Coast KZN

27 Nov 2020

Rescue plans in motion as Cape Town environmental company sets eyes on North Coast estuary

Juan Venter (North Coast Courier) Picture: The Tongaat River

Environmental authorities have taken notice of deteriorating conditions of many coastal estuaries, with one such finding declaring the Tongaat estuary as being ‘sensitive to pollution’.

Following the announcement and adoption of the Provincial Coastal Management Programme in September last year, the Tongaat estuary has been prioritised for the development of an Estuary Management Plan (EMP). Interested and affected parties have been urged to register with Cape Town-based Anchor Environmental, which is leading the consultation process. The programme is aimed at halting the deterioration of these regional estuaries through better management.

“The most recent National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA) on the estuarine realm listed the Tongaat estuary as a heavily modified system that is sensitive to pollution. This strongly influences water quality and in turn affects biotic components (such as microalgae, invertebrates, fish, birds) within the system, many of which have been classified as heavily or severely modified,” said Anchor Environmental marine invertebrate taxonomist, Safiyya Sedick.

Sedick added that a recommendation had been put forward to restore and improve the condition of the estuary. She said the development of the EMP will happen in two phases – the first being the development of a background document, a situation assessment report. This considers relevant legislation and the current state of the estuary.

The second phase will see to the development of an EMP which pin-points what needs to be done to either maintain or improve the condition of the estuary. The process is expected to last one year.

To register as an interested and affected party, contact Anchor Environmental at 021 701 3420 or send an email to