National Assembly Debate, Tuesday May 29, 2001


ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM BUDGET DEBATE
Speech By: Mrs Lindiwe R. Mbuyazi, MP
IFP Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs

Parliament, Cape Town

MADAM SPEAKER, HONOURABLE MEMBERS

Firstly, I would like to thank the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Deputy Minister for the "Job Well Done!" – especially on Tourism. You can go anywhere, even rural areas, and they tell you about Tourism. They will say "I want to start tourism".

We need to promote Tourism – Nationally, Provincially and Locally.

We want to thank you Minister, for helping the disadvantaged communities to be part of the exhibition at the Durban Tourism Indaba.

NB: That was the beginning. We still need more people who come from Rural Areas promoting Rural Tourism, and others who will be promoting Township Tourism.

The launch of the Welcome Campaign has created awareness among all South Africans about the importance of Tourism.

We commend the Department for having allocated R175m for poverty relief in (2001-02)

An amount of R50million has been set aside for Local Tourism Infrastructure. We would like to see rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal accessing such funds - not only KwaZulu, but also Eastern Cape and all other Provinces which have rural areas.

NB: Tour Guides will have to be thoroughly trained.

This reflects that the Department efficiently operates within the scope of the Batho Pele programme and other related programmes aimed at addressing the social inequities.

The Poverty relief programme will have to consider the impact that these projects have on the quality of life of the poor within the community.

Madam Speaker, the problem is how to access these funds?

Business Plan – not everybody knows how to draw up a Business Plan. As I have said earlier, everybody now talks about tourism, but the problem is funding. The capaticitation of the Department through creation of additional high level posts, will indeed shape the envisaged focus on promoting growth in Tourism.

Madam Speaker

I would like to touch on Marine and Coastal Management.

The IFP would like to applaud the Department for having put out a tender for new vessels that will patrol the fishing resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone. This move will protect the living marine resources from illegal fishing activities.

The intention to establish a Rights Allocation Unit is a step in the right direction. This will help those disadvantaged fishers whose livelihood solely depends on fishing, but are denied access by stringent bureaucracy. Since the known annual limit of 500 applications has risen to 11 000 applications, this coordinating unit will reflect that there is a sense of urgency in resolving the plight of disadvantaged communities

Madam Speaker, we would like the Minister to state the position of the subsistence fisherman, and the role of the Poverty Relief Programme in this regard.

The hosting of the 2002 Earth Summit by the Department in particular, and South Africa in general, indicates that the UN itself has recognised the environmental strategies of the Department and the country to be in line with universal sustainable development strategies. The IFP therefore compliments the Department for having received such accolades from the International community. Agenda 21 remains a fundamental programme of action for achieving sustainable development and that the achievement of sustainable development requires the integration of economic, social and environmental components.

Enabling the poor to achieve sustainable livelihoods should provide an integrating factor that allows policies to address issues of development, sustainable resource management and poverty eradication.

Recognising the role of the indigenous people and their communities on this programme of sustainable development.

Over many years, indigenous people have evolved a holistic traditional scientific knowledge of the land and environment. Their ability to practice sustainable development on their lands has been limited by economic, social and historical factors. Indigenous people should actively participate in this conference.

Indigenous people should be put on the agenda e.g. food, drinks, plants and seeds.

Madam Speaker. Local Authorities have a key role to play in making sustainable development happen. They need to be engaged in this conference.

NB: After the Conference, South Africa and Africa must benefit out of this, especially on poverty alleviation.

Convention

South Africa is a signatory to a variety of international Agreements dealing with environmental issues. May I just mention a few:

  • Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer (Montreal Protocol)

  • Basel Convention – on the control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and their disposal

  • Ramsar Convention – convention on wetlands

  • United Nation Framework Convention on climate change

  • Sustainable Development Rio + 10. Agenda 21

Mr Minister, I know you have a tight schedule, but we would appreciate if you could find time and make a statement on these protocols for the benefit of those who are listening at home and for all of us. I want to thank you for the input this morning in today’s briefing.

The IFP supports the Integrated and Waste Management Strategy, which also is focussing on sustainable Development.

Global warming and Globalization Problem

During floods, homes are damaged or destroyed leaving multitudes of people homeless. Current reports show that in countries in Africa like Malawi, Mocambique and Zambia and South Africa hundreds of people have been displaced.

Floods also destroy sanitary facilities. Sewer pipes are blocked, resulting in leakage of human waste – this results in Cholera outbreaks.

Drought conditions on the other hand, cause food and water shortages. Generally lack of water is a problem. People have no choice but to use unsafe sources of water which have high concentrations of pollutants – this results in Cholera outbreaks.

I am raising these points to support the sustainable development concept.

Programme 7

Biodiversity and Heritage

In 1999 South Africa and Botswana signed an historic agreement to manage the Gemsbok National Park in SA as a single Ecological Unit known as Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Parks Agreement.

This programme aims to promote and preserve biological diversity and cultural heritage. We hope that Poverty Relief Funds will create jobs for the communities around these areas – including the National Parks.

The IFP support vote 26.

Mrs LR Mbuyazi, MP 083 440 5948
National Parliamentary Media Office 021-403 3965