Toolbox”. This would ensure that climate change is mainstreamed into the integrated development plans, or IDPs, of the 44 district municipalities. Training on the coastal climate change vulnerability index and decision support tool in 3 coastal district municipalities.
Minister Creecy said it was clear from the latest State of the Environment update that South Africa’s air quality, especially in national priority areas, requires urgent attention and significant.
“Let me repeat that this is a competing function and we will never succeed in improving air quality at the community level without the hard work of all spheres of government,” the minister said. .
Air quality monitoring stations currently operated, maintained and managed by the Department until 2022 will be handed over to local governments once there has been capacity and practical on-the-job training, coordinated with the support of the South African Meteorological Service and the National Association. for clean air.
“As part of the Department’s zero tolerance approach to compliance and enforcement, we have taken a firm line with Eskom and Sasol and issued several notices of compliance.” In this regard, the Ministry will not issue any derogations from compliance with minimum emission standards, so all installations will have to comply by 2025 ”, declared the Minister.
A concerted effort has been made to ensure that all sectors operating in priority areas meet compliance and enforcement requirements related to air quality and emissions standards. The department would continue to support the development of the capacity of the Environmental Management Inspectorate at the local authority level to deal with air quality issues.
The minister said a campaign has been launched to reposition the country’s protected areas for the New Deal for People with Nature.
“The current state of protected areas in South Africa is marred by severe funding and capacity constraints, leading to considerable fragmentation, duplication and ineffective management arrangements within the area system. protected ”, declared the Minister. launched a process of inquiry on the rationalization of protected areas focusing, inter alia, on reducing the fragmentation of functional responsibilities and the overlap of functions between different state organs, improving the management of conservation and the capacity of protected area management agencies; and the strengthening of governance cooperatives in the management of protected areas ”.
The provinces and local authorities are key players in this process.
The biodiversity economy is expected to create 110,000 new jobs by 2030 and contribute an additional R47 billion to GDP.
Through the National Wildlife Donation and Custody Policy Framework, which guides the review and implementation of provincial game donation and custody policies, 15,000 game heads are expected to have been released under the program. transformation of wildlife by the year of the book 2023-2024.
The department is also supporting emerging game farmers with related infrastructure, such as game fencing, water, game capture and transfer costs to the tune of R810 million over the next three years.
A total of R251 has been committed to the development of the bioprospecting and organic trade program over the next three years so that communities can meaningfully participate in this industry.
Minister Creecy said the Integrated Coastal Management Act imposed an obligation on local government to facilitate access to beaches through public easements and made it an offense for anyone to prevent access. to the beaches. Since the local government has not been able to implement these arrangements due to capacity issues, the department has prioritized implementation with provinces and municipalities, in order to gradually facilitate access along of the South African coast.
In addition to dealing with marine litter, the department helps municipalities carry out their functions by funding waste management licenses for unauthorized landfills. This process will allow municipalities at 7 sites from various municipalities in the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape to access funding from various donors to ensure that landfills meet their requirements. waste management licenses. This will be reinforced by training to improve the management of landfills.
In addition, the DFFE, in collaboration with the provincial ministries of environment, will provide support in the implementation of projects and programs in the districts of the country in order to create a non-harmful environment for health and to protect the pollution environment that may result from waste. A key program in this regard is the municipal clean-up and greening program that would be implemented in all municipalities.
The involvement of local and provincial authorities is therefore essential if we want to advance aquaculture in order to promote local and rural economic development. We need to collectively explore local markets for fishery and aquaculture products so that local jobs are created within the value chain.
To access the Minister’s speech, click on: https://www.environment.gov.za/speeches/creecy_budgetspeech_ncop