Parliament, Saturday, 3 September 2022 - The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Forestry and Fisheries heard that the people of Sehlakong Village in Ga-Modjadji under the Mopani District watched helplessly the burning of Modjadji Nature Reserve in 2019 due to lack of trained fire fighters and fire engines.

This information was brought to the committee’s attention today by one of the participants during the public hearing on the National Veld and Forest Amendment Bill at the Lenyenye Community Hall.

The Bill was welcomed by the majority of participants who said empowerment of traditional leaders to facilitate the formation of fire protection associations will bring fire fighters closer to communities.

Those who stay in the rural villages lamented the lack of fire engines in the vicinity of their communities. They also complained about many other issues that are unrelated to the Bill, complaints that included shortage of water, neglected cemeteries and environmental pollution, especially with used diapers in the villages.

The committee is in Limpopo to listen to the views of the people of Waterberg, Mopani and Vhembe districts on the Bill.

The committee Cahirperson, Ms Faith Muthambi, said that the committee is not in a position to respond to the comments of the people on the Bill at the moment until public hearings are completed in all the provinces. “Our comments may be misconstrued as limiting or persuading the views of the public regarding this Bill. The issue of environmental pollution with used diapers is serious and the committee will have to look into it,” said Ms Muthambi.

Tomorrow, 4 September 2022, the committee will listen to comments on the Bill from the people of Vhembe District at the Thohoyandou Town Hall between 10 am and 2 pm.

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

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Name: Mr Justice Molafo
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Email: jmolafo@parliament.gov.za