Final call for comments on the delineation of coastal management or set-back lin
The Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning’s West Coastal Management or Set-Back Lines project is now in its final phase and the public will be given a last chance to provide comment, in addition to several rounds of public comment and the two public meetings which have already been held, on the final project reports before it is handed over to the Western Cape Government (WCG) for further action at the end of June.
According to the West Coast District Final Project Report, the coastline of the West Coast District (WCD) is approximately 366 km long, the longest coastline of all 13 district authorities in South Africa and thus also constitutes the largest part of the Western Cape provincial coastline at approximately 30.68%.
As such, the coastal zone also represents a particularly desirable location for settlement, industry, harvesting of natural resources as well as recreational activities. It places the sensitive, vulnerable, often highly dynamic and stressed ecosystems found along the coast right in the middle of a growing conflict between the need for human habitation and natural resource protection.
As a result, the Report notes that coastal areas require specific attention in management and planning, in order to preserve coastal resources, protect coastal quality, and reduce coastal-related risks.
To achieve this, the WCG’s Environmental Affairs & Development Planning department has proposed to outline coastal set-back or ‘management’ lines (CML) for the West Coast District (WCD) as one strategy through which responsible coastal management can be promoted. This project forms part of a larger initiative to determine such development controls for the entire Western Cape coastline, and mirrors similar efforts underway in the other coastal provinces of South Africa.
The ultimate intention of the coastal management line, as currently defined in the proposed amendments to the ICM Act, is to protect or preserve:
- coastal public property including coastal waters, land and natural resources
- coastal private property such as private residences and business properties
- public safety in the face of extreme climate and other natural events
- the coastal protection zone
- the aesthetics or ‘sense-of-place’ of the coastal zone
Comments from this round of commenting will be compiled and presented to the Department along with the final reports. Stakeholders are therefore urged to make use of the opportunity to verify that their comments have indeed been taken into consideration in the final project recommendations, or raise specific issues that the WCG needs to be made aware of.
Comments need to reach the project team no later than 30 June 2014.
Please submit directly to:
021 936 7657 (t)
Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Coastal Management Unit
021 483 2724 (t)