'Lockdown a positive period for the environment'
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Pretoria - Outgoing director-general for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Nosipho Ngcaba believes the period of the lockdown has given the environment a much-needed break.
Ngcaba, a long-standing feature within the department since she began her career in 1997, will be vacating her office at the end of this month, to pursue and advance her career outside of the department.
She worked her way through the department from being a director, chief director, chief operating officer and finally to the helm of the director-general, since 2008.
During her time in office, Ngcaba had been applauded for her work, receiving awards for being the Top performing head of department in 2013 and in 2015.
Speaking to Ngcaba on her last days in office, on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country and the city’s environment, she said she believed the lockdown had been a positive period for the environment.
She said she had even been sharing videos with colleagues recently, sent by her daughter who noticed the
increasing sea life in the Cape.
“Life at sea and on land is blossoming wonderfully during this time, so it just goes to show you how much of a disruption we cause as human beings to nature.
“But human beings also need to live, so we need to establish that balance of how we live while at the same time not destroying our environment,” she said.
Outgoing director-general of Environmental Affairs, Nosipho Ngcaba. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
Tshwane and other towns have also, according to Ngcaba, benefited as they were much cleaner and the air quality was better as many industries were shut down following the commencement of the national lockdown period on March 27.
She said, however, the same effect may not be true, particularly for areas with polluting industries for power generation still operating.
“With those industries still operating we’ll still have challenges which we must mitigate and prevent from harm and preserve for future generations.”