Public invited to comment on draft regulations

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pretoria – Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa has invited any interested parties to submit written comments on the draft regulations on the reclamation of land from coastal waters.

Minister Molewa published the draft regulations for public comment in the Government Notice R. 167 in Government Gazette No. 40638.

“The regulations seek to provide an administrative framework to implement sections 7B and 7C of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Act, 2008 (Act No. 24 of 2008) relating to the submission, processing and consideration of applications for approval to reclaim land from coastal waters,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said on Monday.

According to the department, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs identified the reclamation of land from the sea, which is the process of creating new land from the sea, thus adding to the territory of South Africa, as a significant activity that was open to potential abuse.

“Therefore requiring dedicated provisions within the amended ICM Act as well as regulations to elaborate on the process laid out in those provisions and to ensure that reclaimed land is in the national interest of South Africans,” the department said.

Some of the problems identified include the potential abuse by private consortia by creating privatised space that is closed off to the public and the mixed use of reclaimed land and re-sale of portions of land that make it difficult to track and monitor.

“Furthermore the old process in the principal Act that required the use of multiple pieces of legislation, as well as, previously reclaimed land being disposed of as state land without a market-related fee structure, resulting in reclaimed land being sold off for extremely cheap prices.

“Finally, organs of state not following a standardised process that has not undergone adequate assessment for environmental sustainability as well as public benefit,” the department said.

The adoption of the new regulations will ensure that all potential reclamation on the South African coast will be subject to an appropriate and effective authorisation process.

“This will be in the national interest, beneficial to the public and state, whilst in line with sustainable development principles, which cannot be sold or have changes made in terms of usage that deviates from its primary purpose,” the department said.

Written comments on the draft regulation can be submitted within 30 days of the publication of the notice in the Government Gazette, to the following addresses:

By post to:

The Deputy Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs

Branch: Oceans and Coasts

P.O Box 52126

V&A Waterfront,

Cape Town

8002 

By hand at:

Department of Environmental Affairs

Branch: Oceans and Coasts

East Pier Building 2

East Pier Road

V&A Waterfront

Cape Town

By email: jpeter@environment.gov.za

Any enquiries in connection with the regulation can be directed to Mr Ryan Peter on (021) 819 2490.

- SAnews.gov.za