Parliament, Friday, 16 September 2022 - The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has concluded the first of its three public hearings in Gauteng Province on the National Veld and Forest Fire Amendment Bill.

The first public hearing was held at the Mogale City Hall in the West Rand area. The residents of West Rand district in their numbers expressed support for the Bill.

Some of the residents proposed that local councillors be included in section 3 (a) of the Bill in addition to municipalities and traditional council as authorities empowered to facilitate the formation of fire protection associations.

The residents proposed that the Bill should include a clause that outlines punitive measures against municipalities that fail to implement veld fire prevention mechanisms. They also proposed that the Bill should provide a definition of peace officer.

At the same time, small-scale farmers used the opportunity of interacting with the members of parliament to raise their challenges on issues unrelated to the Bill, including inadequate farming land and lack of lease agreements, water scarcity, and crime. However m, the committee listened to all inputs.

The committee Chairperson, Ms Faith Muthambi, said: “Although we are here to get comments on the Bill, it is our duty as public representatives to listen to members of the public when they raise service delivery issues.”

Ms Muthambi said that the committee will take all service delivery related issues to the relevant structures including sister committees in Parliament, provincial government, and municipalities.

ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES, MS FAITH MUTHAMBI

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Mr Justice Molafo
Tel: 021 403 8444
Cell: 081 424 748
Email: jmolafo@parliament.gov.za