DA writes to Treasury on Environment Budget shortfall

By: Ismail Obaray, MPL DA Northern Cape Spokesperson on Environment and Nature Conservation The Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation is dramatically under-funded. This emerged today in an Annual Performance Plan tabling in the Legislature. R70 million more is needed to fully meet its core targets. The total budget allocation for this department is just over R131 million for the 2015/16 financial year. Environment’s entire budget is equivalent to just one line item in a sister department budget. Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development allocated the same amount for flood disaster relief alone. I will therefore write to MEC of Finance John Block to address this massive shortfall or to explain where additional funds should be found In this budget no funding is allocated to address climate change issues in the province, which remains an unfunded mandate. Given serious challenges of climate change in the Northern Cape it is unacceptable that no money has been availed to this end. Only two municipalities in this province have included concrete and concise environmental projects in their Integrated Development Plans, because funding is so limited. The department is under-performing with enforcement and compliance – both are now at a standstill. This was evidenced with the slow action following the Blue Crane massacre in Richmond in February this year. To make matters worse more than 200 rhinos are to be transferred to the province in an effort to address poaching. How will this Department protect South Africa’s fast-disappearing Rhinos with disastrous under-funding? [END] ##################################################################################### Scanned by MailMarshal – M86 Security’s comprehensive email content security solution. Download a free evaluation of MailMarshal at www.m86security.com #####################################################################################