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Budget vote debate: Environmental Affairs – ANC government is gambling with South Africa’s valuable natural resources

South Africa’s natural resources are becoming scarcer by the day in the midst of a terrible drought and the reality of climate change can no longer be ignored.

On top of that, pollution is causing massive damage and the Department of Environmental Affairs and its Green Scorpions are not doing enough to combat it. At numerous municipalities, raw sewage ends up in dams and rivers. In this way, scarce drinking water is polluted.

An example is Delmas where raw sewage is polluting the Bronkhorstspruit Dam due to the fact that infrastructure was not maintained and is, therefore, failing. The same goes for the Wilge River that runs into the Vaal Dam. Millions of people living in the greater part of Gauteng are affected by this. The complaints lodged with the Department and the Green Scorpions have come to nothing.

Mining and exploration activities are also a cause for concern in light of the country’s scarce resources. There have been recent cases where exploration rights were awarded by the Department but were subsequently reversed by the courts.

These court cases are an unnecessary waste of money as it was clear from the onset that the activities would pollute underground water and have a negative impact on agriculture.

The Minister (Ms Edna Molewa) would do well to pay a visit to Texas to witness first-hand the tragic consequences of hydrofracking – it has left the landscape barren.

The Department urgently needs to be turned around and the government must realise that the environment and South Africa’s valuable natural resources must be looked after before it is too late and we are left with nothing.

 

Contact numbers: 082 674 6670 / 065 801 7216

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