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Beach driving was one of the many local issues noted at a Draft KZN Coastal Management Programme (CMP) workshopped at the City of uMhlathuze auditorium on Tuesday.
A team led by the provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA) addressed stakeholders on proposed new management of the coast and beaches.
With the vision of ‘a vibrant, healthy and safe coast with sustainable access to resources for all’, the need for protection and appropriate utilisation of KZN’s 580km of shoreline – exposed to a range of pressures and risks – requires wise planning and effective management.
There are 76 estuaries in the province, where fresh water from rivers meets the sea to provide unique habitats
While the various presentations did provide valuable information, locals were aggrieved it was not specific to this area and its unique challenges.
The absence of notable key role players including the RBIDZ, TNPA, Ezemvelo, ZCCI and shore angling fraternity was noted with concern, while the fact the Port of Richards Bay appears to be seen as a separate entity in terms of coastal management, was strongly criticised.
Concern was expressed over ‘unfunded mandates’, where municipalities are given responsibilities without having the necessary resources or budgets.
Copies of the draft CMP are available at public libraries and the public input and comment period extends to 30 June.
Nine areas of study and action were identified, and priorities will be attended to on the basis of ‘timing and funding’:
The team presenting the draft CMP on Tuesday included Bonisiwe Sithole, Omar Parak, Brian Khoza (all DEDTEA), Bronwyn Goble (ORI), Rod Bulman (Phelamanga), Alfred Matsheke (DEDTEA), Rose Owen (Phelamanga) and Nozuko Mhlongo (DEDTEA)
Photo: Dave Savides