Radley Keys, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Conservation and Environmental Affairs
KWAZULU-Natal Conservation MEC, Meshack Radebe must learn from his predecessor’s mistakes and ensure that procedure is followed to the letter during the appointment of a new Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Board.
An order by the Pietermaritzburg High Court earlier this week means that the provincial government must appoint a new EKZNW board within the next six months. The MEC will need to comply with the order or face earlier decisions taken by the board being nullified. The sole reason for this entire debacle lies with the failure, by former MEC, Lydia Johnson, to follow protocol in appointing 10 external board members and a new CEO in 2009 and a further three members during 2011.
Last week, during a meeting of the provincial conservation portfolio committee, members were advised that the 10 members appointed in 2009 would see their term of office come to an end in November and that the process for the nomination of 10 new members was underway, with the placement of advertisements on 14 August.
The MEC has the full support of the DA in attempting to regulate the situation in KZN. Our province cannot afford to have its natural heritage compromised by incompetent and irregular processes, nor can we afford to have conservation decisions challenged and placed under review.
The onus now lies with the MEC to ensure that Ezemvelo is not plunged into a state of turmoil, from which it may not easily recover.