The North West is one of the provinces facing the greatest risk of the impacts of climate change. This is after years of drought and frequent heatwaves.

These are among the concerns raised during public consultations on the new Climate Change Bill.

“I think we should know more about climate change because it affects us as people including our health,” says a resident.

“It is important to have a law so that most of the people can understand and know about and be aware of the things that affect them,” says another resident.

These public consultations could not have come at a better time as the North West is still battling to recover from severe changes in weather patterns.

“We have been experiencing heatwaves in the previous year. North West was hit by the drought big time. Water is one of the critical issues for North West so if we are coming together collectively as stakeholders both from business from NGO from government to address this issue of climate change in a more coordinated and integrated way I think we will make great strides in addressing impact of climate change,” says Tlou Ramaru, acting DDG climate change.

While the new bill makes some provisions for industrial carbon emitters through the carbon emissions budget. Big industries will have to work hard to be fully compliant or face fines of up to R10 million.

“We are very excited to be a part of the public consultations. As one of the biggest cement producers in the province we look forward to engaging with the authorities to implement the billion a way that benefit all,” says Lafarge Environmental Specialist, Uneysa Taljard.

The Climate Change Bill Roadshow is expected to conclude consultations in Gauteng and the Free State.

The deadline for all written submissions is in August.