Statement from Chairperson of the KZNSB Board
KZNSB CHAIRPERSONS STATEMENT
As Sharks Board continue to enjoy the support from the Shareholder, Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), which continues to play crucial and active role in the affairs of our mandate, it then gives me great enthusiasm that I present the Chairperson’s Report for the financial year ended on 31 March 2023.
The KZN Sharks Board, as a provincial public entity, supports Government priorities and the National Development Plan (NDP) of achieving faster economic growth, increased Marine Tourism and greater labor absorption by concentrating on the organization’s core mandate and vision, which is to be environmental sensitive bather protection against shark-related incidents through innovation, promoting beach, marine and related tourism and enhancing inclusive economic growth. Toward this end, the institution must ensure that high-quality shark and other marine species research is delivered efficiently and cost-effectively to all stakeholders by containing its costs and simultaneously investing in human capital, infrastructure, and systems.
Our mission as the Board, working with the Executive team, has centered on providing Sharks Board with strategic direction, headship, and overall oversight to ensure that all the strategic objectives set out are successfully achieved. It is gratifying to see that in these unprecedented times Sharks Board continues to emphasize sound and good governance as well as focus on numerous financial sustainability interventions. Despite the many trials experienced during this reporting period, it is indeed heart-warming to note the progress that Sharks Board has made.
All the Board Committees were fully functional and supported the Board in discharging its fiduciary duties. I take this opportunity to commend all the Committee Chairpersons for the first-class work in driving their various directives as per their terms of reference. I would like to also extend my appreciation to all the Board Members who continue to serve with dedication and commitment notwithstanding, the considerable challenges encountered during the year. There are still significant challenges facing the nation, however, I am of the firm view that with a common purpose and a vision of becoming a global leader in bather protection against shark-related incidents, we can work collectively and transform the industry in becoming a leader in being environmentally sensitive bather protection against shark-related incidents as I serve my second financial year.
Staying abreast with industry specific regulations, as laid down by Corporate Governance, Sharks Board has appointed Audit and Risk Independent Director As we continually stive to attain the highest standards of corporate governance across the Board and adhered to the core principles of the Code, we were not fully compliant with the Code during our last reporting period, as the Board was without the Audit and Risk Independent Director. as promised during our last reporting period, the Board is pleased to report that, this year we are fully compliant with the Code. Ms Khulekelwe Mbonambi’s appointment fortified the assurance of stable leadership.
Ensuring that a culture of Compliance takes root and thrives, the Board attended a fruitful Risk Assessment Workshop which provided a structured framework for analyzing complex problems. As well as making informed decisions on how to deal with potential threats ahead of time. The workshop concerted on the basic methods for risk management, avoidance, retention, sharing, transferring, and loss prevention and reduction. It is comforting to learn that we are in very good shape with the way the Board conducts itself and that it operates effectively.
In compliance with the good corporate governance, the KZNSB has had Clean Audit Opinion since 2019 and received Unqualified Audit Opinion during the year ended in 2020, We are also pleased to report that this years Audit Opinion has been a Clean Audit for 2022/2023 Financial year.
Sharks Board continues to enjoy Zero fatal attack in all protected beaches during this reporting period.
SHARKS BOARD HAS OVER THE YEARS TAKEN THE LEAD ON THE FOLLOWING ATTEMPTS:
1. CONSERVE: campaign to prevent the pollution of a local coastal environment or reduce use of plastics so that less of it ends up in our oceans.
2. PROTECT: help protect an ecosystem or species by campaigning to have it protected by our government laws.
3. RESTORE: take part in beach clean-ups, and involves community, including the youth.
Because of these efforts, consumers and tourists are much more environmentally conscious now, and the tourism industry has started to adapt.
Moreover, KZN Sharks Board is now regarded as a vital and strategic role player in the success of Beach Tourism in the KZN province and its mandate to protect bathers against shark attacks throughout the KZN coastline, thus minimizing the environmental impact, and that has resulted in the ever-increasing number of tourists that grace our shores in and/or out of season/s.
RATIONALIZATION OF SHARKS BOARD AND EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE
The objectives of Sharks Board and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife rationalization comprised the necessity to ensure that, the creature sector is fundamentally transformed and placed in its rightful position to support economic growth and to rationalize the roles and responsibilities of both entities in the various aspects of the marine and wildlife sector. Both coastal and inland creature currently constrained the rollout of infrastructure would have to be removed, in order to yield coordinated programmes that would avoid unnecessary duplication and achieve provincial objectives more efficiently and effectively. The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs needed to priorities the alignment of two entities is trying to avoid undue competition between SOEs involved, as well as minimizing duplications, allowing for the reuse of existing infrastructure under government control.
While this is a tedious and contentions process it is important that we report that, the draft bill has been submitted to National Treasury for review and alignment and has been agreed upon by the department (EDTEA) for National Treasury to highlight instances where there are no alignments and make adjustments based on the comments prior to final submission. National Treasury is due to provide response.
One of the Bills has been published and closed. KZNSB and Ezemvelo Bill to be tabled at Legislature and once an approval for it to be published has been received, it will be done so for public comments.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the organization, I would like to recognize our shareholder representative, Honorable MEC for EDTEA Mr. Siboniso Duma for leadership and support given in the accomplishment of the mandate and strategy. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Acting Chief Executive Officer (Mr Harry Mbambo), his Executive Management and all staff members for their hard work and commitment to the achievement of the bather protection and sound shark related research findings. A special word of thanks to my fellow Board Members for their commitment, diligence and providing oversight to the organization and ensuring that the lives of our people in KZN are improved.
I am encouraged by Sharks Board’s solid performance and recovery to floods and E-coli. Whilst the global and local economic outlook is a cause for greater concern, I remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for growth in our ocean economy. I take comfort in the unwavering commitment of KZN businesses, social partners, and society at large to see us through these challenging times. At Sharks Board, we remain committed to play our part in shaping a better bathing environment to our people.
Ms. Prescious Lugayeni
Chairperson of the Board
KZN Sharks Board