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Minister D George (Dr): opening remarks during Annual Performance Plan presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

09 July 2024


Honourable chairperson 
Honourable Deputy Ministers Swarts and Singh
Members of the Portfolio Committee
Chairpersons and board members / representatives and CEOs of our entities;
Director-general (DG) of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Nomfundo Tshabalala
Senior officials of the DFFE

Chairperson, I note that the priorities in the Annual Performance Plan we are presenting are based on the previous administration and that we will come to this house in the near future to present our priorities based on the Government of National Unity (GNU).

The department 's intention is to tackle the triple global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

South Africa like other nations of the world is not spared from the devastation of extreme weather patterns such as floods, drought and fires, which are exacerbated by climate change.

As we usher in the 7th administration, we remain resolute to accelerate A just transition to a low carbon economy and climate resilient society through the Just Energy Transition Implementation Plan (JET IP).

We are working diligently on sectoral emission targets (SET). Public consultations on the draft SET will kick off soon with the goal to submit for Cabinet approval in the fourth quarter.

In this financial year, working together with National Treasury, we will finalise the proposal on establishment of Climate Change Response Fund to be submitted to Cabinet for approval. This fund was announced by His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa when he highlighted the critical need for resilience in the face of global warming.

In contributing to the reduction of the socio-economic challenges of unemployment, poverty and, inequality the department will continue to prioritise the economic beneficiation programs in all the core programs that we are mandated to deliver, and to implement Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the environment sector. 

The 2024/25 Annual Performance Plan (APP) includes developing new benefit-sharing agreements to ensure improved access and fair, equitable sharing of benefits. We aim to support previously disadvantaged businesses within the biodiversity economy value chains and approve five new benefit-sharing agreements.
In this financial year, the DFFE and its entities will accelerate efforts to preserve, cherish and protect our environment while creating jobs.  Through our APP we will ensure that the communities living along the coast benefit from the marine ecosystem.

We will prioritise building a capable state which recognises that its role is to create the conditions for private enterprises to flourish, through environmental impact authorisation and environmental legislation enforcement.

We will also prioritise clean governance and ethical administration free of corruption in this administration.

Let's work together to safeguard our environment and promote sustainable development for the benefit of all South Africans.

I thank you.


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