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Telling biodiversity’s story – 1,001 magnificent species of the seaforest

While the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP15, kicks off this week to negotiate fresh plans, strategies and targets to tackle biodiversity loss, a new initiative from the Sea Change Project seeks to make biodiversity tangible, and remind us of our innate connections with nature.
In the emerald gloom of an underwater cave, a torch light illuminates a strange creature. Its delicate black and white arms resemble a fern, stretching out in fractal branches. As the ring of light meanders along the cave wall, it reveals other magnificent plant and animal life – each a unique feature of the Great African Seaforest.
This fractal “basket star” is set in a textured, technicolour tapestry – bright-purple sea urchins bristle their spines, sunshine-yellow sponges suck at the sea water, vivid blue anemones filter their fill of plankton, and fish, seals and sharks appear in flashes between gently swaying ribbons of kelp.
It is this rich diversity of life that the torchbearers, marine biologist Dr Jannes Landschoff and naturalist and filmmaker Craig Foster, from the Sea Change Project – along with emeritus professor of marine biology, Charles Griffiths – seek to illuminate in a new project, “1001 Seaforest Species”, in partnership with the Save Our Seas Foundation.
The new project follows the widely acclaimed My Octopus Teacher, a documentary about Foster’s bond with a Cape peninsula cephalopod which earned an Oscar and focused global attention on South African kelp forests and the life among its fronds.
With 1001, the Cape Town-based not-for-profit Sea Change is widening its lens beyond profiling a single animal, to capture the kelp forest holistically.
The project’s goals are to scientifically document and to chronicle the stories of more of its distinctive species: one-thousand-and-one of them. Their unique repository of marine knowledge will generate scientific publications and inspire natural history books and films.
Although one-thousand-and-one is a drop in the ocean compared with the abundance of species existing in South African kelp forests, the number is a reference to One Thousand and One Nights, the Middle Eastern fables in which a newlywed princess softens the heart of a murderous king through her captivating storytelling.
Similarly, the team hopes to entrance us with stories of the kelp forest, winning us over to protect this precious ecosystem and its inhabitants.
1001 seeks to reveal the inhabitants of the kelp forest – its “biodiversity”. This scientific term is a ubiquitous buzzword in policy circles and increasingly prevalent in the public consciousness.
Governments, business leaders, ...

Mabuza breaks his silence — and reveals the weakness of his defence

Despite his reputation as a politician who presided over several Mpumalanga government departments wracked by vulgar corruption, Deputy President ‘DD’ Mabuza hardly ever responds to announcements about fresh probes into his misdeeds. So the press release his office issued on Wednesday in response to a criminal complaint laid against him is remarkable – both for breaking the silence and for illustrating the weakness of his defence.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) laid a complaint on Monday with the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against Mabuza and 14 other suspects, requesting that they be charged with contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act for allegedly “maintaining interest or control of criminal enterprises”.
Having never met or communicated with anyone from Outa, I do not know why they laid the complaint amid great turmoil in the ANC and before a determination from a court considering this matter. But as the author of the book Predator Politics: Mabuza, Fred Daniel and the Great Land Scam, I can attest to the veracity of the evidence the organisation laid out in their affidavit to the NPA.
Outa provided documentary and oral evidence of corrupt activities dating back to 2002, collated by conservationist Fred Daniel and presented to the Pretoria High Court in his ongoing damages action against several Mpumalanga government agencies, entities and officials.
The case stems from the harassment Daniel and his family suffered after his private nature reserve in Mpumalanga was earmarked by Mabuza for redistribution to fake land claimants that he had organised and amassed at the gates. When the crowd threatened to petrol-bomb the property, Mabuza gathered them round and addressed them. He promised them Daniel’s land and told them to disperse.
Daniel’s lawyer, and the experts he hired, easily established that there were no genuine claims on the land from black people dispossessed during apartheid. They also uncovered a conspiracy to fraudulently inflate the prices of land bought by the Land Claims Commission in Mpumalanga for redistribution to poor black farmers. Soon after Mabuza was appointed MEC for agriculture and land affairs in 2008, he was elected chairman of the Greater Badplaas Land Claims Committee.
Ostensibly a lobby group for people seeking resolution of their land claims — in an area where all legitimate claims had been settled — its members terrorised Daniel, restituted black farmers who resisted them, and Badplaas police officers. Many more corrupt schemes are detailed in my book ...

Gwede Mantashe has harsh words for Eskom as additional 1,759MW of renewables signed up

‘Eskom, by not attending to load shedding, is agitating for the overthrow of the state,’ Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said as his department signed purchase agreements with independent power producers, securing 1,759MW of energy into the grid in the near future.
Thirteen more renewable projects have started the onboarding process into the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) Bid Window 5, adding a total capacity of nearly 1,759MW of energy generation to the grid in the near future.
The signing took place at a ceremony at the Independent Power Producers’ office in Centurion, Pretoria, on Thursday, 8 December, and now puts Bid Window 5 projects at 19 out of 25, with the rest yet to reach commercial close.
The signing was attended by the chosen bidders and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, and was hosted by Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Director General Jacob Mbele, with an address by Eskom’s MD for Transmission, Segomoco Scheppers.
In total, the programme has signed on 1,909MW of energy to the grid.
However, with grid capacity constraints, the additional power becomes futile, particularly when the programme is still facing bottlenecks with the Independent Power Producers’ office waiting for exemptions from National Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry.
“We are from the period of State Capture, but load shedding is becoming worse than State Capture,” said Mantashe, adding that the levels of crime and sabotage were limiting economic growth.
“Any other government can be overthrown for this level of load shedding. Eskom, by not attending to load shedding, is agitating for the overthrow of the state. If it is not addressed, then the state will be failing to do what it needs to do. load shedding is urgent; it must be attended to sooner than later.”
He said “we’re engaging with Eskom more aggressively and telling them to get investment into the grid as quickly as possible. energy is always used as a factor that attracts investment into the economy”.
The signing ceremony comes a day after Eskom had announced Stage 6 load shedding, citing power station breakdowns and a lack of funds to buy diesel for its emergency generation fleet.
Read in Daily Maverick: “Power station breakdowns and less money to buy diesel force Eskom to escalate rolling blackouts to Stage 6”
A fourth announcement of Stage 6 load shedding highlights the urgent need for renewable energy as well as sufficient infrastructure to onboard this power onto the grid. In ...

Automotive Business Council takes lead on new electric vehicles in SA as DTIC dawdles

Waiting for the government will be the death of the local industry, says Naamsa. Now it is taking decisive action on new electric vehicles to secure the future of South Africa’s automotive industry.
The Automotive Business Council is not waiting for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to take the lead on new energy vehicles (NEVs). Also known as the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), it plans to release the industry’s thought leadership discussion document on NEVs by the end of this month, to stimulate action and stave off future threats to the local automotive sector.
On 18 May 2021, the DTIC released a green paper on NEVs in the country after engagements dating back three years, to develop a roadmap for local production of EVs — a year and a half down the line, despite assurances that the issue was a DTIC priority.
The government should have, but failed to, publish a White Paper late last year to outline strategies and incentives for NEVs.
A year after that deadline, in October 2022, at the council’s SA Auto Week, DTIC Minister Ebrahim Patel said the government hoped to do so in February 2023.
The industry has reason to lose sleep over the delays. They are putting the future of the local automotive sector at risk because it exports about two-thirds of all vehicles and components to more than 150 countries, with the biggest markets in Britain and the UK.
Europe plans to ban sales of internal combustion vehicles by 2035, which would cut off South Africa’s biggest market and put the livelihoods of millions at risk.
The sector contributes 4.3% to GDP [2.4% manufacturing and 1.9% retail]. In 2021, it exported vehicles and automotive components worth about R207.5-billion, or 12.5% of SA’s total.
It also accounts for 17.3% of the country’s manufacturing output, which, judging by the DTIC’s slothful dealings, must seem like no biggie. If the rand falls, we just pick it up again, right?
In October, Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa called for the stimulation of NEVs in the SA market as “soon as possible”, as SA’s movement on NEV legislation was “painfully slow”.
“We are very concerned that we’ll have to play catch-up as a country in relation to where other markets are at.
“We’ve not seen very meaningful progress in relation to finalisation of that White Paper.
“Naamsa and the automotive industry, broadly speaking, are currently working on a discussion document on [NEVs] ...

Extending recycling responsibility to producers can reduce the used-clothing waste stream

Extended Producer Responsibility regulations seek to hold producers, importers, brand owners and in some instances retailers responsible for the entire life cycle of a product. The ultimate goal is a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ as opposed to a ‘cradle-to-grave’ fate for products included in the EPR scheme.
Many reports have depicted vast wastelands filled with clothing, many of which are in developing nations. Clothes are “donated” from wealthy nations to developing ones but all that the items are useful for is waste in landfills. Ultimately, it is the end user who becomes responsible for the environmental impacts and disposal of the items. It begs the question, who should be responsible for the problem?
Extended producer responsibility
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an approach that places significant responsibility for the disposal of manufactured goods on the manufacturer. The aim is to incentivise manufacturers to extend the life of their products and to shift some of the environmental costs associated with product disposal from the consumers and the environment to the producers themselves.
While such policies remain scarce around the world, this is set to change with the global focus on the circular economy, particularly in the retail clothing, textile, footwear and leather industry (RCTFL).
In South Africa, the paper and plastic packaging, lighting and electronic and electrical goods sectors are regulated by the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 read with the Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations, 2020.
In France, arguably the home of fashion and certainly haute couture, numerous EPR schemes apply to a variety of industries, including the textiles and footwear industry. The French EPR programme is the most extensive in the European Union and is set to double in its application from 12 to 22 industries over the next three years.
Although the collection of old clothes by the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) in France is effective, once collected there are no facilities in the country to recycle or upcycle the textiles. Furthermore, manufacturers are charged a mere €0.01-€0.06 per clothing item, depending on the type and durability of the garment and the incorporation of recycled fibres. These measures do not seem to disincentivise overproduction and once collected, items are likely to end up elsewhere.
The South African EPR Regulations provide various options for the management of an EPR scheme. Independent PROs have been established and producers can voluntarily join or establish and manage an EPR scheme in-house. However, unlike France, which has a single PRO per industry, the options ...

Gender inequality forcing African women to bear brunt of climate change storm

Despite being at the forefront of local adaptation strategies, women are ignored in most climate actions.
Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change due to gender inequalities and gender roles and responsibilities. They are 14 times more likely than men to die in a climate catastrophe and make up 80% of people displaced due to climate change.
The international community has made strides in recognising that climate action must consider gender equality. But this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) was another missed opportunity to advance meaningful gender participation.
Despite bearing the brunt of climate change effects, women comprised less than 34% of the COP27 negotiating teams. Of the 110 heads of state attending, only eight were women. At COP26 in 2021, women comprised 38% of delegates (the highest yet) but accounted for only 24% of the speaking time. While a Gender Action Plan was discussed at COP27, the final text was watered down, lacked proper resourcing and continued to leave women and girls on the margins.
Climate change exacerbates vulnerabilities and exposes underlying discrimination. Gender inequality makes women and lesbians, gay people, bisexual people and transgender people more vulnerable to climate change impacts.
There are three interconnected ways in which climate change affects women disproportionately. First, it adds to household burdens, threatens economic opportunities and increases health risks for women. Second, women often don’t own land and third, they have declining water access.
Gender inequality causes women to be poorer, have less education and face more health risks than men. Labour markets are heavily gender-segregated, and women are employed primarily in low-paying and insecure occupations. They carry a disproportionate unpaid work burden and rely more on natural resources and climate-sensitive sectors for their livelihoods than men.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, women are responsible for 80% of food production, and more than 60% of all employed women work in agriculture. Despite their essential roles, women are less likely to own land or other productive assets. They typically access land through male relatives as labourers. Giving women land rights would significantly reduce the risk of displacement and increase crop productivity. And landowners are more likely to invest in improvement and have access to credit.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Approximately 250 million Africans live under extreme water stress. Women are most affected because water access is core to daily household labour, including cooking, washing and caring for the ill, children and elderly.
Globally, women and ...

Another COP? Here’s what you need to know and why you should care

Like most conservation issues, biodiversity loss might be one of those far-off issues that you know you should care about, but if we’re being honest, you don’t have the capacity to invest in. Unfortunately, biodiversity is something that affects food security, access to water and even the economy — it’s not just about species dying out. And arguably the most important negotiations to reverse biodiversity loss are about to take place. Here’s what you need to know.
‘We’ve lost half of the world’s warm water corals, and forests the size of roughly one football field vanish every two seconds.
“Wildlife populations have suffered a two-thirds decline globally in less than 50 years,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.
Like most conservation issues, biodiversity loss might be one of those far-off issues that you know you should care about, but if you’re being honest, you don’t have the capacity to think about right now.
But biodiversity is something we are going to have to make room for because it is about supporting life on earth — and that includes us.
Biodiversity is about the loss of species — the WWF reported a devastating 69% drop in wildlife populations since 1970 — but degrading ecosystems also affect climate change and jeopardise natural processes that protect human health and provide clean air, water and food.
Fun fact: more than half of the world’s GDP — a cool $44-trillion of economic value generation — is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services.
One of the most pivotal negotiations for biodiversity is about to get under way in Montreal, Canada.
The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) for the United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity will see 196 parties negotiate a “Paris Agreement” for biodiversity, with the main goal of reversing biodiversity loss through measurable actions in the coming decades.
First, what is a COP?
COP has nothing to do with the police — rather, it stands for Conference of the Parties.
So COP15 is where parties (196 states) — part of the international environmental treaty called the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) — will convene for the 15th time since the treaty was established in 1992.
The Convention on Biology Diversity is explained as a treaty that “recognises that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and microorganisms and their ecosystems — it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and ...

Rural late school starter bags international environment award

A chance meeting with a wildlife photography teacher and Kruger Park animals set Rifumo Mathebula on a path he never dreamed possible.
In a poor rural community bordering the Kruger National Park, Rifumo Mathebula did what youngsters his age were expected to do: he herded the family goats. Wandering as they grazed day after day, time slipped away and schooling took a back seat. By the time he first sat in a classroom at Frank Maghinyana High, Rifumo was nine.
At the age of 19, and still at school, he attended a Wild Shots Outreach (WSO) programme run by educational specialist Mike Kendrick. This involved learning to use a camera and entering Kruger Park — something he had never done before — to photograph wild animals.
It was like flipping a light switch and he needed more. That passion, within six years, would earn him an international title of Young Environmentalist of the Year and a local Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Award.
Desperate to share what he experienced in the park, Rifumo took the first steps in what would become his future: he persuaded Kendrick to run the course at his high school.
Recognising his passion for teaching and wanting to help other young people in his community, Kendrick began inviting him on photo assignments — including elephant collarings, rhino conservation operations and documenting the World Youth Wildlife Summit.
“Although I grew up on the border of Kruger Park,” Rifumo remembers, “I had never been into a game reserve until I did a game drive with Wild Shots Outreach. Seeing wildlife for the first time changed my life. I knew I wanted to inspire and encourage other young people to connect with nature.
“Most young people in my community have never been into a game reserve. I want to connect them with our natural heritage — we’re the future of Africa’s conservation.”
When Rifumo matriculated, he became Wild Shots Outreach programme leader, taking more and more responsibility, helping to build WSO’s reach and impact. In 2020 he was promoted to Programme Director and now leads WSO courses, organising all the logistics and teaching in the local Tsonga language.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
“The biggest barriers to young people connecting with nature,” he says, “are poverty and lack of resources and aspiration.”
These are shortcomings which Wild Shots Outreach was created to overcome. It was founded by Kendrick in 2015 and prioritises government ...

Hi-tech virtual reality is poised to revolutionise conservation experiences

Imagine a 12-year-old girl gliding over a coral reef, immersed in shoals of exotic and vibrant fish. Then, without warning, this underwater paradise is polluted with plastic, oil sludge and the colourful corals bleached. Soon, the shoals of fish are but a distant memory.
This is among scenarios that come to mind when one considers how virtual reality technology can be put to use in promoting conservation.
The use of hi-tech was the subject of a Tipping Points webinar hosted by Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation on 24 November.
The meeting looked at how conservation is transforming Africa through technology and how it might help people and the planet tackle climate change.
The presenters were Matthew Child, deputy director for biodiversity economy projects, at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi); Irene Amoke, executive director of the Kenya Wildlife Trust; Bruce Jones, partnership director for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence’s EarthRanger software platform; and Lebo Leitch, producer and client liaison at Habitat XR.
Toby Shapshack, editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff magazine and chief commercial officer of Scrolla.Africa, facilitated the talk.
Irene Amoke tackled the fact that when lions prey on livestock in Kenya, they risk poisoning or a spear from furious farmers. Might there be a way to reconcile the needs of pastoralists with those of predators?
Amoke, who is involved in projects to conserve predators in the Masai Mara Reserve, believes it can be done, and her trust is already harnessing technology to help humans and wildlife coexist.
Amoke says that by using camera traps, GPS satellite colouring, cybertracker and EarthRanger software, lions can be tracked in real time and conflict hotspots identified.
Such technologies can be used to warn farmers when lions are about, and education can equip farmers with methods to protect their livestock.
Targeted conservation
The Kenya Wildlife Trust is also using artificial intelligence to identify individual animals — be they lions, zebras or cheetahs — so conservation measures can be better targeted.
But Amoke cautions that although technology offers solutions to many human-wildlife problems, it has its downsides.
“We are confident there is a brighter future for technology in conservation, but then being very cognisant of some of the challenges that we face in terms of funding, because technology is not cheap,” says Amoke.
She also says capacity building is needed to equip conservationists with the skills to use technology.
How does Africa conserve its biodiversity while managing a growing human population?
Like Amoke, Sanbi’s Matthew Child reckons technology may ...

‘Land scam kingpin’ – Deputy President David Mabuza named as top suspect in organised crime complaint

On the morning of 5 December 2022, the Investigating Directorate of the NPA received a criminal complaint from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, with Deputy President DD Mabuza named as the lead suspect. The allegations cover a litany of charges that stretch from 2002 to the present day, mainly to do with the ‘land claims scam’ and the case of conservationist and whistle-blower Fred Daniel. For the first time, all aspects of the case are submitted in a single affidavit, including the contents of the “missing dockets” as reported by Daily Maverick in August 2022. “Hotlinks” to the attendant evidence are also included in the complaint.
The top line
“We propose that the suspects referred to in the paragraphs below be charged under the umbrella offence of contravening Section 2(1)(d) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1988 (POCA) in that they acquired or maintained, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of the following criminal enterprises.”
The implication of this sentence, which introduces the criminal complaint submitted by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) to the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), may very well be that Deputy President DD “The Cat” Mabuza has run out of lives.
Lodged on the morning of 5 December 2022, the affidavit places Mabuza at the top of a list of 15 suspects, all of whom were allegedly involved in a pair of interlinked criminal enterprises that – according to a 2015 report compiled by retired judge Willem Heath – cost the South African economy in excess of R35-billion.
Among the specific crimes listed under the umbrella of POCA are: defeating the ends of justice, theft, fraud, perjury, contempt of court, intimidation, extortion and “conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit any offence referred to in Schedule 1 of POCA.”
The affidavit incorporates an intricate web of allegations that stretch back to 2002, two years before the so-called land claims scam was exposed in the South African press. Significantly, it relies for the most part on oral and documentary evidence already submitted to the Pretoria High Court, where conservationist Fred Daniel has been waging a 12-year battle against Mabuza and the South African government.
Daniel’s R1-billion civil action, covered at length by Daily Maverick – the only media organisation in the country that successfully applied, via its lawyers, for access to the trial – has also seen the admission ...

Private sector should up its hand in eradicating biodiversity loss, says UN environment body

‘If we truly want to tackle the crisis that people see around the climate, then it is about changing our lives, changing how businesses make money, and changing how the government puts policies together. That is not for the next generation or the next decade; it is here, now!’ say the authors of a new environmental investment report.
All efforts to save and conserve nature and its resources will be out of reach, unless finance is more than doubled to $384-billion per year by 2025, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme has proposed.
Titled State of Finance for Nature, and written by UNEP’s Nathalie Olse and Ivo Mulder, as well as Waltraud Ederer and Nina Bison from the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative, the report had the support and analysis of McKinsey’s Vivid Economics.
“Climate, biodiversity, and land degradation goals will be out of reach unless investments into nature-based solutions quickly ramp up to $384-billion/year by 2025, more than double the current $154-billion/year,” say the authors.
State of Finance for Nature is the second updated version of its kind, and includes marine ecosystems, showing that only 9% of total investment in nature-based solutions are targeted towards oceans.
In addition to concluding that funds need to double to preserve biodiversity, the UNEP report said that governments contribute about 83% of nature-based solutions finance flow. However, this contribution is unlikely to increase, due to fiscal challenges, debt and poverty.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Ivo Mulder, UNEP head of climate finance, and one of the report authors, told Daily Maverick that as environmental circumstances caused by the Ukraine war have affected energy and food prices, additional money towards nature initiatives would have to come from the private sector.
“The science is undeniable. As we transition to net-zero emissions by 2050, we must also reorient all human activity to ease the pressure on the natural world on which we all depend,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP, in a statement. “This requires governments, business and finance to massively step up investments in nature-based solutions because investments in nature are investments in securing the future for generations to follow.”
Turning the tide of biodiversity loss
The private sector is considered a source of increased funding towards the conservation of nature, with expectations of upping its $26-billion per year contribution, or 17% of overall share, towards protecting the environment.
“From this year to last year, we have ...

SA’s Garden Route beaches closed after oil droplets wash up ashore

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has dispatched a team to render assistance to the Garden Route areas affected by oil droplets which washed up on beaches in Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Bitou this week.
The department’s spokesperson, Albi Modise, told Daily Maverick on Thursday that the department had dispatched a team to Mossel Bay.
“It was found that there were oil droplets that washed up in George, Knysna and Bitou beaches, and these are all currently being assessed. A team from the department is assisting with the training of clean-up teams. The source of the pollution is currently being assessed in order to put actions into place,” said Modise.
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) said tar balls had reportedly washed ashore, affecting a significant stretch of the coastline from Mossel Bay to Wilderness since Monday.
“The source of the oil is unknown. However, officials are investigating where the oil originated from. Whilst there are no reports of oiled wildlife, Sanccob’s response team is on standby and is participating as part of the incident management team in the event of oiled seabirds being impacted,” said Sanccob.
Below are the beaches that are opened, those that are still being worked on and those that have not been worked on.
At this time of year, African penguin fledglings leave their colonies in the Eastern Cape and swim near where the oil droplets washed up, and Sanccob is particularly concerned that these birds could be affected.
“In addition, a high abundance of other seabirds and other marine biodiversity are at risk,” said Sanccob.
The Garden Route District Municipality on Thursday said that more than 100 trained individuals were cleaning up hydrocarbon and low-sulphur fuel oil droplets at more than 20 beaches along the Garden Route.
“Efforts have resulted in several beaches already moving to green status, which includes all the Blue Flag Beaches of Mossel Bay. While assessments found that several others in George, Hessequa, Knysna and Bitou were also affected by the spill, clean-up teams have already responded promptly to remove droplets,” said Gerhard Otto, the manager of disaster management at the Garden Route District Municipality.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
He assured holiday-makers and residents that the region was ready for its upcoming holiday season.
“The multi-agency response team indicated that most beaches will be cleaned by the end of this weekend, dependent on the 3.5m swells expected ...

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