Submission on Environmental Affairs, Tourism, Human Settlements by Western Cape youth
We the youth of Western Cape convened on 27 October 2018 at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament 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 Western Cape Provincial Parliament 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 Western Cape Provincial Parliament to consider.
Under environmental affairs we are basing our submission on pollution and water shortage because these are two pertinent issues in the Western Cape. Water shortages are a result of climate change and pollution has a negative impact on the environment and contributes to climate change.
Pollution, particularly, from factories is prevalent in the Western Cape. It is accompanied by dumping and littering which has dire climate change consequences. This commission has proposed the idea that these two central issues be addressed. We understand that there is legislation that prevent
these issues but we as the commission have identified that the problem lies with the implementation and that is what this submission will be looking at. This submission will suggest contingency plans and other alternative ways that can assist the provincial parliament and government.
The first problem we have identified is the negative influence of solid waste pollution and non-biodegradable products. This is a huge problem in informal settlements. A lot of people also do not necessarily care about cleaning the environment unless there is an incentive for them.
As a way of combating the problem, we propose the implementation of a policy that will allow individuals to collect recyclable items and take them to a recycling centre in exchange for donated products such as clothes, food, toys etc. That way the environment is clean, and people are given an incentive to clean and recycle.
Dumping and littering is a very prevalent issue in Western Cape communities. This is particularly problematic as it adds to pollution and creates a dirty environment for people to live in. We propose that schools take initiative and implement a cleaning policy that states that if learners clean and prioritise the environment, they will be rewarded.
We have also identified that a lot of schools sell products that negatively affect the environment. We recommend that schools stop selling products that have packaging that harms the environment such as coffee cup caps and straws. This should be done by reducing the use of these harmful products then gradually eliminating them.
Another issue that has to be addressed is industrialisation because it is one of the biggest causes of environmental pollution in terms of air pollution and water pollution. We acknowledge existing climate change legislation, but request that it be amended so its implementable. A solution proposed will be that the funds that have been taken from the carbon tax can be distributed to towards sustainability issues such as housing, health care and service delivery.
The Tourism Commission has noted that crime, economic stability and education play a large role in tourism issues. With crime, we have noted that tourists are demotivated to travel to South Africa as crime rates are high and causing fear. Regarding the economy, we have witnessed that corruption and mismanagement of state funds are issues that need to be addressed. Lastly, we noted the lack of
education of the public and tourists regarding important factors about the country’s tourism industry of South Africa.
The Constitution (Sections 9, 27 and 29) have been taken into consideration to address the challenges that have been previously stated. Crime is elevated by unemployment and expresses amounts of unmeaningful uses of time. For economic circumstances, it has been noted that corruption and lack of sector communication has caused undoubtable issues for the distribution of funds.
In education or lack of it, it should be noted that people in rural areas have lack of access to the benefits of tourism and do not know how they can participate in the tourism industry.
We recommend the following solutions:
Raising awareness and implement skills training with the help of NPOs and give the public access to information about their opportunities and rights in accessing the tourism industry.
Sharpening security particularly the police force in order to make South Africa a safe destination for tourists and locals who provide goods and services to tourists.
Stricter consequences for government employees who are guilty of mismanaging funds because hinders the government’s ability to help those who need assistance to develop their businesses and profit from the tourism industry.
Human Settlements Commission
The Human Settlements Commission has identified informal settlements as a central area of urgency. We have identified that overpopulation in informal settlements creates a snowball effect of unavoidable challenges. These issues include waste mismanagement, the lack of proper housing, spatial connectivity, sanitation and schooling facilities.
The youth of the Western Cape acknowledges that the human rights to shelter, safety, education and sanitation are being neglected by the provincial government and thus we implore them to address these issues. The youth acknowledges that there exists a lack of proper lavatory facilities, underground plumbing for waste collection and proper hygiene status in these areas.
Secondly, the continued legacy of poor makeshift housing as a responsive supplement for the lack of housing which ought to be provided by the government should be addressed. Moreover, coupled with improper housing is a lack of spatial connectivity created by the unavailability and unaffordability of existing public transport. Such impedes on the economic participation of the population and further augments the poverty cycle they are confined in.
Lastly, we strongly believe that the lack of schooling facilitates for the population is a generational issue and perpetuates the literacy issue that is predominant in informal settlements. This delegation strongly urges parliament to actively invest in youth centred ways to solving the above stated issues.
The youth of the Western Cape wishes to express its appreciation to the provincial parliament for this active investment in the youth towards alleviating issues and recommends the following actionable outcomes:
Have subsidised transportation in informal settlements. We recommend connecting shuttles within the zones of these communities connecting them to major transport areas and business districts.
Improve the temporary housing structures of the population by initiating rotational zone renovations and maintenance of these dwellings to increase the housing capacity of these dwellings.
Actively invest in formal, common lavatory facilities for the public which include toilets and bathing facilities to alleviate the human waste issues prevalent in these societies, thus improving sanitation, waste management and general health of residents of informal settlements.
We further invite the provincial government to work in conjunction with NPOs into building more schooling facilities which will serve towards increasing academic literacy but also enabling the youth of these communities to learn how to sustainably use and maintain new facilities.
We the youth of Western Cape and the South African Institute of International Affairs are enthusiastic about public participation and would like to engage further with the Western Cape Provincial Parliament 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.
We thank the Provincial Parliament’s Public Education and Outreach Section for hosting us at the Provincial Parliament and appreciate the presentation they made which has given us a broader understanding of the three spheres of South Africa’s government and the significance of the legislature (parliament) in the governance of our country.
This submission was written by learners and students from the following institutions: • Cape Peninsula University of Technology • Chris Hani Secondary School • Hector Peterson High School • Paarl Girls High • Reddam House Durbanville • Rylands High School • Spine Road High School • University of the Western Cape
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