News

Green Scorpions in Western Cape get Extra Sting

11 May 2015

The Western Cape Government has more than doubled the capacity of the province in tackling environmental crimes.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, today congratulated 25 officials from municipalities across the Western Cape who have successfully completed the Environmental Management Inspector course presented by the Provincial Government.

These officials now become part of the elite environmental protection group better known as the Green Scorpions.

“Their qualification brings the total number of Green Scorpions dealing exclusively with environmental law enforcement in the province to 46. That’s more than double the capacity we had.”

Bredell says the job of an EMI is not always a popular one, but is increasingly vital given proliferation of environmental challenges.

“Exploding population growth across the world is placing increased challenges and demands on the environment. This has to be monitored and managed responsibly to ensure a healthy legacy for future generations.”

Dr. Eshaam Palmer, the Province’s Director of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement says that the newly qualified officials will be the Province’s foot soldiers when it comes to environmental crimes.

“This is the first group of officials from municipalities in South Africa to have undergone this training provided by a provincial authority. These Green Scorpions have the same basic powers as a police officer, which includes the power of arresting transgressors and seizing vehicles, ships or aircraft used in perpetrating the offence.”

Bredell says part of the work of the Green Scorpions will entail educating communities to be more environmentally responsible.