Departmental collaboration combats desertification
LAST year, the Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa led an inter-ministerial committee to the small Eastern Cape town of Sterkspruit to increase public awareness on the DEA’s work on combating desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD).
The purpose of the visit was to highlight how government is working together to combat land degradation, desertification and drought. Minister Molewa said, “Our visit here is but one of the multiple interventions we are rolling out to ensure that this country’s food and water security is not threatened by the changing weather.”
Minister of Public Works Minister, Thulas Nxesi and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana joined Minister Molewa.
The Ministers visited a pilot land rehabilitation project of R21 million, funded by the DEA's Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP) between 2011 and 2016 over two phases.
It was implemented through the labour intensive Expanded Public Works Programme and employed 158 local people (93 were women, 72 youth, and 4 were people living with disability). “There is annual demand for more investments and the creation of more jobs, therefore our collaboration with the Departments of Water and Sanitation, Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry and Rural Development and Land Reform, working in our provinces, will ensure that we succeed.
“Ten such projects, with an investment of R108 million, have started throughout South Africa with the Working for Land Programme.
“It is important that communities work together with government to ensure that desertification and drought are combatted. We are here to work with you,” concluded the Minister.