Welcoming the National Coastal Development Program

Noetzie Knysna1b

Not many people know that this legislation won an international award and is something all South Africans can be proud of and wholeheartedly support. Our Local Knysna municipality is  already busy with their own program based on this new National Coastal Development Program, and it should be available for public participation and comment in September this year.

“The overall goal of Integrated Coastal Management is to improve the quality of life of human communities who depend on coastal resources while maintaining the biological diversity and productivity of coastal ecosystems. . . . It is a process that unites government and the community, science and management, sectoral and public interests in preparing and implementing an integrated plan for the protection and development of coastal ecosystems and resources.” (Report on fundamental goals of coastal management via deliberations of the Group of Experts of Marine Protection 1996)

E x e c u t i v e  S u m m a r y
The national vision sets out the desired future for South Africa’s coast and the people using this valuable resource as follows:

“We, the people of South Africa, celebrate the diversity, beauty and richness of our coast and seek an equitable balance of opportunities and benefits throughout it. We strive for sustainable coastal development involving a balance between material prosperity, social development, cultural values, spiritual fulfilment and ecological integrity, in the interests of all South Africans. We strive for a time when all South Africans recognise that the coast is ours to enjoy in a spirit of community. We look forward to a time when all South Africans assume shared responsibility for maintaining the health, diversity and productivity of coastal ecosystems in a spirit of stewardship and caring.

We seek to guide the management of our coast in a way that benefits current and future generations, and honours our obligations and undertakings from local to global levels”.

How will this affect a small coastal community like Noetzie? The new legislation will protect public access routes to the beach and entrenches the rights of all South Africans to enjoy the coastline for recreation and other purposes and also protects the environment. If you would like to read more and to study the legislation, please click on this link: National Coastal Management Programme.