The department has, over the years, continued to make a notable contribution in creating employment and skill development opportunities through implementation of the environment sector employment programmes broadly.
In all 12 priority government outcomes, job creation features as a priority output. In the context of this imperative and the departmental mandate on ensuring benefit from environmental assets which, presents an opportunity to contribute significantly to job creation, social inclusion and the low carbon green economy; the department is responsible for the implementation of environmental Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the National Green Fund projects among others.
Working on Waste
Waste management is a concurrent function amongst all spheres of government and the department of environmental affairs as the custodian for environmental management is mandated to ensuring a safe and healthy environment that is not harmful to the well-being of the citizens of the country. In recognition of this Constitutional obligation, the department promulgated the national environmental management: Waste Act 59 0f 2008 (Waste Act) and in 2010 developed the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS).
Whilst rhino poaching in many African range states remained a major problem between 1960 and 1995, particularly for the black rhino and northern white rhino, rhino poaching within South Africa was low. Between 1960 and 1980, numbers of rhinos poached were negligible, whilst between 1980 and 2007 the average rate of rhino poaching was nine animals per year. In 2008, however, a significant upsurge in rhino poaching took place in South Africa, with a reported 83 animals being killed illegally, and this trend has been escalating ever since.
In 2009, the official figure climbed to 122 rhinos poached; then to 333 in 2010; and 448 in 2011. While this rate of poaching does not yet exceed the population growth rate (meaning that the rhino population should continue to grow), should the rate of poaching continue to increase, it may eventually exceed the population growth, which would see South Africa’s rhino populations go into decline.
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