Deputy Environment Minister announces winners of Environmental Management Inspectorate Awards of Excellence and signing of Inaugural Implementation Protocol
6 Mar 2012Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs announced the winners of the Environmental Management Inspectorate Awards at the fourth national Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla in Polokwane.
The awards recognise government officials who have made an outstanding contribution to the implementation of environmental legislation in South African. The first award was handed out in 2006, then in 2007 and 2009.
Calls for nominations for the awards of excellence were widely distributed within EMI institutions, the NPA and SAPS.
Awards were handed out for four categories, one for prosecutors and three for Environmental Management Inspectors (Green Scorpions). The first category was for outstanding contribution to the prosecution of environmental crime. The winner in this category, for her successful prosecution of several rhino poaching matters in Gauteng, coupled with a 100% conviction rate in all the environmental cases prosecuted during the period 2010/11, and her management of the South Gauteng Environmental Prosecution section is Marle van Heerden.
The category for outstanding contribution to the investigation of environmental crime proved the toughest to adjudicate and the panel of judges eventually decided on two winners. Firstly, for his outstanding work in fighting against abalone poaching in the Western Cape, which at times has placed his life at risk; the innovative ways in which he has attempted to tackle these crimes; and his ongoing commitment to sharing his vast knowledge through capacity building initiatives, the award was presented to Carl Nortier of SANParks.
Nortier shared the award with Marie Louise Lume from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), who received the award for her outstanding achievements in investigating pollution and waste crimes, including the securing of convictions in two precedent-setting cases, i.e. the PAN African Parliament and Silicon Smelters matters, both of which received much media attention.
The award for outstanding contribution to the inspection of environmental crimes went to Motebang Molise of the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Molise has undertaken over 200 compliance inspections within the reporting period, often having to deal with difficult personalities during these inspections; with many of the sites inspected coming into compliance as a direct result of his inspection activities, including post-inspection report writing and the drafting of legally defensible administrative enforcement notices.
The fourth and final category was for outstanding contribution to the administrative enforcement of environmental legislation. The award went to Frances Craigie of the DEA for her ongoing excellence in the field of administrative enforcement and the preparation of legally defensible notices and directives, which have, in many instances achieved direct compliance, including the well-documented Mapungubwe and Welkom Medical Waste cases. She is also committed to numerous capacity building initiatives and the support which she renders to other Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI) institutions.
The MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mr Pitsi Moloto also signed an inaugural Implementation Protocol with respective Executive Mayors within the province. This protocol is an instrument provided for by the Intergovernmental Framework Relations Act where the performance of statutory duties depends on the participation of organs of state in different spheres of government. The signature of this document will pave the way for local authority officials to be designated by the MEC and operate as Environmental Management Inspectors within their respective local authorities.
The Deputy Minister went on to urge all Green Scorpions to continue with the same drive and passion that they had displayed in the past half a decade that the Inspectorate has been in operation. “Despite the highlighting of the performance of certain individuals for these awards, the true test of success will be the ability of all of you, as a collective, to work together to protect the environment for the benefit of present and future generations,” she said.
For more information on the Green Scorpions and the Lekgotla currently underway, click on this link: media statement from Deputy Minister’s briefing conducted yesterday, 05 March 2012.
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Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
6 Mar 2012
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