View Mokonyane closely, environmentalists argue for the citizen

The newly appointed Minister of Environment Nomvula Mokonyane may have to be watched closely, otherwise she repeats the disasters in her previous portfolio in the field of water issues.

Environmentalists have expressed the fear that this could happen unless it was kept in check.

Mokonyane was summoned in all circles for alleged tampering in water affairs, leaving a legacy of endemic corruption and mismanagement.

The department had left a debt of R11.2 billion because municipalities, water boards, state entities and the private sector, including the mining industry, did not pay their water bills.

One of its projects, the Giyani water project in Limpopo, was hit by massive corruption, which Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni has ordered to have investigated and brought the guilty parties to book.

The delayed Lesotho Highland Water Project's Phase 2 also continued to haunt Mokonyane. The organization that unloads tax abuse (Outa) threatened to sue it because of the alleged mismanagement of the project, which meant it had to be postponed and the budget would have to exceed billions.

The news that she would replace the deceased Edna Molewa was not welcomed by opposition parties.

They criticized President Cyril Ramaphosa for keeping her and the former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, in his cabinet.

Democratic alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said the president had missed a second opportunity to get rid of the two, whom he accused him of being corrupt.

Program manager of the Environmental Monitoring Group from Cape Town, Richard Pfaff, described her appointment as "worrying", given her reputation as Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation.

"We hope she takes her new job seriously and applies her thoughts to environmental issues," Pfaff said.

It must take into account the recent special report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) on the impact of the greenhouse effect that came out in October, he said.

The report concluded that the impact of the greenhouse effect with a rise of 1.5 ° C was much larger than the world had in mind, while the consequences of a 2 ° C rise would be catastrophic for poor and developing countries.

"We do not want to fall behind in terms of global warming and we hope that Mokonyane will help us to stick to the protocols.

"We hope they will work well with us, there is a lot of work to do to save the earth," Pfaff said.

Earthlife Africa head Makoma Lekalakala said they hoped that the new minister would act in accordance with her oath to maintain the constitution, which guaranteed the rights to the environment.

"She is not allowed to give permission for projects that do not approve of the environment, such as coal mines and fire panels, and they contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions," said Lekalakala.

Oliver Meth, spokesperson for Greenpeace Africa, urged her to play a crucial role in advocating the constitutional right to a healthy environment.

"We call on the new minister to show real leadership by ensuring that the department holds South Africa's worst polluters responsible and protecting South Africans from deadly air pollution, water scarcity and the dangers of climate change," he said. .

"We can not afford that the environmental affairs department is anything but a functional, strong advocate for environmental justice," he said.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said it was difficult to criticize the new Minister of Home Affairs Siyabonga Cwele, because he played a key role in his previous portfolios. When Cwele was a Zuma supporter and worked with the Guptas, he managed to escape from public control.

"As the then minister of state security, there was almost nothing to criticize him because that is not a transparent space.

"The only curse for him was his former wife, who was involved in drug trade syndicates and running drug mules," Fikeni said.

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