The Law of Ma’at

There are few things on earth as insidious as religion. It does not matter how the religious adherents spin it, the religions of the world have been some of the main causes of conflict, social and family divisions and strife.

The challenge is not always the doctrines themselves or their often contradicting  interpretations, it is simply the way the believers fail or refuse to see the world from diverse perspective. It is often a case of ‘our way is the right way, the only way’. Some may call this religious fundamentalism, but I see it as a failure of many faiths to teach their people how to best use their emotional intelligence. Your faith may preach about compassion and charity, but it does not mean that it equips you with methods for navigating the often difficult terrain of emotional layers.

In a world in which fear and abandonment have become the most prominent emotions, used by manipulative governments and corporations to sell their ideas and  products, it is important to remember that there has always been a Spiritual science that takes all our emotions into account without prejudice.

According to Ra Un Nefer Amen the law of Ma’at states:

“God needs you in order to come into the world. Fulfilling God’s need is the highest act of love and only though your love for God can you fulfill your love for others. Become the Love of God in the world for the protection of the world.”

Maat1

There you have it, the natural spiritual law of Ma’at ( Righteousness, Justice, Peace) reduces or elevates us to Love, we either vibrating this kind of e-motion or we are exuding fear and hate, we have a choice.

 

Kemetic Science: Ma’at and Your Emotions

According to one Master Teacher Ra Un Nefer Amen of Kemetic Spiritual Science ( Ausar Auset Society), there is nothing mysterious or mystical about metaphysics. It is all purely a matter of energy-in motion, also known as e-motions.WingedIsis

“The truly metaphysical forces that operate directly on physical matter and events are none other than our emotions. ‘energy is defined as the capacity to do work, or to alter the state or position of a thing or event. Essential, then to the definition of energy, is motion.

Alteration can only take place through movement; and that is what e-motions do. What we have to understand here, is that our emotions are not limited to moving us to speak and take physical actions, but they can act directly in the world independently of our physical vehicle. This is due to – that they are physical energies; this is why we can feel them as our feelings. Yes! What we call our emotions are expressions of the same energies that operate in the entire universe…” – p66

He later adds:

“Emotions play such a major part in people’s lives – more negative then positive, that you would think that the powers that be in the world would institute educational programs to teach the populace to properly understand and handle them.

The ancient Egyptians/Kamau/Kemetens answered to this question over five thousand years ago or more. SInce man’s evolutionary goal is to become a God man/woman on earth, who is a liberated being, then man must make an ALL OUT EMOTIONAL COMMITMENT to the realization of this goal.

It is a 100% emotional commitment to becoming a being that is free of emotional compulsions, a being that is able to be at peace in the face of the greatest imaginable challenges.

In KMT it is portrayed as Auset’s devotion to resurrecting Ausar. The divine Self in man that was murdered by Set.”

 

 

 

Ancient Wisdom: On death and impermanence

For as long as I can remember I have kept a book of Buddhist teachings called The Mirror of Mindfulness. It has been about two years since I last saw it among my books, but then again, as much as I love collecting, reading and keeping books, I also have the tendency to give them away, especially to people whom I feel deserve them. I have even tried selling books. In fact, since the year 2002, I have sold and given away so many books and magazines that I had kept a journal of all of them, but it got lost somewhere along my paths.

While there are many good reasons to keep a large library, as I value knowledge as much as anyone else, I also think that many things are not permanent therefore there is no need to be too attached to them. To my loved ones, this may seem irresponsible or careless, but my experiences have taught me well to not ever be overly attached to anything. This does not mean that I cannot commit to anything or anyone; to the contrary, I can be one of the most dependable people, but I can also easily let things slide as they say. Needless to say, I feel the same way about knowledge. Perhaps I am an adapter rather than a fundamentalist. I believe that all things come to pass …

Here is now the Buddhist teachers put it in the book, The Mirror of Mindfulness ( taken from notes that I had copied):

“In general, one should constantly keep in mind the impermanence of all compounded things; in particular that the time of one’s death is uncertain, and especially that at the time of dying, nothing whatsoever can help one, except the oral instructions from ones master.

If one does not remember this and practice, one will surely arrive at death regretful, still trying to comprehend various categories of teachings or struggling in the pursuit of pleasure, food, and clothing.

The Chedu Jope Tsom states:

All people feel attachment to their possessions – to children, cattle, and wealth; “That I have done, now I do this. When this has been done, I will then do that.”

While people are thus being fooled by distractions, they depart, snapped away by the Lord of Death.”

I must add that, the Mirror of Mindfulness was one of the most difficult books I have ever read. I think I bought it in Cape Town during one of my travels there on either political or activist work. Whenever I visit any place, the first thing I look for is a bookstore …

I find bookstores quite fascinating and also a little bit narcissistic. They are like these great archives of various scattered histories, stories, instructions and multifaceted works, yet while they are open for all to walk into and find whatever one may look for, they tend to possess an air of feigned permanence. It is as if whatever has been captures in those books and in those stores has now made its mark on history, however significant or insignificant …The Mirror of Mindfulness helped me to realise that there is no great difference between the obscure unsung writer, inventor or creator and any famous or celebrated personality such as Dickens, Shakespeare, Achebe or Mda… ( I will elaborate further, the babies are crying …)

 

 

The Intuitive Intelligence of Rastafari

Half the story has never been told. When will it be told? In fact has it been told while the audience is half distracted or simply oblivious to the tale? Only time will tell.

In a paper that I wrote for the Rastafari United Front’s 1st Research Colloquium on Rastafari (Date 19-20 December 2015), held at Freedom Heritage Park, at the Sanctuary in Pretoria, South Africa; I began with the following quotations, I will explain later why I did so.

The social and economic future of the Bantu is naturally bound up with the question of their future relationship with the ruling race, and so if the the future relationship of the British with the Bantu can be confidently foretold, the economic future of the latter will be solved, for this will vary directly as the nature of the relationship.” – S.M. Molema, 1950.

But to balance the Socio-Economic aspect of my presentation with the radical Psycho-Spiritual nature of the Rastafari movement which I now represent, I also added this quote from the book called the Supreme Yoga ( Raja Yoga):

My delusion is gone. Wisdom has been gained by your grace. I remain free from all doubts. I know what there is to be known. The ocean of illusion has been crossed. I am at peace, without the notion of “I”, but as pure knowledge.”

The Rastafari movement is going through a natural transition. As a movement that emerged out of the Black Diaspora’s varied responses to colonialism, imperialism and spiritual conditioning, the Dread concept has had many influences incorporated into it, but what still looms large is the Judaeo-Christian foundations of its ideology.

While much can be said about some of the original founders idealistic Ethiopian paradise land and the theory of Black Supremacy ( as clarified in the Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy by Percival Howell) and the Robert Athyli Rogers’s Holy Piby –

(The Holy Piby was written by Robert Athlyi Rogers, who founded an Afrocentric religion in the US and West Indies in the 1920s. Rogers’ religious movement, the Afro Athlican Constructive Church, saw Ethiopians (in the Biblical sense of Black Africans) as the chosen people of God, and proclaimed Marcus Garvey, the prominent Black Nationalist, an apostle. The church preached self-reliance and self-determination for Africans.
The original is very rare.

There are no copies listed in either the Library of Congress or the University of California catalogs, which is highly unusual. The Holy Piby was banned in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands in the middle and late 1920s.
Today the Holy Piby is acclaimed by many Rastafarians as a primary source. ), the general concensus from many Rastafarians is that Rasta’s are the ‘True Christians’, worshiping the ‘True Christ’ in the form of Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie I.

220px-Image_HaileSelassieIthefirst

This may be a subjective telling of story of what I see as one of the most influential Cultural movement of the 20th and 21st century, but the aim is to elucidate on some few crucial points. The first point is that Rastafari is not accepted as part of the Christian or Judaic doctrinal tradition. In fact the early Rasta’s were radically opposed to the colonial establishment and its various churches. Later on we hear Bob Marley and the Wailers singing “I feel like bombing a church, now that I know that the preacher is lying.”

Peter Tosh later sings a rendition of their hit song Get Up Stand Up, “Most people think/ Great God will come from the skies/ Take away everything/ And make everybody feel high/ But if you know what life is worth/ you will look for yours on Earth/ And now you see the light/ you stand up for your right …”

Basically, it is clear that this is either a movement with a healthy propensity for self-criticism or it is simply a cult that is perpetually at war with itself. The Hebrew/Eurocentric scriptures are questions, scrutinized and reinterpreted, but mostly never rejected. The few Rasta’s who dare to turn away from the Scriptures are either ostracized,  rejected,deemed delusional or they simply move away from the main mansions of the movement.

Herein lies the crucial contradiction of this otherwise great movement. It is a quasi-religious entity that has won the hearts of adherents from all nationalities globally. As much as it still boasts its share of so called Black Supremacists, there are now as many Caucasian, Chinese, Mexican, Scandinavian, German, Japanese Rasta’s as there are Black ones. All of them revere the former Ethiopian emperor as the Divine Personality.

In enters the Bantu Rasta. The heliocentric, indigenous knowledge toting and essentially Black conscious radicals. Rejecting the Bible, the rites related to Christian Orthodoxy and all references to Zion etcetera, the Bantu Rasta is a disturbing, if not destabilizing phenomenon in the whole seemingly harmonious atmosphere of the Roots and Culture movement. The Bantu Rasta by questioning the validity and historicity of the Israelite/Ethiopic tales thrusts a white elephant in the smoke filled room and forces all to look.

What do we see? Borrowed knowledge assimilated and ingrained so deep into the psyche of potentially radicalized people to the extent that it frustrates their natural development. The Bible quoting Rasta may not behave or look like the conservative or general Christian or Jew, but his and her claim to the promises of Jehova’s kingdom seem valid, infact the Rasta’s view themselves as the sole chosen people of the old Mesopotamian god Elohim/Jehovah/YHWH/El Shaddai etc

No matter how much evidence that the average serious Rastafarian gets to contradict the validity of their religious claims, it seems that the Judaeo-Christian spell is stronger than the Truth. In fact, the Rasta’s have become synonymous with all the negative aspects of the Judaic ethos’s. You cannot be more patriarchal than the Rasta. You cannot be more dogmatic than a Rasta priest, and you cannot spew the ‘holy’ or hola name of the Hebrew god more fervently than the average Rasta. Everything is punctuated with JAHHHHHHH Rastafari!

Let us now turn to the matter of Intelligence. The type of intellectual ability and practice that is not taught in schools. I posit that despite all these structural or historical contradictions, the Rastafari is one of the most dynamic, intuitive and environmentally sustainable Spiritual movements to ever appear on Earth. This is partially due to its mixed heritage from Afrika, the Middle East and the Far East.

I know that if channeled properly and rescued from obscurity and mysticism, the Rastafari have the ability to make this world a happier and a more beautiful place. Their vegetarianism or ital nutrition is just one aspect that can be explored for all its merits. The use of the holy herb Marijuana is another aspects that can be exploited for the benefit of all nature. But these are subject matters that require longer analysis and I shall revisit them on this platform in due course.

I mentioned the matter of intuitive intelligence. Having dealt with it in many other platforms, suffice to say that I would rather present it in the form that I presented it at the Rastafari United Front’s colloquium last year. This is what I wrote as a brief abstract.

“Indigenous knowledge and wisdom, notoriously known as Indigenous Knowledge systems have been getting a lot of merited attention lately. While this is phenomenal news for practitioners and scholars globally, there is an unsettling impression that the intellectual work is not reaching or connecting with the hearts and minds of ordinary folk. This is the same stigma that has been attached to the spiritual and intellectual tradition of Rastafari. Part of the challenge has to do with Language practice, language use and documentation methods. But there are also the insidious internal conflicts that exist among people, African people in this particular instance who are engaged in a cultural process that is both intuitive and doctrinal. The Rastafari is not an evangelical way of life, but leans too heavenly on the pro-Israelite or Biblical tradition and too loosesly or vaguelly on the Afrikan Traditional Spirirual experience and sciences.”

This pro-biblical overdetermination may be attributed to the colonial experience and its missionary work among enslaved Africans. The teligion of the master becomes the faith of our forefathers no matter how transformed or reintepreted. If it still dependa on the bible as promary source or authority, that faith is still in chains.

But the Ethiopian Orthodox persuation on the Rastafari divine objective is also another ironic problem. No matter how advocates of the Bantu Rasta or Kemetic connection attempt to wrestle the movement from dogmatic biblical tendencies, the Father of the movement was a prophesed Chrisrian. So how can your God have a God?

The simpliest answers have always revolved around the theory of reincarnation  incarnation and the old Throne of David and Solomon and Sheba myth…But a deeper analysis of Ethiopian, Kushite, Kemetic and many other Afrikan kingdoms and queendoms reveals clearly that Afrikan believe that their rulers are Gods representatives on Earth.

So Rastafari is not far off the mark when they say Ras Tafari is God. But what about all the other kings and queens of Ethiopia and all thr other Afrikan countries. When the rulers act unjustly how do the worshippers bring him or her to book? What are the laws governing social justice and abuse of power?

The Egyptians always had Ma’at.

The Bantu have Ubulungiswa and Ubuntu. So how far are we from returning to these noble ideals? Cn they be achieved within a capitalist and antiblack world, and can they flourish alongside half blinded faith?

To be continued …

 

Ucwaningo Ngezinhlelo Zikahulumeni

Imibono:

http://www.localgovernmentaction.org/zu/content/uhlelo-lwentuthuko-oludidiyele

http://www.rdm.co.za/politics/2016/03/03/why-sa-s-municipalities-are-failing-and-how-to-fix-them

Sesifukile isikhathi sokhetho sohulumeni basemakhaya.
Engabe abantu bayawazi yini amalungelo abo nokuthi amandla abo bangawasebenzisa kanjani?
Kubalulekile ukuthi izakhamuzi zazi ukuthi imithetho isungulwa kanjani futhi isetshenziswa kanjani.
Kuningi okunye esingakudingida sise sihlaziye izimiso zomthethosisekelo wezwe.

Njengomuntu onothando lwabantu nozibandakanya kakhulu nangokuzikhandala ekuthuthukisweni kwezimpilo zaBantu, ngithe ake ngididiyele lezizinsiza …
Loluhlelo lusazoqhubeka …

Poetics: the fertility of just struggles

In a journal called A Poetics of Resistance ‘Womens Writing in El Salvador, South Africa and the U.S. by Mary K.DeShazer, the emminent writer, activist Alice Walker writes this poem:

“We alone can devalue gold

by not caring / if it falls or rises

in the market place

Whereever there is gold / there is a chain, you know

Feathers, shells & sea shaped stones are all as rare.

This could be our revolution

to love what is plentiful as much

as what’s scarce.”

 

This poem to me is the truth laid bare and deals with the core of socio-economic justice.

The things we have allowed ourselves to value are what imprison us in a cycle of poverty. . . yet we have a choice.

 

 

Did outdated race consciousness kill Sterling, Castile and the five Dallas police officers?

ramalainetalk

‘I take it as given that at the beginning of the 21st century, any notion of ‘race’ as a ‘valid biological entity’ no longer warrants serious discussion’ these are the words of the erudite scholar Neville Alexander in arguably his last published work. The sensibility of this statement in an indisputable superior technologically advanced society should be common and thus find practical functionality to give content to the obsolete state of race, yet it does not.

Alexander reminds us in remonstrating yet “the invalidity of the concept of ‘race’ in the domain of human biology does not carry over into the domains of individual and social psychology”

A year ago I penned a note Dylann Roof killed Rachel Dolezal in church, America’s incessant race problem. This morning we awoke to the unwelcoming news of an unfolding shooting incident in downtown Dallas. The scene finds us treated to video coverage…

View original post 1,834 more words

Inside the border town where crowds of desperate Venezuelans go for food: ‘I’ve never been hungry like this’ — National Post – Top Stories

CUCUTA, Colombia — It wasn’t much, but it was all she could afford — a sack of laundry detergent, a package of tampons and 18 rolls of Colombian toilet paper. Marys Rosalba was carrying the prized goods back to Venezuela with a tight grip and a fierce look that said: Don’t even think of trying…

via Inside the border town where crowds of desperate Venezuelans go for food: ‘I’ve never been hungry like this’ — National Post – Top Stories

LAND:from words to actions: connecting policies to implementation

South Afrika is a rich country. It has almost everything required to become a global economic powerhouse,  a “First World” country by any standards.

Although much of the population still remains largely impoverished, racially and economicaly segregated as the legacy of apartheid’s separate developments remains perpetuated through the neoliberal policies which the current government pursues, yet there remains palpable promise that this could still be a revolutionary country for all its citizens. Only if the burning Land restitution, proper environmental and economic questions are adequately addressed. For this to happen, we need more than just political will, we need communities that will organise themselves for extraordinary self sacrifice. We have to deal with our government as if they are really the publics servants. We must demand servent leadership and stop giving all our power to big polirical men and the rich.

The South Afrikan government is a contradictory one, despite its patriotic, nationalist rhetoric and so called liberation history, it nevertheless still protects white privilege and does very little to deal with the historical and structural questions that are a cause for nassive black poverty.

The perennial Land question:

The majority of South Afrika’s indigenous population do not have a say on how the mineral and other resources are utilized and how they too can benefit from the wealth of the land.

Large tracts of arable land is either owned by private and mostly white farmers, while the rest is held precariously in public and private trusts by institutions and persons linked to the government.

In an article titled, Who Owns The Land, the City Press’s Yolandi Groenewald, wrote:

“The state audit found that 91% of all land in the Free State was privately owned and a further 2% could not be accounted for.

Free State Agriculture, the largest farmer representative organisation in that province, contracted the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy, an independent university-based research network, to conduct their own investigation into land ownership in the province.

Their comprehensive report showed that little progress had been made with land reform. It found that 93% of the province was used for farming and 86.39% of the agricultural land in the Free State was white owned.

Only 2.96% of agricultural land in the province is currently held by black people. These farmers have been able to acquire only 148 423ha of land on the open market and have access to 4 827ha through equity schemes.

Only 1.71% of land has been acquired through the various permutations of the land reform programme, while 1.25% has been acquired privately.

However, the Free State’s former Bantustan of QwaQwa was not included in the farmland audit. A total of 209 000ha of land in the Free State has been transferred through various land reform programmes to projects for which the state still holds the title deeds. The audit also found that only 5 771ha has been transferred through restitution programmes.This conflicts with the 55 700ha figure shown by the land department.The most likely explanation for the anomaly was that the deeds for the land had not yet been transferred to the restituted owners and were still in the name of the previous owners, the report said.”

You can find the rest of the article here: http://city-press.news24.com/News/Who-owns-the-land-Ownership-by-numbers-20150503

The report gives an impression that there is no really reliable study or knowledge about the real state of land ownership in RSA. The government is literally beating around the bush. There is no political will to address this peessing matter of life an death.

All the paries and movements that are agitating for land rediatribution and restoration of Black peoples dignity are rendered insignificant by the white owned mainstream media. Their lack of a cohesive united effort is also their Achilles heel. Instea of defining themselves as peoples movements they seem to be reduced to their respective leaders’ projects.

South Africa also has a high potential for renewable energy resources due to its geographical and climatic advantages. The Rastafari research unit called Kehase Research Institute has a paper titled: Development of Independent Renewable Energy SourcesFor Empowerment of Rastafari Communities in South Africa.

While the work focuses on the Rastafari community in particular, there is nothing prohibiting the Institute from linking this to the whole Southern Afrikan population.

Part of the researches objectives:

  • “To gain access into the abundant natural resources and land available to communities in SA
  • To acquire available techniques to power up and generate energy for indipendent Rastafari communities.
  • To attain eco-friendly methods of harnessing and yielding energy in order to secure our community’s economic and social development.”

This particular outlook may be focused on the Rastafari but there is evidence that there are many institutions and communities all over the continent who seek similar goals, but the question is are they getting sufficient support in order to implement their goals?

Here is a speech by Environmental Affairs Minister Molewa that highlights the opportunities and challenges that South Afrika faces:

https://www.environment.gov.za/speech/molewa_environment_summit

Minister Molewa’s address at opening of Environment Summit

“A radical approach to utilizing the environment to transform the lives of our people – outlining rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders and social partners”.

ICC Durban, Kwazulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa, 09 June 2016

 “The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr. Willies Mchunu
The MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, Mr. Sihle Zikalala
Representatives of government departments, business and NGOs,
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

It is a pleasure to join you here today at this Environmental Summit in the province of Kwa-Zulu/Natal under the theme: ‘Utilizing Kwa-Zulu Natal’s capital in a sustainable manner to drive radical socio-economic transformation.’

In addressing this question, we are guided by the Constitution of the Republic, and the Bill of Rights, which gives effect to environmental rights and equitable access to resources; and also forms the basis upon which our environmental laws were created.

Environmental rights are given further support by our National Development Plan (NDP):  which revolves around citizens being active in development, all the while led by a capable and developmental state that is able to intervene to correct our historical inequalities, and that can enhance the capabilities of our people so that they can live the lives they desire.

The environmental sector continues to play a key role not just in advancing protection of our country’s natural resources, but in economic development, poverty alleviation, and job creation.

The world development agenda was previously centered on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s); that is until the 2012 Rio+20 Conference which was in essence a ‘stock-take’ on the global progress of the MDG’s.

Considering that by this time a number of the MDG’s were not fully implemented, it was resolved to advance a new global development agenda.

This became known as Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, encapsulated by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and was formally adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, President Jacob Zuma highlighted the alignment of the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals to South Africa’s National Development Plan as well as to the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The SDGs, as they are commonly known, envisage, among others, a world in which every country enjoys inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.

Ladies and gentlemen,

An increased awareness of the global implications of unchecked development on our planet and our natural resources: has given impetus to the need to integrate sustainable development into future planning.

The integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic, environmental and social – not only serves to protect and conserve our natural capital for current and future generations. It also offers the opportunity to build the country’s skills base, and empower and capacitate our people.

Sustainable development is wholly in line with the environmental clause contained in our Constitution which juxtaposes ‘securing ecologically sustainable development and the use of natural resources’ with ‘promoting justifiable social and economic development’

In April this year, I was delegated by President Jacob Zuma to join world leaders from 175 countries in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) (UNFCCC) in the French capital in December 2015.

The Paris Agreement marks the beginning of a new era of international cooperation to address the pressing challenge of climate change.

It provides a common platform for enhanced action to implement the UNFCCC. The objective is to make it one of the most enduring and successful of all multilateral agreements.

Given the reality of climate change, we are at a point where all countries of the world are stepping up efforts to integrate sustainable development principles into our planning and governance processes.

I have chosen for my address today the topic “A radical approach to utilizing the environment to transform the lives of our people – outlining rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders and social partners.”

This is in recognition of the role played by the environmental sector in driving not just natural resource conservation but also socio-economic transformation.

It is also in recognition of the need to strengthen partnerships between government, industry, business, civil society, and citizens as a whole, if we are to attain the vision we all aspire to: A South Africa that is prosperous and sustainable.

We are supported by a sound regulatory regime that is transformational and developmental. South Africa is transitioning towards a sustainable, climate change resilient, inclusive low-carbon economy.

Green Economy

Through South Africa’s Green Economy Strategy, we continue to promote equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and social development. Our strategy has 8 key pillars, namely:

  • Green buildings and the built environment;
  • Sustainable transport and infrastructure;
  • Clean energy and energy efficiency;
  • Natural resource conservation and management;
  • Sustainable Waste management;
  • Water management;
  • Sustainable consumption and production and
  • Agriculture food production and forestry

These go hand in hand with the creation of jobs and opportunities as well as skills development for our people.

With regards to green buildings and the built environment, we are implementing energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure projects as part of our Green Cities Programme.

The city of Durban’s Green Strategy has implemented several projects to ensure the sustainability of the environment – which includes working with communities to plant more trees, and growing indigenous vegetation in areas previously dominated by invasive alien species.

The Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project is another example of the way in which communities are working to restore ecosystems, improve water quality, and mitigate the effects of flooding, to name but a few.

Clean energy and energy efficiency

Guided by the Integrated Resource Plan, by 2030 we aim to have sliced our energy demand as a country significantly, through technological innovation, good behavioral practice and public commitment to more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy use. We aim for instance in terms of the IRP to develop 42% of our energy mix from renewables.

Sustainable transport and infrastructure

This includes the development of an efficient, lower-carbon public transport system, developing rail networks and air transportation, with all of these built on well-constructed supporting infrastructure that should be adapted to make it resilient to the impacts of climate change

We have worked with partners to mobilize over R 115 million to support phase 2 of the non-motorized transport system (NMT) in the three Metros including in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.

Earlier this year the eThekwini Municipality unveiled an ambitious plan that includes integration of the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT), upgrading rail transport and the introduction of cycling and walking lanes. It is envisaged that the NMT in this metro will reduce congestion, cut down carbon emissions, and encourage sustainable development.

Chemicals and waste

The Department of Environmental Affairs hosted the 5th annual Waste Khoro here in Kwa-Zulu/Natal last week, where delegates looked at the ways in which the waste economy could be advanced, particularly with regards to facilitating the entry of new players into the waste management space.

In dealing with waste, we have based our actions on our well-established laws and regulations. During the past two years we have amended the National Waste Management Act to strengthen our waste management practices countrywide.

We have prioritized the licensing of waste disposal sites and continue to engage and empower communities affected by the negative impacts of illegal dumping and poorly managed landfill sites as well as bolstering compliance monitoring and enforcement capacity and the implementation of authorized waste management best practice.

In the next year we aim to approve and begin the implementation of the three prioritized Industry Waste Management Plans (IWMPs), namely for the Paper and Packaging, Electrical and Electronic and Lighting Industries respectively.

In line with the Pricing Strategy for waste and the SARS Waste Tyre Levy collection system, these IWMPs will set in motion a new economic paradigm for the management of these waste streams in South Africa.

Plans have been put in place for the management and disbursement of funds through the Waste Management Bureau that will be fully operationalized later this year.

There have been a number of successful initiatives in the province around waste management: many of them utilizing cutting-edge technology.

These include the Landfill Gas to Electricity facility in the eThekwini Municipality, the PETCO plastic bottle recycling plant in Phoenix, the Leachate Recovery and Treatment Facility in Kwa-Dukuza, the MPACT Recycling, Plastics and Corrugated Cardboard Plant in the city of Durban, and a tyre recycling facility in Durban that forms part of the government’s successful Waste Tyre Management Plan, REDISA.

Waste management isn’t just a catalyst for green jobs: it also plays a key role in government’s service delivery programme, especially at a municipal level.

Municipalities are required to have appropriate waste management infrastructure including buyback centres, material recovery facilities, and recycling centres.

The Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) provides for basic services infrastructure in this regard, as well as incentives to encourage recycling.

It is apparent however that many municipalities often opt to use MIG for disposal (landfill development) and hardly for recycling (e.g. buy-back centres) infrastructure.

This indicates that a huge opportunity exists in the recycling value chain, and it is encouraging to note that some municipalities are being proactive and innovative in the recycling and pre-sorting of waste.

Government has committed investment of over R180 million into the development of 30 buy-back centers, of which 15 have been completed, 10 are under implementation and 5 are in the planning stages.

Examples include the construction of a waste buy-back center in the Emadlangeni Local Municipality and in the uMvoti Local Municipality and refurbishments to a buy-back center in the Newcastle Municipality and Mtubatuba Local Municipalities respectively.

These are all made possible through funding from our Environmental Protection Infrastructure Programme (EPIP).

To encourage the scale-up of recycling enterprises in the waste sector, we have also launched the Recycling Enterprise Support Programme that will provide the initial capital setup costs for emerging waste entrepreneurs including right here in the province of Kwa-Zulu/Natal.

With regards to job creation, the Department’s Youth Jobs in Waste programme has countrywide provided 3750 job opportunities, of which 2213 benefited women and 78 benefited persons with disabilities.

In Kwa-Zulu/Natal alone, we have created 794 work opportunities for young people through this programme, with all the municipalities participating and benefiting.

Examples include a waste management through street cleaning project and a park rehabilitation and tree planting project, both in the Umtshezi Local Municipality, which have resulted in the creation of 235 jobs.

We are also working hard to bring our country’s more than 67 147 registered Waste Pickers into the formal waste economy and ensure their safety and protection. Waste pickers as we all know help to divert recyclables away from landfils.

Environmental programmes

MEC Zikalala, I am proud to say that in the province of Kwa-Zulu/Natal the environmental sector is playing a real, tangible role in driving socio-economic transformation.

Our knowledge-based development model aims to address the interdependence between natural ecosystems protection and economic growth: with consideration of the adverse impact economic activities can and do have on the environment.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, through its Environmental Programmes (the “Working For” Programmes), funds the Working on Waste, Working for Water, Working on Fire, Working for the Coast, Working for Land, Working for Ecosystems and Working for Wetlands programmes, as well as Value Added industries, People and Parks, Wildlife Economy, Youth Environmental Services, Greening and Open Space Management as well as Biosecurity Programmes, respectively.

All these interventions are aligned with the NDP’s target of 11 million jobs by 2030.

These projects are aimed at the creation of job opportunities through labour-intensive methods; give support to small business development and promote skills development as per the requirements of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Also in KwaZulu-Natal, the Department has launched the Environment Sector Local Government Strategy to provide a platform for a more coordinated and structured mechanism of dealing with sustainable environmental management in local government.

Biodiversity and conservation

Ladies and gentlemen,

South Africa, and this beautiful province, is richly endowed with natural capital. As the third most mega bio-diverse country on earth, our country is home to at least 17% of the world’s biodiversity.

Unfortunately, the enjoyment of and benefit from this country’s biodiversity was previously the preserve of the select few. Our people were forcibly removed from the ancestral land on which they had lived and depended, so that protected areas could be established.

The indigenous knowledge of our people was taken, and in some instances stolen, and used by foreign companies to make fortunes, as our people got nothing.

It has been under this ANC government that we are redressing this legacy of dispossession, to bring our people not just into the mainstream of conservation but to enable them to reap the benefits of this country’s biodiversity.

Our 14-year National Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES) has been developed to increase the biodiversity contribution to Gross Domestic Product between now and 2030 while conserving the country’s ecosystem.  It focuses on enhancing growth in both the wildlife and tourism sectors by facilitating the entry of previously disadvantaged individuals.

This strategy has the strategic objective of capitalizing on the conservation successes of our country to contribute towards the socio-economic development of communities.

A key component we are driving is making communities owners of wildlife.

We have already begun the process of facilitating the transfer of wildlife assets to previously disadvantaged communities.

In 2015 we donated 4 dehorned rhino to the community of Nambiti right here in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The year before we handed over 5 rhino to the Mdluli Tribal Authority in Mpumalanga.

Work is also currently being done with the Balepye and Selwane communities in Limpopo who have been beneficiaries of South Africa’s land redistribution programme.

The Biodiversity Economy Strategy aims to optimize the total economic benefits of the wildlife and bio-prospecting industries in line with sustainable utilization principles.

 

Environmental impact assessments (EIA’S)

 

Premier Mchunu,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The birth of democracy in South Africa led to the development of a new legislative and policy framework in the environmental field. In support of sustainable development, a number of new tools were developed, including the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) process and the One Environmental System.

In line with the principle of co-operative governance, which emphasizes the need for cooperation and consultation within and between the various spheres of government – we are promoting sustainable development principles across the sector in line with the Department’s stewardship role.

Infrastructure investment is a key priority of the National Development Plan (NDP), New Growth Path, and Nine-Point-Plan and the Environmental Impact Assessment process plays a key role.

Recent legislative amendments to streamline the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) application processes to bring them in line with the Infrastructure Development Act, has yielded major successes in terms of turnaround times and finalization.

In the 2015/2016 financial year, competent authorities processed a combined number of 1 343 applications, with Kwa-Zulu/Natal accounting for 14% of these decisions.

The sector finalized 93% of these decision within the legislated timeframes and Kwa-Zulu/Natal averaged 97% which means it had 187 of its 192 decisions finalized in time.

This percentage is higher than the national average and it demonstratesthat this is a province at work, and other competent authorities are now learning from KZN.

There are currently 18 Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) countrywide which have five core functions: ‘to unlock opportunity, transform the economic landscape, create new jobs, strengthen the delivery of basic services, and support the integration of African economies.’

Amongstthe Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) were authorized in the province in 2015/16 are the proposed upgrade of 11.27KM of the Umfolozi to Eqwasha Twin Chickadee Eskom power line and 0.5 KM of the Umfolozi to Dabula Twin Chickadee Eskom power line; theProposed Development of the Duma (Kombe) 400KV Main Transmission Station and the Associated 88KV and 400KV Turn-in Power Lines;as well as the Proposed Development of the Vryheid Traction Station andAssociated Eskom Turn-inPower Lines –  all under the Transnet Coal Link Upgrade Project.

Other projects authorized that have an enormous economic significance in the province include the proposed extension of Alton south railway line to the Richards Bay IDZ phase 1F, Alton North Within Umhlathuze local municipality, and the proposed deepening, lengthening and widening of berths 203 to 205 at Pier 2, Container Terminal in thePort of Durban.

Climate change adaptation and mitigation

I would like to turn briefly now to South Africa’s contribution towards the global effort to fight climate change.

Last year South Africa submitted our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat.

Our INDC encompasses three distinct components namely Mitigation, Adaptation and Means of Implementation.

In submitting our INDC, South Africa has clearly demonstrated the country’s political commitment to limiting warming and, in turn, to limiting future risks posed by higher temperatures.

It builds on the 2009 emissions reduction pledge President Zuma announced on behalf of South Africa at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and further presents an emission reduction trajectory range for 2025 and 2030.

We are putting in place a greenhouse gas emission mitigation framework which includes a range of measures aimed at achieving our overall national goals as reflected in our National Development Plan.

South Africa’s National Climate Change Response Policy considers both development needs and climate change imperatives in the context of our status as a developing country, with a priority to eliminate poverty and eradicate inequality.

Our Climate Change Adaptation Strategy identifies priority interventions and harmonises key Water, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Health, Human Settlement, and Disaster Risk Reduction sectoral adaptation plans.

Adaptation interventions have already begun countrywide and in this province.

A successful example of this is the project on Building Resilience in the Greater uMgeni Catchment in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, funded by the UN Adaptation Fund. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is the accredited implementing

Work is being done with business and industry to analyze the emission reduction potential in key economic sectors, and to understand the potential social and economic opportunities and impacts of South Africa’s transition to a lower carbon economy and society.

This year we begin the first voluntary 5-year cycle of implementing the greenhouse gas emission mitigation system, covering the period 2016 to 2020, with a mandatory system for the next 5-year phase.

Key components of the system include a carbon budget for each company; submission of pollution prevention plans (which will indicate how companies plan to achieve their carbon budgets) a reporting system to gather information on emissions from companies; and a variety of other measures to be applied to support and/or complement the Carbon Budget system.

Through the national Green Fund, we have adopted an innovative approach to catalyzing investment in green programmes.

Since the establishment of the Fund in 2012, a total budget allocation of R 1.1 billion has been made. The Board of the Fund has approved 31 investment projects, 16 research and development projects and 8 capacity building projects.

Over 1 600 direct job opportunities and at least 11 300 indirect job opportunities have been created. The majority of these job opportunities are created under the investment projects portfolio. More than 7 400 individuals have been directly trained and capacitated in the area of green skills.

We are also doing work with the National Business Initiative on the green economy.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is also financing the Sustainable Cities Programme to the value of US$ 9 million while the small Independent Power Producers are supported with an Equity Fund of US$ 15 million, all channeled through the DBSA. We have also mobilized US$57.5 million from the Climate Investment Fund to support the expansion of the approved South African Sustainable Energy Acceleration Programme.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We face the task of promoting economic growth in tough economic times. The conservation of our natural resources is a cornerstone of sustainable development; and at the same time our natural capital if utilized correctly can be a source of economic development, job creation and the upliftment of our people.

I have given you a brief idea of the ways in which the public and private sectors, working in collaboration with communities – are advancing sustainable development.

Whether in growing the waste economy or in supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation: the time is now for us to foster new partnerships, and strengthen existing ones.

The province of Kwa-Zulu/Natal is among the country’s leaders in natural resource management, and we have much to learn from what is being done here. Let us build on these successes to deliver on the vision of Agenda 2030: of People, Planet and Prosperity.

I thank you.”

The government has spoken, but who will ensure the implementation? Who will ensure that what is said is done?