Contribution in the National Assembly Virtual Mini-Plenary by Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President
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Honourable Minister and Deputy Minister
The UDM supports the budget.
The recent, devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces have been ascribed to climate change, a problem which South Africans have, to date, not taken seriously.
Recently the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission, on which I serve, held a conference at which the public expressed their views.
We need to understand our national interests regarding the energy mix. Elsewhere countries are using nuclear, coal and renewable energy.
South Africa cannot act in isolation but must learn from other countries.
Cabinet must come up clearly regarding our energy mix capacity so that we can deal with the threat of Eskom’s weaknesses, which is affecting our economy.
While we talk about transition to renewable energy, we need to consider all factors.
Littering and garbage dumping have unfortunately become an ugly pandemic.
They festoon our living spaces, where cattle accidentally graze on them and when it rains, they wash down the stormwater pipes, blocking them to great risk.
I recently returned from a study tour to Kenya with colleagues from other parties.
I was happy to learn that their solutions to the scourge of plastic products are much more proactive e.g., they have long banned plastic bags and developed replacements for them.
One does not see plastic bags littering the streets of Nairobi. Plastic water bottles are prohibited from their national parks. Tools which we can consider.
Spatial development is another important issue that needs collective responsibility. Our people do not understand the dangers of building their shacks in the flood lines of rivers and in wetlands.
Local environmental education needs to be ramped up and timeous law enforcement is critical to prevent disaster.
Lastly, climate change is here to stay, and we should encourage our people to participate in the legislative processes.