International Coastal clean-up - Amanzimtoti beach
19 September 2020
Minister Barbara Creecy by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs;
Cllr Sipho Kaunda, eThekwini Municipality;
Representatives from the Private Sector;
All categories of staff across all spheres of government;
Members of the media
I rise to deliver a message on behalf of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government. I have also been asked to introduce the Minister.
We consider ourselves fortunate to have a Minister who is always available to work with us. Over the past week alone, we have had two separate meetings with the Minister.
We thank you Minister for setting aside time to be with us today.
Importantly, we appreciate the fact that out of many provinces, you identified KwaZulu-Natal for this important project.
I do recall that we had planned to launch this Coastal management programme on the 31st March. Unfortunately this event was postponed due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. We thank you Minister for ensuring that today we adopt an integrated approach to ensure the cleaning of the coastlines – beach – and the riverbanks.
We undertake to use the Council on Climate Change to mobilize civil society, academics, religious leaders, traditional leaders, leaders of all political parties and the media to sustain this work we have launched today.
Programme Director, allow me to talk about matters of climate change.
On the 3rd September I joined eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and other role-players during the launch of Durban Climate Action Plan.
In my address, I reminded all stakeholders that KwaZulu-Natal municipalities have experienced a number of extreme weather events in the past five years, ranging from droughts and heat waves, to extreme storms bringing severe lightning and flooding. Durban is not immune to these challenges.
The people of eThekwini Municipality are still recovering from the devastating effects of the storm that swept through eThekwini municipality in October 2017 and April this year. The devastation caused by floods will take years to forget, especially given the fact that many lives were lost.
I know that the city is still rebuilding the social infrastructure including houses of the affected families.
Added to that, we have been warned of possible climate change effects like the rise in sea levels and temperature increases all of which will affect our residents.
Minister, we congratulated eThekwini Municipality for this launch. We have no doubt that this plan of action will help reduce vulnerability across our city, especially among the poorest of the poor.
It will help drive Durban’s development along a low-carbon and resilient pathway as detailed in our newly adopted Deadline 2020, 1.5° Climate Action Plan.
Another issue that I wish to highlight Minister is that of Oil Spillage.
We offer to continue to work with your department, Department of Water Affairs & Sanitation, eThekwini Municipality and other stakeholders to deal with this matter Minister.
Communities of Sobantu, Inanda, KwaNyuswa, Umdloti, Umbilo and many other areas continue to be affected by oil spillage that comes from industries.
These includes communities of Mount Moreland and others who were affected by the water pollution recently.
I have instructed our Inspectors to be on full alert and enforce compliance with environmental management laws.
*Sharks Board and Beaches*
Sharks Board and Beaches
Minister, I wish to assure you that our entity, the Sharks Board is working with stakeholders to ensure the safety of our beaches as we are gearing up for the move to Level 1.
We remember the excitement following the news of Sardine run few months ago.
For many of our visitors, memories of our warm beaches come swimming back.
They yearn to return to the coast and paddle out in the early morning at the Durban’s beachfront, Ballito, Amanzimtoti, Shelly Beach, Margate and Richards Bay.
We will continue to working with fishing communities as part of our focus on the maritime industry.
In addition, the KZN Sharks Board will continue to deploy the latest technology around the Shark Safety Gear. We want to ensure that our swimmers enjoy our warm beaches.
It has been proven that there is a direct correlation between tourism and safe bathing at our beaches. About 98% of our tourists visit beaches for recreational purposes.
Therefore, the role played by Sharks Board in protecting the tourism sector has been strengthened.
Not only does the Sharks Board provide bather protection, it also conducts research into the biology of sharks and other animals caught in the Shark Safety Gear. The entity offers public education programme on safety precautions that bathers should adhere to.
Programme Director, we are humbled to have been joined by the Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa from 30 May 2019.
Ms Barbara Creecy joined the Gauteng legislature in 1994, and until 2004, served in different portfolios including Deputy Chief Whip as well as Chairperson of the Social Development and Education Committees.
In 2004 she was appointed MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture. After the General Elections in 2009, Ms Creecy moved to the Education portfolio.
She is the former Gauteng MEC of Finance, where she was responsible for Gauteng Provincial Treasury, Department of e-Government and an agency called Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency.
Ms Creecy political career started when she joined the anti-apartheid movement and later the underground structures on the ANC whilst a student at Wits in the late 1970’s. She worked for the Civic Desk of the United Democratic Front and later joined an NGO that offered training and organisational development support to trade unions and community structures.
We request the Minister to address us.