People and Parks statement on the passing away of Minister Molewa

24 September 2018


On behalf of members of the People and Parks community programme of the Department of Environmental  Affairs, we are all, like millions of others, saddened by the untimely passing of our beloved Minister Dr B.E.E Molewa.

The late Minister Molewa was a true champion of the programme. She was dedicated to the integration of biodiversity conservation economy into local poverty reduction strategies based on sustainable tourism, creating employment opportunities through outsourcing conservation-related services to locals. Local community leaders became involved in decision-making on policy development for protected areas on their lands.

Her strong dedication and passion towards biodiversity conservation were characterized by a strong sense of connection to our protected areas, national historic sites and marine conservation areas so that these could be enjoyed by all South Africans. This was done in ways that would leave them undamaged for present and future generations. Her commitment to fighting rhino poaching is a point in case.

Her down to earth, inclusive and consultative approach in dealing with matters cannot be forgotten. She played a big role in bringing an understanding of biodiversity conservation into the minds of black people. Her recognition of the need for land claimants and communities residing on the borders of protected areas to benefit economically helped immensely towards people feeling part of the conservation economy. Her passion for workers and their families particularly those that are grieving their members lost through acts of poaching ensured that community connection became a reality. We will miss her strong sense of connection to our people.

We thank her immediate family for having shared their daughter, mother, sister and wife with the rest of the South African population. She has played her role but we still needed more of her, since she had just begun the role of introducing the youth into biodiversity conservation economy.

May her soul rest in eternal peace. 

Molokwane, MN 
National Secretary, PEOPLE AND PARKS