New development along the coastline will become increasingly problematic in the light of sea-level rise and storm surges said the MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Sakhumzi Somyo today.
He explained that in this financial year, the Department would begin to manage the effects of climate change by publishing the Nelson Mandela Bay coastal management lines. A coastal management line is a set area in the coastal zone in which development is prohibited or controlled.
Another coastal management line to be established is for the Ndlambe Local Municipality which includes Port Alfred and surrounds.
Somyo highlighted several other environmental management interventions which will continue to support the province’s notable track record in the protection of its natural resources.
He noted, however, that rhino poaching in the province’s private reserves had increased – 14 rhinos in 2015.
“This may indicate that rhino poachers were now targeting the province,” explained Somyo who added that more recently, two rhinos had been poached in the formally proclaimed protected areas.
The policy speech also outlined the Department will allocate R5 million to the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Board so that the province’s much-lauded Green Scorpions would continue to have the necessary resources to address anti-poaching.
Somyo added the Department had acted harshly against perpetrators of unauthorised sand mining and deconstructed seven cottages along the Wild Coast because they had a negative effect on the environment and tourism economy.
The justice system had also sent perpetrators of environmental regulations a strong message that it would also not tolerate offences.
For example, a precedent setting judgement against cycad theft was made when a perpetrator was sentenced a fine of R100,000 or 10 years imprisonment (suspended for five years).
In the coming year, the Department will also investment R10 million in various Extended Public Works Programmes in the Ndlambe, Chris Hani, Ntabankulu, Amahlathi, Makana, Mhlontlo and Maletswai areas which targets the waste sector.
The programmes, which have the potential to contribute substantially to the generation of jobs within the green economy, will centre on youth jobs in waste.
Somyo expects over 530 jobs to be created.
Some of the other achievements highlighted for environmental management include the Department’s procurement, installation and training of officials on Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling software.
The model will assist in environmental permitting process to verify whether a new source will not exceed ambient air quality standards or to determine appropriate additional control requirements.
In the area of environmental impact assessments (EIAs), Somyo said the Department had consistently succeeded in meeting or exceeding the legislated time-frames in the processing of EIA applications.
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