EKZN Wildlife: ‘Old’ faces remain as MEC appoints ‘new’ Board - DA

Ann McDonnell says the past year has been a disaster for organisation due to mismanagement

EKZN Wildlife: ‘Old’ faces remain as MEC appoints ‘new’ Board

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the announcement of a new Board for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. This after the strategic entity was almost destroyed by a largely inexperienced and mismanaged interim Board deployed by KZN EDTEA MEC, Sihle Zikalala.

The DA is devastated by what has happened to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife this past year as a lack of accountability and shocking management have left this once-proud flag ship of our provincial economy in ruins. With the appointment of a new Board, the DA expects the hard work to begin.

The importance of Ezemvelo in terms of a job creation mechanism cannot be over-emphasised. This entity, through tourism, holds the key to growing our provincial economy and KZN’s unique ‘Berg, Beach, Bush’ advantage must now be used to its full potential to create desperately-needed jobs.

The DA notes the absence of several former board members, which tells its own story. We also note the retaining of five former interim Board members by the MEC, allegedly for the sake of continuity. This is disingenuous at best when so little was done during their tenure.

The DA remains committed to vigilance in terms of Ezemvelo. To start with, we will immediately submit a parliamentary question to MEC Zikalala on the building of a 162 km long game fence at Hluhluwe/Imfolozi at an estimated cost of R34.8 million. The project, touted as a local job creation exercise, remains unfinished after four years as a result of very little being built to spec.

This is a case of shocking oversight by both the MEC, his Department and the former Board, and the DA will demand a forensic investigation into this appalling waste which they must be held accountable for.

The DA will also continue to pressure provincial government to deliver outcomes via Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife that will benefit both Eco-tourism – an attraction of international status – and the Biodiversity with which we have been so blessed.

Statement issued by Ann McDonnell, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), 13 July 2018