Hon H Motala MPL
I would like to thank the Inkatha Freedom Party for allowing me to participate in this debate.
I would first like to state that from inception, I had stated that the IFP was not here to bite at the heels of the ruling party. It is far from my desire to criticise government but we are here on the mandate of our voters and to ensure their needs are met.
Although there is an accumulation of supervisory responsibility that is needed in Ezemvelo, I would like to commend the MEC, Hon. Michael Mabuyakhulu, on sourcing Mr Mbundla to act as CEO. I trust he will bring the much needed change at Ezemvelo.
Water conservation has become the demand of the day with South Africa becoming a water stressed country. A step to conserve water is the step to secure the future. The most essential among all the natural resources on earth is water. An ever growing population, continuous evolution through development and destruction of our wetlands places our country under immense distress. It has become a “moral imperative” for all of South Africa to adopt water saving schemes, thereby helping the country sustain the declining resource.
I would like the MEC, through the chair, to focus in this issue as we may lead to a shortage of water that will bear comparison to our current electricity crisis.
Another topic to bring to attention is the dwindling state of our wildlife. Try to envision a South Africa without wildlife. Due to the number of animals becoming endangered because of poaching, trading, loss of habitat, deforestation and disease, chances are this thought may turn into a reality. South Africa is an enchanting country, profuse with wildlife with so many species of flora and fauna, it becomes imperative to protect endangered wildlife as this is the heritage of this incredible country. Not only does the diversity of wildlife enhance the natural splendour of nature, but if it becomes extinct, it will be a great loss to us as they also play an important role in supporting its living systems.
Let us not forget the western black rhino which was declared extinct in 2011 due to poaching. Yet we still find ourselves in a deadlock when it comes to government aiding in protection for these helpless animals. Surging demand for rhino horn to decorate daggers and treat everything from hangovers to cancer is driving the iconic animals to the brink of extinction. ‘The only way to save them is to humanely harvest rhino horn and sell it legally’ was stated by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa. Legalising the trade will not stop poachers, it would just fuel greed. Would we allow the cutting of our fingers? Perhaps a leg? No! So why treat a rhino differently. This legalisation would merely make it OK to commit a crime. 1215 rhinos were killed last year which is a shameful cataclysm as the number grows each year. Why is the government not putting effective and strict cautionary rules to ensure the safety of our animals?
One cannot simply forget all the misappropriation of monies that has plagued Ezemvelo in recent years. There has been misappropriations of money like the R100 million that Ezemvelo so graciously handed over to Isimangaliso on a monthly basis whilst the Park was under care of Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture (DETA). These monies could have been utilised on equipping our game parks with more secure levels of protection. I will like the MEC to tell us on how this matter was addressed. We have watched those that were entrusted to protect these animals become the enemy due to greed. If government allows for legalisation, we would be no better than murderous poachers for agreeing to the sale of rhino horns just to befit the greed of government.
I ask that the MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu, to please safeguard our future from the dilemma we face and educate the nation on ivory and to not allow the sale of ivory. I also ask the MEC to tighten the reins over Ezemvelo to safeguard any mishaps that could be prevented. We know all too well how Ezemvelo likes to tighten the noose around their necks from the amount of rope that they are given.
Mr Hassan Motala, 078 403 6704