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EMS FOUNDATION CELEBRATES MANDELA DAY 2020

18TH JULY 2020

WHERE RAINBOWS MEET

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela spent sixty-seven years of his life fighting for human rights. Mandela Day is an opportunity to remember him and to carry his legacy forward.

In honour of Nelson Mandela, the founder of the EMS Foundation, Elizabeth Steyn has delighted the smallest children in the care of the Non-Government Organisation called Where Rainbows Meet with warm jackets, hoodies and shoes.

Where Rainbows Meet is situated in Muizenberg in Cape Town, South Africa.  Their mission is to economically and socially empower the women, men and youth of informal settlement communities.   Their activities provide the different groups of the community of Vryground with information, education and support.  Their programs are designed so that the people are encouraged to take responsibility of their own lives, their families and the situation in the community.  

The community is offered the opportunity of learning new skills in order to decrease unemployment, which in turn will lower drug abuse, domestic violence, child neglect and other social skills. 

Founded in 2008 in the oldest informal settlement in the Western Cape, almost sixty percent of this community are victims of crime.  Where Rainbows Meet is empowering this community and the surrounding communities so that the members can live in dignity and security. 

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats it’s children” Nelson Mandela

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MEAT SAFETY ACT

30TH JUNE 2020

A JOINT SUBMISSION BY THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA

ADDRESSED TO:

Dr M. Molefe

Director: Veterinary Public Heath

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development 

AND

 Minister of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

We, Animal Law Reform South Africa (“ALRSA”) and the EMS Foundation (“EMS Foundation”), welcome the opportunity to provide our comments and hereby do so in relation to the Proposed Amendments to the Meat Safety Act gazetted for public consultation on the 28th February 2020[1] (“Proposed Amendments”), as read with the: 

  1. Meat Safety Act 2000 Act;[2] (hereinafter the “Act”, the “MSA” or “Meat Safety Act”)
  2. Extension of the Commenting Period and Clarification of the Purpose of the Amendment to Schedule 1 of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 issued by National Executive Officer: Meat Safety Act on 30 April 2020[3] (hereinafter the “Clarificatory Notice”)
  3. and various other documents / information included in this Submission.

Kindly confirm receipt of this Submission (“Submission”) and address further correspondence to the email addresses: michele@emsfoundation.org.za and amywilson@animallawreform.org.

We look forward to receiving a response to the requests made herein and are available to engage on any queries, comments, concerns which you may have in respect of the Submission.


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SUBMISSION IN RESPECT OF DEFF HIGH LEVEL PANEL THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA

15TH JUNE 2020

MANAGEMENT, BREEDING, HUNTING, TRADE, HANDLING AND RELATED MATTERS: ELEPHANT, LION, LEOPARD AND RHINOCEROS

“IF WE DO NOT DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT IT, AFRICA’S ANIMALS AND THE PLACES IN WHICH THEY LIVE, WILL BE LOST TO OUR WORLD AND HER CHILDREN FOREVER” NELSON MANDELA

Disclaimers

Please note that this Submission is non-exhaustive and does not represent all the responses to the issues and matters raised herein. We reserve the right to provide any further or additional information on aspects raised herein.

We are submitting so as to be able to record our initial high-level views and resources; however, our Submission is by no means a complete one in relation to the topics, objections or matters that may be raised.

We wish to note upfront that we believe there are various issues with the contents, processes, and related matters in respect of the Panel generally, as well as the Call for Submission. Consequently, our Submission does not constitute a waiver of any rights we may have, including but not limited to challenging the Department, the High-Level Panel/ Advisory Committee or otherwise, or take any other action we deem fit in respect thereof.

Specifically, we believe that insufficient time and notice has been provided for us to provide complete comments. The entire process on this Call for Submissions has been done during a declared National State of Disaster and lockdown of the country. During this time, particularly as NGOs, we have experienced major strain on our resources and capacity to deal with matters.

The views expressed herein are those of the two organisations and do not necessarily represent those of every individual director, member, employee, representative, volunteer, affiliate or others of either EMS and/or ALRSA.

We have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible, given the time, resources and other relevant factors and constraints, however we may not have responded or included each and every relevant consideration. Accordingly, it should be noted that different persons have provided input and we have tried within these constraints to collate this input as effectively, consistently, and practicably as possible.

We have further attempted to reference as footnotes or hyperlink the resources relied upon for this submission. Should you require any further information in respect of these or the Submission more generally, we are happy to provide these.

We reserve any and all rights, remedies and actions available to us.

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE FULFILLING IT’S ROLE AS A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE RULING GOVERNMENT

EMS FOUNDATION

OPEN LETTER

DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE LEADER’S OFFICE

Marks Building (2nd and 3rd Floor) Parliament
Plein Street
Cape Town 8001
Via email: leader@da.org.za

Monday 1st June 2020

Dear Mr John Steenhuisen,

THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE FULFILLING IT’S ROLE AS A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE RULING GOVERNMENT

The EMS Foundation hereby officially acknowledges the press release issued by Ms Hannah Shameema Winkler and we refer to the news article published in the foreign media on the weekend.

It is refreshing to note that the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition political party in South Africa, has finally, publicly questioned decisions taken by the Department of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.

The EMS Foundation published a report called the Extinction Business in 2018. The report highlighted a two year investigation into South Africa’s Big Cat Captive Breeding Industry which included the concise details of South Africa’s controversial Lion Bone Export business. The publication of this report led to a two-day colloquium held in Parliament in 2018. The Parliamentary Committee recommended that this industry be shut down immediately. Minister Creecy has ignored this recommendation. Judge Kollapen rule in August 2019, in the Gauteng High Court, that the lion bone export quota is unlawful and constitutionally invalid.

In May 2019 the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries made an amendment to the Animal Improvement Act, 1998 to include thirty-three wild mammal species under Table 7 of the regulations. The thirty-three species include Black and White rhino, cheetah, giraffe, lion and twenty-eight indigenous and non- indigenous game species, are now treated in the same manner, as livestock in so far as the recognition of breeders rights is concerned. These decisions taken without any public consultation. In November 2019 a coalition of twenty-one South African animal protection organisations responded to the AIA.

The world has been negatively affected by the zoonotic disease known as COVID-19, this zoonotic disease highlights the dangers of the trade and consumption of wild animals.

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THE BREAKING POINT REPORT – PRESS RELEASE 22ND MAY 2020

OUTCOME OF THE MEETING BETWEEN BAN ANIMAL TRADING SOUTH AFRICA, THE EMS FOUNDATION AND THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES

The Minister of Environment, Barbara Creecy, initiated a meeting with the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading in response to the publication of The Breaking Point Report which highlighted the shameful live wildlife trade between South Africa and China. The meeting was held this morning.

We welcome the Minister’s commitment to investigate the serious issues raised in our Report, within a three month period. 

We also welcome the Minister’s commitment to strengthening the permitting system, her commitment to greater transparency within governmental systems and access to information produced by the Department, and the provinces. The Minister acknowledged that civil society has a role to play in holding government to account and therefore government should be transparent. 

The Minister recognised that national government has the overall responsibility and the obligation to ensure that the system implementing CITES complies with CITES regulations. 

The Breaking Point Report showed the fundamental problems which are systemic in nature and relate to overarching policy issues. We were disappointed that the Minister was not willing to engage in policy discussions at this stage but she did commit to doing so in appropriate forums. 

The Minister would not agree to a moratorium on the international export of live wild animals. We believe a Moratorium is an appropriate first-step response to addressing the expansive systemic problems. Given the degree and nature of the failings of the current system, it would be irresponsible to continue exporting wild animals until the investigation has been completed and the problems have been addressed. For these reasons, particularly given the fallout from COVID-19, we will continue to push for a Moratorium. 

We believe our Breaking Point Report contains sufficient information to enable the Minister and her Department to identify the transgressions immediately. Over and above our Report, which is the tip of the iceberg, the Minister’s Department has all the information to hand to begin with their investigation immediately.  

The organisations agreed to provide the Minister with a Memorandum that will highlight issues to be included in her investigations as well as recommendations that will address the inadequacies in the systemic framework.  

We look forward to the results of the investigation.  As environmental, social justice and animal protection organisations we will continue to speak up for animals and the environment. 

The report can be sourced here: https://emsfoundation.org.za/the-breaking-point-uncovering-south-africas-shameful-live-wildlife-trade-with-china/

Contact Details:

Smaragda Louw , DIRECTOR, BAN ANIMAL TRADING smaragda@bananimaltrading.org

 Michele Pickover, DIRECTOR, THE EMS FOUNDATION michele@emsfoundation.org.za                                                      

                          

                                           

IMAGE CREDIT: BAN ANIMAL TRADING

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

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info@emsfoundation.org.za

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