Integrated Coastal Management Act

The ICM Act provides for the holistic management of the coast and estuarine areas as an integrated system, through participation by all stakeholders (public, NGOs, Local, Provincial and National government) to ensure the protection of the environment and it’s natural ecosystem functioning, while promoting sustainable development in the use of coastal resources.

National Environmental: Integrated Coastal Management Act
Original Act 24 of 2008      |      Amendment Act 36 of 2014  |      ICM Act including amendments (consolidated by the University of Pretoria)  
"To establish a system of integrated coastal and estuarine management in the Republic, including norms, standards and policies, in order to promote the conservation of the coastal environment, and maintain the natural attributes of coastal landscapes and seascapes, and to ensure that development and the use of natural resources within the coastal zone is socially and economically justifiable and ecologically sustainable; to define rights and duties in relation to coastal areas; to determine the responsibilities of organs of state in relation to coastal areas; to prohibit incineration at sea; to control dumping at sea, pollution in the coastal zone, inappropriate development of the coastal environment and other adverse effects on the coastal environment; to give effect to South Africa’s international obligations in relation to coastal matters; and to provide for matters connected therewith."
View Original Act (PDF) View Amended Act (PDF)

The purpose of the Act is to:

  • to determine the coastal zone of the Republic;
  • to provide, within the framework of the National Environmental Management Act, for the coordinated and integrated management of the coastal zone by all spheres of government in accordance with the principles of co-operative governance;
  • to preserve, protect, extend and enhance the status of coastal public property as being held in trust by the State on behalf of all South Africans, including future generations;
  • to secure equitable access to the opportunities and benefits of coastal public property;
  • to provide for the establishment, use and management of the coastal protection zone; and
  • to give effect to the Republic’s obligations in terms of international law regarding coastal management and the marine environment.

Chapters of the Integrated Coastal Management Act

Chapter 1: Interpretation, Objects and Application of Act Chapter 2: Coastal Zone
  • Definitions
  • Objects of Act
  • State’s duty to fulfill environmental rights in coastal environment
  • Application of Act  
  • Application of National Environmental Management Act    
  • Interpretation and conflicts with other legislation


  • Coastal Public Property
  • Coastal Protection Zone
  • Coastal Access Land
  • Coastal Waters
  • Coastal Protected Areas
  • Special Management Areas
  • Coastal Management Lines
Chapter 1 (PDF) Chapter 2 (PDF)
 Chapter 3: Boundaries of Coastal Areas  Chapter 4: Estuaries
  • Determination and adjustment of coastal boundaries
  • Determining and adjusting coastal boundary of coastal public property  
  • Determining and adjusting coastal boundaries of coastal protection zone
  • Determining and adjusting coastal boundaries of coastal access land
  • Entry onto land
  • Marking coastal boundaries on zoning maps
  • Endorsements by Registrar of Deeds
  • National estuarine management protocol
  • Estuarine management plans
Chapter 3 (PDF) Chapter 4 (PDF)
 Chapter 5: Institutional Arrangements  Chapter 6: Coastal Management
  • National Coastal Committee
  • Provincial Lead Agencies
  • Provincial Coastal Committees
  • Municipal Coastal Committees
  • Voluntary Coastal Officers
  • National Coastal Management Programme
  •  Provincial Coastal Management Programmes 
  • Municipal Coastal Management Programmes
  • Co-ordination and Alignment of plans and Coastal Management Programmes
  • Public Participation
  • Review of Coastal Management Programmes 
  • Coastal Planning Schemes
Chapter 5 (PDF) Chapter 6 (PDF)
 Chapter 7: Protection of Coastal Resources  Chapter 8: Marine and Coastal Pollution Control
  • Assessing, Avoiding and Minimising adverse effects
  • Regulation of Coastal Zone
  • Environmental Authorisations
  • Use of Coastal Public Property  
  • General Provisions
  • Discharge of Effluent into Coastal Waters
  • Prohibition of Incineration or Dumping at Sea
  • Dumping Permits
  • Emergency Dumping at Sea
  • National Action List
Chapter 7 (PDF) Chapter 8 (PDF)
 Chapter 9: Appeals  Chapter 10: Enforcement
  • Appeals
  • Advisory appeal panel  
  • Interim orders by Minister or MEC
  • Proceedings of advisory appeal panel
  • Determination of appeal by Minister or MEC
  • Offences
  • Penalties
  • Jurisdiction of courts
  • Actions in relation to coastal public property
Chapter 9 (PDF) Chapter 10 (PDF)
 Chapter 11: General Powers and Duties  Chapter 12: Miscellaneous Matters
  • Regulations
  • Powers to be exercised by MEC
  • Delegations
  • General matters
  • Transitional provisions
  •  General
Chapter 11 (PDF) Chapter 12 (PDF)


The ICM Act focuses on coastal and estuarine management, in order to promote the conservation of the coastal environment and the sustainable use of its resources. The story Map below is an interactive summary of the ICM Act. Use the panel on the left to scroll through the chapters of the ICM Act, or view the Story Map in a new window by clicking on the blue button below right.

ICM Act Story Map




Reclamation of Land from Coastal Waters (PDF)

ICM Regulations

Additional Information

For a User Friendly Guide and Summary of the ICM Act (PDF)

User Friendly Guide

Guidelines on the ICM Act

ICM Act Guidelines

Information on "Implementing the ICM Act" can be found under Management of Coastal and Marine Environments

Management of Coastal and Marine Environments


The ICM includes amendments up until May 2015. For updated amendments visit:

SA Government SANBI DEA