DURBAN -- THE KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Ravi Pillay, announced the new board members for the long-troubled KZN Nature Conservation Board (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife).
The newly-appointed chairperson is Lydia Johnson, who is the former MEC for Agriculture.
“She comes with a solid track record, having served as a Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature where she developed strong oversight mechanisms. She brings discipline and commitment to good governance as well as the cause of conservation,” said EDTEA Spokesperson, Angel Sibisi.
The department said deputy chairperson is Iain C Ewing, a committed conservationist who worked under Dr Ian Player in the Ian Player Magqubu Ntombela Foundation.
He serves on several other charitable trusts and has also been chairperson of the Wilderness Leadership School. He has a deep connection with rural communities, especially those adjoining conservation parks. Ewing is also a businessman in the financial sector with international exposure. He brings a special passion and skill to achieve the objectives of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife,” said Sibisi.
Other members of the newly appointed board include Inkosi Mxolisi Buhlebezwe Wilson Xolo, Andrew Robert Muir, Siyabonga Mhkize, Olivia Symcox, Njabulo Maxwell Mtolo, Nomdeni Xolile Banda, Tallman Lindizwe Sibiya, Logie Naidoo and Zethu Qunta.
Sibisi said the team brings together skills in conservation, governance, environmental law, tourism and economic development. Their immediate tasks will be to stabilise the organisation through visible leadership, instil a new discipline and work ethic and sound and prudent financial management.
“The entity has a budget of approximately R 1.1bn. Used effectively, this budget can have a visible impact within a period of two years,” Sibisi said.
The department said other priorities for the new board will be the rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructure, the commercialisation of selected facilities, the fight against rhino poaching and general tourism product development and marketing.
“MEC Ravi Pillay is confident that the new board will turn the entity around and urges all stakeholders – employees, communities, conservation bodies and tourism partners – to offer maximum support and cooperation,” said Sibisi.