Maile walks economic-environmental tight rope

Janet Semple MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC: Economic Development

With the inclusion of environmental affairs in the Gauteng economic development portfolio, MEC Lebogang Maile is caught between the rock of economic development and job creation, and the hard place of preserving the environment.

The MEC will now be responsible for the sign off of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). This compliance function establishes the impact new developments will have on the environment, suitability of their location and size of the project

Environmental safety and sustainability in Gauteng is currently not up to the standard it should be. High levels of pollution in both the air and water are cause for concern, as a recent study indicated that Johannesburg alone is on par with some of the world’s most polluted cities.

Maile has a fine line to walk.

Efforts must be made to curb the high rate of unemployment in the province, currently at 26%, by growing industry and attracting investors.

However, this should not come at the cost of marginalising the environment and the processes that safeguard it.

The DA will monitor the progress of MEC Maile and his department and assist where it can to ensure economic growth that does not negatively impact the environment.