KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN) newly-appointed EDETA MEC, Ravi Pillay, has a hard task at hand fixing the damage done by now ousted MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube and other predecessors.
This after law-making and oversight seemed to fly out of the window on the former MEC’s watch, despite her Department’s role as a cornerstone of business in the province.
More adept as press statements and fanfare, MEC Dube-Ncube failed to even inform KZN’s Conservation and Environmental Affairs portfolio committee of her decision to dismiss the entire Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) Board.
This cloak and dagger secretive decision was then followed by a vacuum of information and to this day she is yet to furnish the public with a forensic report into why the Board was dismissed.
After courting legal action by tarring the entire Board with the same brush, MEC Dube-Ncube and KZN’s ANC-led cabinet then appointed an administrator to run the affairs of the Board. Again, the DA has evidence that she flouted the principles of oversight by not even informing the portfolio committee Chairperson of this decision.
EKZNW is a R1.2 billion per year millstone around the necks of KZN’s taxpayers. As MEC Dube-Ncube’s predecessor, Premier Sihle Zikalala failed to transform the entity into a self-sustaining enterprise. Regrettably, MEC Dube Ncube followed in his footsteps of in-action, leading to a R190million Treasury cash injection earlier this year, simply to keep the wildlife entity afloat.
The DA will be scheduling a meeting with MEC Pillay to outline its massive concerns about Ezemvelo, where the rot has rapidly eroded a once proud conservation organisation into an entity barely able to protect our critically endangered species.
At the end of the day, MEC Pillay will have to make some tough decisions in the spirit of co-operation and transparency if KZN’s natural heritage is to be saved.