Submission on Environmental Affairs, Tourism, and Human Settlements by Limpopo youth
We the youth of Limpopo convened on 20 October 2018 at the University of Limpopo under the guidance of Action 24 and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) to conduct a Model Legislature and debate on legislative issues directly and indirectly affecting us and our communities. We acknowledge that the work done by various internal and portfolio committees
affects us and hereby make a formal submission to the Limpopo Legislature expressing our views on Environmental affairs, Tourism and Human Settlements. We related the issues mentioned to climate change. Climate change is not only a global issue but also affects us locally and has direct impact the environment, tourism and human settlement.
We divided ourselves into three different Commissions and make the following submissions which we would like the Limpopo Legislature to consider:
Section 24 of the South African Constitution states that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being. We believe that environmental conservation should be a priority because it will benefit present and future generations. We make the following submission addressing environmental issues:
Laws such as the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008 should be made more accessible and articulated in a simplified manner for all citizens to understand. Environmental laws should be enforced and failure to abide by environmental laws should have consequences.
Rivers and lakes should be protected to limit contamination in Limpopo.
Purification of water in rural settlements should be a priority. The legislature should make concessions which ensure that the province is able to purify its water.
Environmental studies should form part of the school curriculum.
The province should prioritize recycling to conserve the environment. “reduce, reuse, recycle, recover”.
Establish awareness raising programmes/campaigns regarding environmental laws/legislature in communities. This will increase public participation.
Provincial Legislature should consult more with community members (which includes high schools; youth; minority groups; traditional leaders) on laws/policies drafted (through surveys/website). More knowledge must be passed/shared on how to comment/contribute to laws/policies.
We the youth would like to draw attention to the issues related to tourism in Limpopo province:
Environmental Factors: The tourism industry over utilises water resources for swimming pools, hotels, golf courses by tourists. This results in water shortages and should be addressed because the country has drought problems.
There is a littering problem in our communities and poor waste management. There are many communities in Limpopo that do not have proper waste management. Many tourists ignore laws and rules that regulate waste management which leads to littering.
Pollution and deforestation are issues that will affect the tourism of the province negatively.
There is lack on investment from government in the tourism industry which results in lack of maintenance of existing tourism infrastructure. Rural areas should be developed because they have potential to generate income in the tourism sector therefore contributing to the community and country’s economy.
We have noted that there is a lack of promotion of tourism amongst the youth and request increased youth participation in tourism. We encourage the use of social media platforms by the legislature aimed at engaging more youth with tourism. There is a great need to educate the youth about tourism.
We recommend that there be an increased presence of traffic officers in tourism areas and insist on the improvement and maintenance of already existing infrastructure in order to reduce the number of road accidents. We have noted the increasing number of road accidents in Limpopo.
We hope for increased protection and preservation of cultural practices linked with tourism i.e. hunting and endorse African arts and crafts schools aimed at improving the skills of students and community members.
We call for increased protection of indigenous trees especially the baobab trees which are a tourist attraction site in the province. We also call for the protection of animals against poaching at our national parks.
We urge for government to consider having a single mode of transport to reduce tourists’ carbon footprint.
Human Settlements Commission:
We the youth would like to draw attention to the following issues related to human settlements in Limpopo province:
We require protection of water resources which could include underground storage of water for emergency purposes such as droughts. Water should be distributed according to population sizes. We also advise for water recycling for industrial use.
Carbon emissions should be controlled in an effort of curbing climate change.
The legislature should endorse educational programmes on agriculture and support local farms instead of importing goods.
We request that the legislature promote afforestation.
Higher buildings should be built as they take up less ground space and promote land conservation.
We advise the legislature to promote competitions for sensitization purposes e. g Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Introduce organic fast-growing fertilisers for trees to replace the ones cut for paper and other biodegradable needs. This does not affect trees near dams and oceans. There are very rich nutrients in Limpopo that should be used for farming to promote agricultural purposes and promote employment.
There are no libraries and science labs in rural schools. We have noted that these facilities exist in urban public schools. Government should provide more financial to rural schools.
We the youth of Limpopo and the South African Institute of International Affairs are enthusiastic about public participation and would like to engage further with the Limpopo Legislature on various platforms as mandated in Chapter 6 Section 118 of the Constitution which states that: A provincial legislature must facilitate public involvement in the legislature and other processes of the legislature
and its committees.
This submission was written by learners and students from the following institutions: • Capricorn High School • Makgwahleng Secondary School • Marude Secondary school • Moshia Secondary School • Northern Academy • St Brendans Catholic School • University of Limpopo
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