Submission on Environmental Affairs, Tourism, and Human Settlements by KZN youth

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To: KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
244 Langalibalele St,
Pietermaritzburg,
3201

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We the young people of KwaZulu-Natal convened on 27th October 2018 at the uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve to partake in a Model Provincial Legislature to engage and debate on issues both directly and indirectly affecting ourselves and our communities. The work done by the various internal portfolio committees is of integral importance and we thus hereby make a formal submission to the KZN legislature expressing our views on the environment, tourism and human settlements. We divided ourselves into three different Commissions and make the following submissions which we would like the KZN Legislature to consider.
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We the youth of KZN make the following submission in environmental affairs:
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  1. Recycling in KZN has ensured that we create jobs whilst preserving the environment. It has declined the amount of plastics that are dumped in the mining sites
  2. Installing of solar geysers has reduced the use of electricity in KZN
  3. The DoE has embarked on a project to ensure that schools in KZN all have gardens which are environmentally friendly
  4. Notes the lack of water purification systems in KZN
  5. We remind the provincial legislature to consider the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030 and make Environment a priority area

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  1. Propose the use of technological gadgets in school to decrease the use of paper
  2. Draw attention to the need for environmental awareness and habitat protection in poverty stricken communities
  3. Land must be expropriated without compensation so that the governments can have control over what happens in manufacturing industry
  4. Planting of more trees in cities because they clean the air and produce oxygen
  5. Make environmental studies a compulsory subject from the GET to Senior Phase
  6. Municipalities should strengthen their service delivery to the poverty-stricken areas, as large amount of pollution happens there
  7. Nationalise waste management services to municipalities for better management
  8. Host one environmental investment conference a year to attract and persuade other countries to invest in environmental initiatives
  9. Government must make funds easily accessible for projects/initiatives that seek to address environmental issues.

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While apartheid itself no longer exists, the effects it has left in the face of racial segregation, inequality (economic and racial) are still prevalent today. This has led to a number of issues today, such as the issue of land ownership remaining in the hands of a white minority. In addition, there remains a lack of education and resources amongst people of colour. The effects of this are also seen in the loss of
cultural identity among the youth and the adaptation of American popular culture.


People of colour have been limited from receiving educational information in relation to the tourism sector which has resulted in them not fully participating in the sector. Therefore, employment opportunities in the tourism sector do not benefit people of colour as much as they could. Regardless of racial issues, tourism has not reached its full potential because of immigration laws and internal issues in South Africa. It is difficult to access visas, flights are expensive and South African Airways offers limited routes. The most important issue in tourism is land and due to a land ownership patterns in South Africa, people of colour are shut out of the industry and do not benefit from it. Colonialism let people of colour to lose their identity, leading to the forceful adaptation of European culture and language. This suppresses the tourism industry because tourists being attracted to a distorted image that does not display all South African cultures and languages equally.

  1. Recommends that the government adds eco-tourism to the school curriculum;
  2. Requests that the provincial government creates internship programmes for tourism graduates and people who study tourism at tertiary in order to make them more employable;
  3. Requests that the provincial government provides recreational centres in townships and rural areas which give people access to creative facilities where they can practice dance, performance arts, visual arts etc.

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The Section 26 of the South African Constitution details that everyone has the right to shelter that is not harmful to their health or well-being. Our commission supports and abides by legislation. Our communities are governed by policies safeguarded by provincial and local municipalities which addresses specific issues faced by communities here. These policies are not effectively implemented which results in many of the following challenges:
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  1. Alarmed by the dangers of living in informal settlements.
  2. Concerned that people live in constant risk of losing all their belongings to bad weather and natural disasters.
  3. Alarmed that in a democratic country, people still live in dangerous informal settlements.
  4. Acknowledge that provincial policies allow for initiatives to reform community sanitation. i.e. Provision of toilets.
  5. Concerned that fires may destroy settlements with ease because of cheap flammable building material.
  6. Alarmed by over-population in informal houses.

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  1. Encourages better provincial government initiatives for proper housing and sanitation
  2. Calls upon housing incentives across KZN and not only in urban centres
  3. Urges for further programmes to intensify waste removal in poor communities across the province
  4. Encourages the provision of adequate housing and housing incentives for the poor in KZN
  5. Calls for land redistribution in KZN
  6. Reaffirms that people need safer living conditions in KZN
  7. Urges for the provision of eco bricks and building material to curb informal housing issues in KZN
  8. Encourages the betterment of recycling scheme throughout the province of KZN

As the youth of KwaZulu-Natal and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), we were delighted about public participation and the involvement of young people. This provided a unique opportunity for young people to get themselves acquainted with the work done by the provincial legislature and how the material conditions of people in the KZN province can be improved.


This submission was written by learners and students from the following institutions:

Heather Secondary School
Alexandra High School
Sithokozile Secondary School
Mangosuthu University of Technology
Eden College
University of KwaZulu Natal
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