3rd July 2006
To: News Editor
Date of issue: Monday, July 03, 2006
Embargoed for publication. Use only for planning.
Gauteng Green Scorpions' graduation and compliance enforcement activity
The Gauteng Green Scorpions will receive their credentials and immediately embark on compliance enforcement against suspected environmental criminals on the 10 th July 2006.
Following an intensive, high quality bridging training course, offered by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, in collaboration with the University of Pretoria and supported by the environmental agencies of England and Wales and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Gauteng Environmental Management Inspectors (EMI's), dubbed Green Scorpions, will come of age in a graduation ceremony to be held at the Johannesburg International Airport on the 10 th July 2006. These EMI's are expected to, immediately after the graduation ceremony, conduct unannounced visits to three sites that can not be named at the moment. These enforcement exercises accord with the powers conferred on EMI's, which include, among others, powers to search and seize property/items, to establish and conduct road-blocks, to arrest suspects, to issues enforceable compliance notices and to do routine inspections and investigations.
The enforcement exercises and the ongoing work of the EMI's are all in support of the Provincial strategic objectives of building secure and sustainable communities and stimulating faster economic growth. These activities are also in line with the constitutional right which gives all our people a right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being.
The obligations created by this constitutional right have given rise to the promulgation of a number of Acts, Laws and Regulations including the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). NEMA recognizes that by harming the environment, the environmental criminal can harm or even kill people, plants and animals who are dependent on the environment for their survival. NEMA has therefore decreed certain activities that degrade the environment a crime.
The Gauteng MEC for Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, Mr. Khabisi Mosunkutu, accompanied by members of the Gauteng Provincial Government's Standing Committee for Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, Senior Government leaders of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council, representatives of the South African Police Services and the Prosecution Authority will officiate at this graduation ceremony.
Members of the media are also invited. In consideration of the security and logistical arrangements at the venue, transport has been arranged especially for journalists. In this regard, parking at our offices is also available.
The designation ceremony will take place as follows;
Date: 10 th July 2006.
Venue: ACSA Business Centre (located at International Arrivals, next to the Post Office). Johannesburg International Airport . Ekurhuleni.
Media contact person: Sizwe Matshikiza at telephone: (011) 355 13 16 or 082 778 9996. For parking and transport arrangements, please RSVP with Ms. Bongiwe Ngcobo at (011) 355 1427 or at
Comment from the Webmaster
It is up to all of us to send in reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
At last, instead of the populace sitting around their braai fires and dinner tables moaning and groaning about the detrimental effect the fast deteriorating impact of the water situation in the country is having on the whole economy, they can now get off their backsides and do something about it.
These reports will go up on this section of the site and forwarded to "The Green Scorpions" and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry for action.
If the response from the Green Scorpions is negative and we do not get the perpetrators of pollution crime prosecuted by the Green Scorpions then Fishing Owl along with a keen bunch of active and concerned environmentalists will create merry hell and in terms of the Water Act lay criminal charges against the perpetrators as well as Green the Scorpions themselves, as is our right in terms of the Act and the Constitution.
We are sick and tired of the usual negative "double speak" obstructionism and the same old excuses being used by the authorities.
We wish the Green Scorpions every success with their extremely difficult task and will assist in any way we can.