Saturday, February 03, 2007

New board for KZN Wildlife

MEDIA RELEASE 2007 - 03
For immediate release
MEC ANNOUNCES REAPPOINTMENT OF BOARD FOR KZN WILDLIFE
The KZN MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, Mr Mtholephi
Mthimkhulu announced the names of Members of the KZN Nature Conservation
Board who will serve for a further three year term of office.
They are:
Dr Patrick Sokhela - appointed for his extensive knowledge of the business
sector;
Philani Shangase - appointed for his extensive knowledge and experience of
labour matters;
Thulani Nkosi - appointed by the Minister to enhance the competency of the
Board;
Obed Shabangu - representing community based organizations from rural areas;

Ilan Lax - appointed for his knowledge and experience of environmental law.
Dr Patrick Sokhela will stay on as Chairman for a further three years, and
Inkosi MZN Madlala who represents Traditional Authorities, will continue to
serve his second term of office.
The MEC congratulated Board members on their reappointment and expressed his
gratitude for their contribution over the previous three years.
The Board has steered KZN Wildlife through some challenging times, of which
include the restructuring of the organization and the appointment of Blacks
to the Executive, a significant milestone in the achievement of the
transformation of KZN Wildlife, and a process which took over a year.
“Whilst I have reappointed Board Members for a further term of three years,
I will retain my prerogative to review the appointment periods of Board
Members within the coming three years, dependent on changing needs.” said Mr
Mthimkhulu.
In order to comply with the legislative minimum requirements, the MEC is
currently in the process of appointing additional Board Members to fill
existing vacancies, whose names will be announced in due course.
“The Board is honoured that the MEC has entrusted Board Members with this
responsibility, and the Board will go forth with renewed commitment. With
the finalization of the business review process, the emphasis of the Board
will be on service delivery and meeting the challenges which lie ahead.”
said Dr Patrick Sokhela, Chairman of the KZN Nature Conservation Board.
“These include the advancement of BEE in our protected areas, the settlement of land claims, the completion of the establishment of Local Boards which are a vital link with local communities in our conservation efforts, the promotion of our parks and ecotourism facilities to Black people through youth educational programmes, and the development of strategic partnerships with various Government Ministries” he added.

Great Loss for Elephant Coast

EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE MEDIA RELEASE
MEDIA RELEASE No: 2007 - 02
2007 KZN WILDLIFE GAME AUCTION VENUE CHANGE
For immediate release
auction one...
The annual Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Game Auction will take place at the Imbizo
Assembly at the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, Sibaya Drive,
Umhlanga Rocks, just north of Durban, on 19 May 2007 starting at 11.00. The
move from the traditional venue in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park was a
pragmatic business decision to maximise the benefit derived from the auction
and to reduce the high cost of staging the event in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi
Park.
A certain number of white rhinos and nyala will be on display at the Game
Capture pens in Imfolozi as usual and buyers may view them from 10.00 to 15
00 on Friday 18 May 2007.
Buyers who would like to view these animals are strongly advised to book
accommodation at the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Hilltop Camp in the Hluhluwe
section of the Park or the self-catering Mpila Camp in the Imfolozi section
for the Friday night, as this will give them ample time for the two hour
trip from the Park to Sibaya Casino and Entertainmment Kingdom just outside
Durban.
The Game Auction, which will retain the traditional big screen to illustrate
the various animals on offer, will be run mainly as a catalogue auction,
with the exception of the few white rhinos and nyalas that will be offered
on live sale.
The Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom is about 20 minutes drive from
Virginia Airport and about 30 minutes drive from Durban International
Airport.
Buyers arriving at Durban International are asked to make their own
transport arrangements to the Casino.
Buyers wishing to arrive at the Casino by helicopter are asked to make their
own arrangements with the Casino management on telephone number 031 580 5504

Buyers who have further queries or requiring to be collected from Virginia
Airport, are asked to contact the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife auction organiser
Rahman Devduth on 082 898 5306, telephone 033 845 1717, or email
rahman@kznwildlife.com.
Members of the public are welcome to attend this fascinating and unique
event.
Ends ...
AJG/ Media Release No: 2007 - 02

The 2007 World Wetlands Day

Media Statement
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
02 FEBRUARY 2007:
The 2007 World Wetlands Day theme "Fish for Tomorrow?" draws attention to
the intricate link between healthy fish stocks and maintaining healthy
wetlands. Estuaries and estuarine wetlands are particularly valuable for
maintaining food species populations, however increasingly unsustainable
development and water use reduces their ability to provide ecological
services.
Speaking during the World Wetland celebration in Knysna, the Deputy Minister
of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Rejoice Mabudafhasi stated that the
slogan for this year has relevance to the challenges facing everybody in the
fishing industry because one billion people worldwide rely on fish as their
main or even sole source of food and proteins and yet the current state of
fisheries continues to be under threat.
In the Knysna Estuary, which is rated Number One in terms of conservation
importance and has one of the highest biodiversity levels of any estuary in
South Africa, the impact of questionable land management in its catchment
and development and settlement-related pollution in its immediate basin,
combined with overexploitation of fish populations, has created an urgency
for appropriate management intervention.
Even though some South African estuaries are still in good condition, the
health and ecological functioning of many are being increasingly reduced by
various activities both in their catchment and in their immediate area
Minister Mabudafhasi said. Because they lie at the end of rivers, they bear
the cumulative impact of activities in their catchments where increased
sedimentation resulting from activities such as agriculture, timber
plantations and insensitive development, and pollution from fertilisers,
sewage, mining and industry, all contribute to reducing the quality of river
water.
In Knysna, the development in the immediate basin is causing the biggest
impact. Already about a quarter of the Knysna salt marsh has been destroyed
by urban development such as the building of houses, canalisation, land
reclamation, hardening of soils and road cuttings.
As part of the ongoing law reform process in the department, DEAT has now
initiated a public participation process to discuss the Integrated Coastal
Management Bill which will become an Act of Parliament in the near future.
The Bill emphasises the enormous social and economic benefits of marine and
coastal resources such as wetlands.
The Bill further addresses issues of mismanagement and degradation of the
marine environment and coastal resources and calls for a "National estuarine
management protocol" which will ensure that Estuaries within our country are
managed in a co-ordinated and efficient manner in accordance with the
protocol", said Mabudafhasi
Considering the imminent impacts of climate change and increasing
development, the protection and, where necessary, restoration of wetlands
plays an important role in ensuring that there is no increase in human
vulnerability in near future years.
The economic value of estuaries is estimated at R153,000/ha/year and the
estuarine recreational fishing industry in South Africa is worth about R2
billion.

Please RSVP to:
Blessing Manale (Acting Chief Director: Communications) Telephone: 012 310 3457 Mobile: 083-677-1630 E-mail: bmanale@deat.gov.za

Friday, February 02, 2007

Greater St. Lucia - Sperm Whales?

Yes its true. Danie from Advantage Charters where out to sea on 01 February 2007 when he spotted and video 25 Sperm Whales frolicking of the Coast of St. Lucia Wetlands. This is a very unusual sighting and more information can be obtained from the Advantage offices at 0828764104.