National Assembly: Cape Town, 20th April 2011
South Africa is a land with both a rich and
diverse environment. Marine and terrestrial animal life abounds. The
Drakensberg Mountains, the forests of Knysna ,the mighty Orange
river, the arid dryness and harsh beauty of the Karoo, the
bio-diversity of our wetlands, we have it all within South Africa.
This land is for our use, for our shelter and for our economic
benefit, but this land must also be cared for and looked after, not
only for our children but also because we have a solemn custodial
duty to the planet and all who live upon her.
Pollution Management, particularly the poor water
quality of our rivers must be addressed. Poor water quality not only
leads to water borne diseases but also damages agriculture, which in
turn hinders economic growth. Our oceans must also be protected and
rapid response measures must be in place to curb the effects of any
oil spills upon our coastal and marine environment if and when they
Our wetlands such as iSimangaliso must be well
protected and monitored. They are a rich source of biodiversity, a
jewel in the crown of the South African environment, and must be
treated as such.
Marine and terrestrial wildlife poaching is still
out of control. We need to adequately resource our task teams
appointed to stop the poaching of our wildlife before it is too
late. The IFP call for much stricter anti-poaching legislation,
harsher sentences with longer jail terms and bigger fines. Poaching
syndicates are enormously wealthy and the small fines and jail terms
meted out by our courts have little or no effect on them.
Rhino poaching is still a great concern but we are
glad to see the department taking steps to address it. The
assistance of the Defence force and the establishment of special
task teams to combat rhino poaching are long overdue but very
welcome. Poaching syndicates must identified, infiltrated and
shutdown by our law enforcement agencies and we should work closely
together with international law enforcement agencies in order to
achieve these goals.
The fire fighters who continuously battle raging
mountain and forest fires must be well resourced and afforded every
kind of logistical assistance with the protection of both our flora
SANPARKS must also address the safety issue of
visitors within the parks. Table Mountain is one such area of
concern with frequent attacks on tourists. More must be done to
ensure the safety of our tourists and citizens when visiting our
Another point of concern to the IFP is the high
cost of entry to SANPARKS sites for our citizens. These costs form a
barrier to entry which the ordinary South African cannot afford. We
would like to see some form of rebate for South African citizens so
that all may enjoy the natural beauty of our land.
The IFP would like to see a zero tolerance
approach adopted by the Department when it comes to the destruction
of our environment, its flora and fauna. We want to see adequately
staffed and resourced environmental offices and we want to see the
Department meet its Millennium Development goals.
We wish the Minister and her department all the
best for the coming year.
Mrs Connie Zikalala MP
083 282 8384an>