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East London residents have your say on Buffalo River Estuarine

Feb 21, 2018
East London residents have your say on Buffalo River Estuarine

Environmental Affairs Minister, Dr Edna Molewa, has published the draft Buffalo River Estuarine Management Plan, which impacts the residents of East London and surrounding areas, for public comment.

This was published in Government Notice No. 116 in the Government Gazette on Friday. 

“The Buffalo River Estuarine Management Plan (EMP) has been developed in terms of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act 24 of 2008 (as amended) and the National Estuarine Management Protocol (2013) that provides a coordinated and efficient management approach for South African estuaries,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

A baseline report towards the development of this EMP (Situation Assessment Report, 2016) identified key major pressures such as change in water flow, pollution and habitat alterations, which require management interventions.

The ecological health status for this estuary was undertaken as part of the National Biodiversity Assessment Report. The overall findings of the estuary health index categorised the estuary as a Class D estuary, meaning the estuary is largely modified with a large loss of natural habitat, biota and basic ecosystem functions and processes have occurred.

The Buffalo River estuary, known as the Port of East London, is located at the mouth of the Buffalo River in East London. It falls within the tertiary catchment of the Mzimvubu to Tsitsikamma Water Management Area (WMA).

The department said the main purpose of developing this EMP is to facilitate a balance between ecological processes and human activities while considering sustainable use of estuarine resources.

This is achieved by identifying management actions that need to be implemented by relevant sectors.

The Minister has invited any person or sector departments to submit written comments on the draft Buffalo River Estuarine Management Plan 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: estuaries@environment.gov.za

Any enquiries in connection with the draft Buffalo River EMP can be directed to Miss. Ntombovuyo Madlokazi on (021) 819 2473.

Comment received after the closing date may not be considered.

To access the regulation click on the link below: www.environment.gov.za/draftbuffaloriverEMP.pdf.

- SAnews.gov.za