- South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa has died
- Minister Molewa has been hailed by Cyril Ramaphosa for her championship nationally and globally for the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth.
- The minister was responsible for fast tracking EIA’s for renewable energy projects in South Africa.
The well-respected South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa has sadly passed away yesterday at a Tshwane Hospital from complications associated with Legionnaires’ disease. Edna was 61 years old.
The President of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement: “I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Minister Edna Molewa as well as to her colleagues in Cabinet and across all spheres of government who have had the privilege to work alongside an extraordinary leader of our people”.
The President added “This is a devastating loss to our nation and to the global community who owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Minister Molewa for her championship nationally and globally for the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth that can be shared and enjoyed by all nations and all people, rich and poor”
More recently the Minister was responsible for implementing eight Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) and five Power Corridors plus the process to be followed for environmental authorisation within these areas.
The initiative facilitated that wind and solar PV projects within the eight zones and electricity grid expansion within the five power corridors will be subjected to a basic assessment and not a full EIA process.
The move reduced the review and decision making time and the level of assessment required for each project based on the fact that scoping level pre-assessment was already undertaken in those areas. The result; the time taken for an application for environmental authorisation was reduced from 300 days to 147 days for wind and solar projects in these areas.
Edna Molewa was an ANC stalwart who rose through the ranks to appointed Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa on 31 October 2010. On May 25, 2014, her Ministry was split and she was appointed Minister of Environmental Affairs, a position which she held until her untimely death.
‘Hamba kahle Mkhonto’ (Go Well Spear)
Rest in peace Edna Molewa.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal