Speech

Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Budget Speech 2013

25 March 2013

Honourable Speaker
Honourable Premier of the Western Cape
Provincial Cabinet Colleagues
Members of the Provincial Legislature
Executive Mayors
Municipal Managers
Head of Department, Acting CEO for CapeNature
Senior Managers
Invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
Colleagues and friends

The Western Cape Government fosters an open opportunity society for all. Our vision is to build a Province within which every citizen can access the socio-economic opportunities needed to improve their lives. 

Working better together with communities, other spheres of government and key stakeholders through co-responsibility leads to the management and maintenance of a healthy natural environment on which our social and economic systems depend. 

Honourable Speaker, the National Development Plan speaks of a partnership between government, civil society and business to ensure that service delivery is improved. This plan also describes an active citizen who is required to advance development, resolve problems and raise the concerns of the voiceless and marginalised.  

As ons van hierdie vennootskap praat, moet ons innoverende benaderings vind om dit ’n werklikheid te maak by hierdie belanghebbendes. Ons moet die lewens van ons gemeenskappe verander. 

Ons klein investering van R198 500 saam met die visie van die Groen Gemeenskappe-(nie regerings organisasie) asook die verbintenis van die plaaslike gemeenskap om hulle huise te verbeter, het tot die sukses van hierdie projek gelei.

Die doel van hierdie projek was basies om 200 tuine in die plaaslike HOP-behuisingsinfrastruktuur te vergroen. 

Agbare Speaker, die betekenis van die woord toekoms kan omskryf word as “’n tyd wat nog moet kom”. Terwyl ons as regering elke dag werk om die sosio-ekonomiese toestande van die mense wat deur ons gedien word te herdefinieer, moet ons onsself deurgaans daaraan herinner dat ons menslike aktiwiteite vandag die toekoms sal skep waarop ons hoop. 

Die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan is ’n visie vir Suid-Afrika, en dit bepaal dat infrastruktuur nie net vir vinniger ekonomiese groei en meer werkverskaffing noodsaaklik is nie. Dit bevorder ook inklusiewe groei en bied aan burgers die middele om hulle eie lewens te verbeter en hulle inkomste te verhoog. 

Die Wes-Kaapse Regering se departement van Omgewingsake en Ontwikkelingsbeplanning het die nuwe Wetsontwerp op Grondgebruiksbeplanning, 2013, gepubliseer. Hierdie wetgewende raamwerk gee lewe aan die visie soos deur die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan geskets.

Die Wetsontwerp is in ooreenstemming met die visie van die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan wat ruimtelike beplanning van gehalte betref en sal ’n presedent skep vir regshervorming.  

Deur duidelikheid te bring in die bevoegdheid van besluitneming oor grondgebruik tussen die plaaslike en provinsiale regeringsfeer, verminder hierdie Wetsontwerp die “rompslompprosesse” deur die voorlegging van een aansoek, teenoor meer as vyf wat tans ter oorweging voorgelê moet word. 

Wanneer hierdie Wetsontwerp verorden is, sal dit uitgediende wetgewing vervang en sal dit groter duidelikheid verseker betreffende die bevoegdhede van munisipaliteite en die rol van die provinsiale regering. Die verskillende munisipaliteite sal oor ’n enkele geïntegreerde soneringskema beskik. 

Dit kom daarop neer, dat ons kan aanvaar dat besluite oor grondgebruik sal berus op die beginsels van ruimtelike geregtigheid, ruimtelike volhoubaarheid, doeltreffendheid, goeie administrasie en aanpasbaarheid.  

Ons beoog dat die Wetsontwerp, nadat dit as ’n Wet gepromulgeer is, in April 2014 geïnstitusionaliseer sal word. ’n Munisipale Gereedheidsprogram is ontwikkel in die besef dat munisipaliteite nie oor toereikende vermoëns beskik om die afwenteling van bevoegdhede na die plaaslike sfeer geredelik te kan hanteer nie.

Hierdie program is hoofsaaklik op kapasiteitbou gemik.

Agbare Speaker, as deel van volhoubare vooruitbeplanning moet ons spesifieke instrumente gebruik wat besluitneming oor grondgebruik betref. Een van my openbare verbintenisse was die lewering van Munisipale Ruimtelike Ontwikkelingsraamwerke en Menslike Nedersettingsplanne deur die Ondersteuningsprogram vir die Bou-omgewing.

Hoewel hierdie verbintenis sal voortgaan tot die tydperk 2014/15, kan ek nou aankondig dat my departement tot dusver Ruimtelike Ontwikkelingsraamwerke vir twaalf (12) munisipaliteite ontwikkel het.

Hierdie planne is ook in ooreenstemming gebring met die derde generasie Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsplanne van hierdie munisipaliteite.

  • An amount of R29.7 million has been allocated over the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16 for the delivery of this programme.

During the 2012/13 financial period I approved the Sustainable Water Management Plan for the Western Cape which was also endorsed by Cabinet

This plan aims to guide sustainable water management in the region without the compromise of our ecological integrity.

I am also proud to announce that my department will be leading a project to rehabilitate parts of the Berg River.

  • An amount of R16.3 million has been allocated to the Berg River project over the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Honourable Speaker, air quality management in our Province continues to progress. 

The number of locations at which ambient air quality is monitored will increase in the new financial period from the existing nine (9) locations to eleven (11).

Pro-active planning, is a principle on which sound governance is based. It also ensures that we align our service delivery programmes to the changing socio-economic conditions affecting our citizens. 

  • An amount in excess of R38 million has been allocated to air quality management in general over the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16.

My department recently commissioned a Health Risk Assessment and Needs Analysis project aimed at identifying areas in our Province where air quality could be a potential concern in terms of its effects on human health.

Honourable Speaker, the challenge of waste management in general requires the administration of objective driven plans. Through the implementation of the Waste Management Licensing Plan owners of unlicensed facilities were encouraged to apply for the required licences. 

During the 2012/13 financial period 44 waste licence applications were received and responded to. 

Three municipal Integrated Management Plans were also submitted during this period and supports my public commitment that the waste licencing function would be streamlined to the function of municipalities. 

The National Development Plan cites climate change as having the potential to reduce food production and the availability of potable water. It can be expected that this result will have consequences for migration patterns and levels of conflict. 

It is for this reason, that an investment of R450 000 has been committed to compile a 2013 Western Cape State of the Environment Outlook Report.

This report will reflect on issues of air quality, biodiversity and eco-system health, waste management, energy and other related topics. 

Important to our planning processes is that this report will clarify the causes of environmental change and recommend on how best to respond to these changes. 

Honourable Speaker, setting our sights on activating the green economy is important to us. During the new financial period my department will be preparing and submitting business plans to Provincial Treasury with the intention to unlock funding for green economy projects. 

CapeNature will once again be pivotal in creating employment opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme. 

This programme sees local communities share skills through work responsibilities such as making fire-breaks, erecting and maintaining fences, road maintenance, erosion and rehabilitation control and other field conservation work.

  • An amount in excess of R60 million has been allocated for the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16 to continue delivery on this programme.

Creating employment opportunities also means that we are able to better maintain the many reserves which ensure that our citizens are able to enjoy the beauty of the natural environment. 

One of the primary reasons, Honourable Speaker, for 8.3% of our Cape Floristic Kingdom being threatened with extinction is attributed to too frequent and too hot wild fires. Biodiversity lost to fires cannot be replaced and the cost to the state of our natural environment and the ecosystems has not yet been measured. 

It is important that I express my sincere gratitude to the teams who tirelessly work against this challenge. 

While our statistics indicate that there has been a decline in the number of wildfires suppressed, we need to continue dedicating resources to fire management.

  • An amount in excess of R3 million has been allocated for fire management over the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16.

This allocation, Honourable Speaker, does not address the true gravity of fire management. There is no certainty to the expected cost implications of each wild fire. 

We owe our gratitude to the men and women who fight on our behalf, the co-operation between the Provincial Disaster Management Team, CapeNature and District Municipalities.

It is also for me to express, my sincere gratitude to individuals who risk their lives and give of their time to volunteer as fire fighters.  A few of these individuals are here today and I want to acknowledge why they and other citizens like themself give us hope that our future generations will be blessed with the beauty we have today. 

The maintenance of ecosystem services such as those providing food and clean water, regulate climate and disease, or delivering on cultural benefits such as recreational opportunities, are cited by the National Development Plan as fundamental to achieving our country’s social and economic development objectives.

CapeNature manages the Protected Area Expansion Strategy and Action Plan. The purpose of this plan was to identify property areas with high biodiversity value which are under threat. 

Targets set for the plan have been informed by the National Expansion Strategy set for the Western Cape. 

To date 19 960 hectares of land have been declared nature reserves.

While we continue to increase the hectares of land through a process of signed declarations, I can announce that we have increased the number of Stewardship sites to 88. 

Honourable Speaker, CapeNature conserves the natural eco-systems that provide the majority of water sources in our Province. 

By working with key partners and stakeholders, CapeNature implements the Integrated Catchment Management Programme. 

The programme activities range from clearing invasive alien vegetation, rehabilitating wetlands and fire management.

  • An amount of R186 million is allocated to this programme over the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Our teams cleared 24 130 hectares of alien vegetation and 113 506 hectares of follow-up clearing. 

Our gift to you today is associated with an important message. 

2013 has been declared the International Year of Water Co-operation. The indigenous succulents are a reminder to you and I that we need to do as much as we can to protect our water resources.

The National Development Plan cites the fact that South Africa has significant renewable energy resources, particularly solar and wind.

I can announce that my department has completed a Provincial Strategic Environmental Assessment for Wind Energy. This plan will outline the possibilities for investment into the locations best suited for harnessing wind energy to generate electricity. 

Four municipalities will receive support from my organisation to implement their sustainable energy plans. Two new municipalities will be assisted to develop their respective sustainable energy plans.

The Eden District, Bergriver, and Knysna Municipalities are the first local spheres to be supported through a Municipal Support Programme to aid these municipalities to develop their respective Climate Change Adaptation Plans.

  • An amount in excess of R13.7 million has been allocated to climate change for the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Empowering other Spheres of Government

Honourable Speaker, as a province we recognise the importance of capacity building and support to our local spheres of government.  

I am pleased to confirm that targets that have been set for the new financial period and in excess of 40 capacity building workshops will be hosted.

Biodiversity, environmental planning, waste management, sustainable living as well as climate change are some of the topics used to structure these workshops.

  • A budget in excess of R3.9 million has been allocated for capacity building over the financial period 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Fighting Environmental Crimes

Honourable Speaker, environmental crimes affect the right of every citizen to a clean and healthy environment. 

Environmental justice has been termed as a broad concept which sees the environment as including not just nature, but also the home, the neighbourhood and the workplace. 

Four Environmental Crime Forum meetings will take place. 

Eight intergovernmental compliance and enforcement inspections and investigations will be conducted. We have identified high priority areas where issues of environmental crimes are a concern. 

The Philipi Horticultural Area known for its rich agricultural significance and high water table is an area which will receive strategic intervention from my team of green scorpions.

  • An amount of R47 million has been allocated for the financial periods 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Impakbestuur

Dit is vir my ‘n voorreg om te kan sê dat my departement ‘n volle toegeruste senior bestuurspan het wat gelei word deur ‘n uiters bekwame en toegewyde Departementshoof. 

CapeNature het ook onlangs nuwe Direksielede gekry en ons is in die proses om ‘n nuwe Hoof Uitvoerende Beampte aan te stel. Die hoë omset van personeel was ‘n aansienlike uitdaging vir my organisasie, maar ek glo dat ons goeie vordering maak wat dit betref. 

Laat my toe, Agbare Speaker, om tyd te spandeer aan die statistiek van ons twee primêre regulerende dienste.

Omgewingsaansoeke (NEMA Omgewings impakbestuur-regulasies)

 2009 /20102010 / 20112011 / 2012
Aansoeke Ontvang786880606
Aansoeke Afgehandel1 0131 197939
Aansoeke Hangende1 4351 118785

Beplanningsaansoeke

 2009 /20102010 / 20112011 / 2012
Aansoeke Ontvang1 1591 2101 047
Aansoeke Afgehandel1 1091 2581 217
Aansoeke Hangende1 0901 042872

In die 2012/13 boekjaar het ek in die openbaar onderneem dat 800 Omgewings impakbestuur aansoeke afgehandel sou word.

453 aansoeke is ingedien en 426 is afgehandel. 

Terwyl ons geen beheer het oor die aantal aansoeke wat ontvang word nie, het ons hoë teikens gestel. Deel van my onderneming in dieselfde tydperk was dat ons 1300 beplanningsaansoeke sou finaliseer. 

871 beplanningsaansoeke is ingedien en in totaal is 1 143 gefinaliseer. 

Die syfers reflekteer dat aansoeke wat in die vorige boekjaar ontvang is, steeds in ‘n nuwe boekjaar hanteer kan word, maar wys op geen tydstip dat dienslewering gekompromiteer is nie. 

Om Beter Saam te Werk

Agbare Speaker, die Jaarlikse Prestasieplanne van my departement vir die nuwe boekjaar reageer op die behoeftes van die Wes-Kaap vir oorgang na ‘n meer volhoubare toekoms. 

‘n Begroting van R421 miljoen is toegeken vir die nuwe boekjaar.

CapeNature sal 53% hiervan ontvang en die oorblywende 47% sal toegeken word aan Omgewingsake en Ontwikkelingsbestuur. 

Ek het in die openbaar beloftes gemaak, en ek het daaraan voldoen. 

Laat my toe om my hoed spreekwoordelik te lig vir die mans en vroue van Omgewingsake en Ontwikkelingsbestuur en CapeNature wat die verwesentliking van beloftes moontlik gemaak het.

Laat my toe om my innige dank uit te speek teenoor indiwidue in ons gemeenskappe wat vrywillig ‘n verskil maak.

Hierdie mense verstaan die behoefte aan mede-verantwoordelikheid deur ‘n kontrak tussen die regering, sy burgers en alle belanghebbers. 

Die asemrowendheid van ons ekostelsels herinner my aan die belangrike verantwoordelikheid van my portefeulje.

Agbare Speaker, met alles wat ons doen, glo ek dat mens aanspreeklik moet wees. 

Aanspreeklikheid is wanneer die regering sy mandaat aanvaar en dit met uitnemende bestuur uitvoer. 

Aanspreeklikheid is die verantwoordelike manier waarop ‘n onderneming sy besigheid bedryf met die behoorlike besef van die uitwerking op ons natuurlike omgewing. 

Aanspreeklikheid is die besef deur elke burger dat hulle ‘n rol het om te speel. 

Ek is diep onder die indruk, dat wat ons vandag anders doen, die ervaring van ons kinders in die toekoms sal verander.

Kom ons werk beter tesame!

Media Enquiries: 

Peter Pullen
Spokesperson for Minister Bredell
Tel: 021 483 2820
Cell: 082 574 3773