The Waterberg was declared a priority area by the former late Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa on July 12. Yet the area is still dealing with numerous environmental issues that affect the local communities directly, but also contribute to broader environment degradation. The coal industry (mining and power generation) is the one of the main contributor to these problems. A first capacity building workshop was held in Modimolle with the aim of addressing this issue.
The purpose of the Greening Project is to encourage the Waterberg community to go fully in numbers to attend meetings such as integrated Development Plan and also teach high school students about public participation and consultation. It is to also share environmental challenges such as climate change around Waterberg area. The other intention is to develop an engagement strategy that is to engage llegislation.
The Capacity Building Workshop was to remind the Waterberg community that the region is rich in natural resources that must be preserved. And also that alternative economic sectors such as ecotourism should be an important part of the area’s development strategy.
The Waterberg Environmental Justice Forum said that this project seeks to empower local organizations and Waterberg communities to protect their environment for improved living conditions, and to engage decision-makers. They added that it is the main reason they have involved high school students in the project.