The Western Cape’s provincial cabinet has been discussing the appointment of an environmental commissioner, and the matter will soon be laid before the province’s legislators.
Speaking to IOL, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning department head Piet van Zyl said the issue has been raised at numerous points this year. The position has been pending since 1998, and ANC spokesperson on environmental affairs and development planning, Pat Marran, and Good MP Brett Herron have both expressed interest in it.
“Cabinet authorisation is being requested to reintroduce the amendment to the Western Cape constitution,” said Van Zyl.
“With the Premier and Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell having signed off on the cabinet submission, the agenda item will be passed by the cabinet and authorisation given that after certification by legal services, the draft amendment bill will be submitted to the Speaker to be taken through the parliamentary process. This should happen hopefully before the end of the calendar year.”
According to Bredell, the COVID-19 pandemic and disaster risk management regulations have had several knock-on effects on the department.
“The pandemic has been prioritised in the department’s business continuity plan in respect of its response strategy assessing the impact of the pandemic has had on service delivery and performance, but the real impact of COVID-19 on the department will be reflected in next year’s annual report,” he said.