Changes in Governmental Departments

The new Government in South Africa has reconstituted cabinet and changed the scope of various Ministries which are involved in environmental matters.

Environmental Affairs and Tourism
A new Department of Water & Environmental Affairs has been created. This has resulted from the separation of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Water Affairs & Forestry. The department of Water and Environmental Affairs is headed by Buyelwa Sonjica and the Department of Tourism is headed by Martinus van Schalkwyk.

Water Affairs and Forestry
The old Department of Water Affairs & Forestry has ceased to exist with water added to the Environmental Ministry and Forestry included in a new Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The amalgamation of portfolios has been regarded as a positive move that will emphasise the link between clean water and a healthy environment. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is headed by Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Minerals and Energy
The Department of Minerals and Energy has been separated into two distinct departments. These are Mining, headed by Susan Shabangu and Energy, headed by Dipuo Peters. The move is set to increase the capacity of each Ministry to deal with the issues relevant to the specific sector. This has been largely welcomed by stake holders who have long professed that the complexities of each sector warrant the creation of separate Ministries.

Fisheries has been removed from the old Environmental Ministries portfolio and added to the agricultural portfolio, a move that has been considered potentially positive provided fisheries still get adequate attention.

Brought to you by the Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Practice Area.

For further information on this topic please contact Claire Tucker at Bowman Gilfillan Inc telephone +27 11 669 9000 or fax +27 11 669 9001 or email