Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development
Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell. Future management of water, waste under the spotlight The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, used his budget speeches in the Western Cape legislature today to call for progressive steps towards creating more resilient cities and towns.
The minister said continued burocratic challenges and delays when it comes to water management, has led him to look at the possibility of the province taking over the water mandate from the national government, along with the requisite budget to manage the needed infrastructure programs. “The Western Cape’s water affairs are largely managed by nameless officials in Pretoria who seem to have have little knowledge about the province’s developmental goals and needs. Global best practice indicates that the responsibility for water affairs may be best managed from a provincial level rather than a national one. I will be taking this matter up with the new national minister in the portfolio.” Bredell also cautioned against the next crisis looming in the province, namely waste and has called on the private sector and the public to assist with ideas to tackle the problem pro-actively. “Our vision is to see macro recycling works in all our towns and communities and to partner with big corporates that produce a lot of the waste items like plastic and glass and paper to see about partnerships to make the program work.
The fact is we are running out of landfill space and we all need to reduce our waste. Recycling must become more than a nice to do. It must become a way of life.” Bredell indicated he is considering his options with regards to ongoing management of plastic bags and straws in the province. “We would like to see some of the plastic bag levy that has been increased by 50% this past year – get allocated to creating proper recycling initiatives in the Western Cape.” Bredell said it was becoming vital to start creating spaces that are climate resilient and able to withstand shocks like the ongoing drought. “In 2011 we were hit with an electricity crisis. The past three years we have been fighting the worst drought in 400 years. Wildfires are becoming a real problem annually. And we are still working hard to fix a country wracked with inequality and poverty. We need to start being smarter and try to get ahead of the curve. This is where my departments are trying to be.” The budget votes for the Western Cape Department of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning as well as biodiversity entity CapeNature was delivered in the Western Cape legislature today. ENDS
James-Brent Styan Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell Mobile: 084 583 1670 Telephone: 021 483 2820 E-mail: James-Brent.Styan@westerncape.gov.za