The late Environmental Affairs Minister, Dr Edna Molewa’s visionary leadership, positioned the department as a critical vehicle of economic advancement in the country.
This is according to Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson who praised the Minister for her work which led the department to be at the forefront of major programmes such as the ocean’s economy, wildlife economy and the waste economy.
“The Minister’s vast knowledge of the sector allowed her to lead the department with ease and passion. She was without a doubt one of the most hard working Ministers,” Thomson said.
The Deputy Minister was addressing mourners at a memorial service for Molewa at the Christian Revival Church in Silverlakes, Tshwane, on Thursday.
The memorial service was led by the Department of Environmental Affairs. The official memorial service will be held on 3 October 2018.
The Minister passed away at the age of 61 following an illness on 22 September 2018.
“She contributed immensely to the environment sector. During our time together, I have had the pleasure of attending high level forums internationally with our Minister where one would witness her spearheading some of the most crucial issues.
“She is highly respected globally. Through her contributions, South Africa is recognised and respected as a major stakeholder on these issues,” Thomson said.
She said without a doubt she was one of the most hard working Ministers.
"She knew what it meant to be a team player and always consulted and solicited views of our stakeholders,” Thomson said.
Over the years, Molewa became a mentor, sister and friend to Thomson.
“She was full of life and energy. In all the years that I have worked with the Minister, she has never embarrassed, undermined or disrespected me and for that I sincerely thank her.
“It has been an honour to serve as Deputy Minister to Molewa and I will always be grateful for this opportunity,” the Deputy Minister said.
Molewa’s daughter, Nunu Mogaswe, said her mother was a perfectionist because she believed in doing things right.
“She used her time wisely and understood that she was a steward given a mandate with a time limit and maximised the time that she had,” Mogaswe said.
She said her mother was her supporter and best friend.
“She often meditated on scripture because she loved the Lord. She was strengthened in the word. She taught us how to behave, how to present ourselves and how to talk to people,” Mogaswe said.
Water and Sanitation Deputy Director-General Trevor Balzer said Molewa was a great leader who led from the front with great speed.
“She gave us the space to perform our professional and administrative responsibilities. She listened to, accepted and used our professional and technical advice while at the same time getting us to understand the political nuances of what we were doing.
“The fact that we were serving South Africa in general was a driving force in addressing the inequalities of the past, dealing with poverty reduction and at the same time improving service delivery,” Balzer said.
He said the Minister had also left a legacy in the water sector.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared an Official Funeral (category 1) for Molewa. The funeral service will take place on Saturday, 6 October 2018.
Official Funeral Category 1 is for Serving Ministers, Speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Premiers of Provinces, distinguished persons specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa. – SAnews.gov.za