NEMA: Protected Areas Act

The Protected Areas Act provides a framework for the declaration, cooperative governance and management of South African protected areas on state, private and communal land. This forms part of a strategy to manage and conserve biodiversity while preserving the ecological character of these areas. The Act promotes the sustainable utilisation of protected areas for the benefit of people and supports participation of local communities in the management of protected areas.

National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
Act No. 57 of 2003
"To provide for the protection and conservation of ecologically viable areas representative of South Africa’s biological diversity and its natural landscapes and seascapes; for the establishment of a national register of all national, provincial and local protected areas; for the management of those areas in accordance with national norms and standards; for intergovernmental co-operation and public consultation in matters concerning protected areas; and for matters in connection therewith."

View Act (PDF)

The purpose of this Act is:

  • to provide, within the framework of national legislation, including the National Environmental Management Act, for the declaration and management of protected areas;
  • to provide for co-operative governance in the declaration and management of protected areas;
  • to effect a national system of protected areas in South Africa as part of a strategy to manage and conserve its biodiversity;
  • to provide for a representative network of protected areas on state land, private land and communal land;
  • to promote sustainable utilisation of protected areas for the benefit of people, in a manner that would preserve the ecological character of such areas; and
  • to promote participation of local communities in the management of protected areas, where appropriate.

Chapters of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act

Chapter 1:Interpretation, Objectives and Application of Act Chapter 2: System of Protected Areas in South Africa
  • Definitions
  • Objectives of Act
  • State trustee of protected areas
  • Application of Act
  • Application of National Environmental Management Ac
  • Application of Biodiversity Act in protected areas
  • Conflicts with other legislation
  • Status of provincial legislation on provincial and local protected areas
  • Kinds of protected areas
  • Register of Protected Areas
  • Norms and standards
  • Provincial protected areas
  • World heritage sites
  • Specially protected forest areas, forest nature reserves and forest wilderness areas
  • Mountain catchment areas
Chapter 3:Declaration of Protected Areas Chapter 4: Management of Protected Areas
  • Special nature reserves
  • Nature reserves
  • Protected environment
  • Consultation proces
  • General
  • Management authorities and management plans
  • Monitoring and supervisio
  • Access to protected areas
  • Restrictions
Chapter 5 Chapter 6: Acquisition of Rights in or to Land
* Chapter 5 is omitted and will be inserted by way of an Amendment Bill. That Bill will be dealt with in terms of the procedure prescribed by section 75 of the Constitution - as explained in the Memorandum on the Objects of the Bill.
  • Acquisition of private land by State
  • Cancellation of servitude on, or privately held right in or to, state land
  • Mineral right
  • Financing
Chapter 7:Administration of Act Chapter 8: Offences and Penalties
  • Regulations by Minister
  • Regulations by MEC
  • General
  • Offences and penalties
Chapter 9: Miscellaneous
  • Repeal of laws
  • Protected areas existing before commencement of section
  • Short title and commencement

Protected Areas Management Plans


The purpose of the Protected Areas Management Plans is to:

  • Contribute to the achievement of Provincial and National conservation targets through 
    protecting a representative portion of the Southern Zululand vegetation and associated faunal 
    components  of the area and their associated biodiversity, including the ecological and 
    evolutionary processes that generate and maintainthis diversity ANR has a riverine habitat, 
    dune, coastal and swamp forests, undeveloped sandy beaches with associated beach 
  • Conserve a small remnant of the Southern Zululand vegetation;
  • Protect endangered, rare and endemic species indigenous to the area;
  • Preserve and conserve the ecological and cultural heritage integrity of the area;
  • Provide controlled and equitable access by the public to the area and its resources;
  • Contribute to local and regional economies through sustaining good quality water production 
    and by providing a public amenity; and 
  • Provide a destination for eco-cultural tourism in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.




uMlalazi Management Plan

Amatikulu Management Plan

Beachwood Mangroves Management Plan

uMhlanga Management Plan

uMpenjati Management Plan

uMtamvuna Management Plan