De­part­men­tal col­lab­o­ra­tion com­bats de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion

The Star Early Edition - - JUNE IS ENVIRONMENT MONTH -

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.

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