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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA

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AGRICULTURE

(Agenda 21, Chapter 14)

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The National Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs and the nine Ministries of the Provinces are responsible for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Agricultural Credit Act forms the basis for action by the Agricultural Credit Board. The Board's assistance makes provisions available to communal farmers, subsistence and beginner farmers, small farms, part time and commercial farmers. In addition, the Board provides assistance to farmers for purchasing land under certain conditions. State assistance is also available to facilitate production loans to small farmers. Farmers can apply for various subsidies concerning drought assistance, sustainable agriculture and the conservation of natural agricultural resources.

The restriction of the transfer of productive arable land to other uses was until presently handled under national legislation, Subdivision of Agricultural Land, Act 70 of 1970. This act has been repealed though by Parliament. After the publication of the date of repeal the issue will be handled by the provinces in terms of provincial land-use planning legislation and ordinances. The present national legislation does require national ministerial approval to transfer productive agricultural land to other uses as outlined in the question.

The prevention of water logging and salinisation of irrigated land is a control measure forming part of regulations issued in terms of national legislation. A national inspectorate stationed countrywide enforces these control measures. The Agricultural Research Council and Water Research Commission undertake and fund respectively research on the remedying of water logging and salinisation of irrigated land.

National legislation (the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 43 of 1983, and the National Water Act, 36 of 1998) is in place to deal with adverse effects of agriculture on water quality. Specific control measures have been drafted giving detail on how intensive-farming systems should handle the problem of water pollution. The Agricultural Research Councils undertake research around this problem and are able to provide practical information and technical guidelines to farmers.

The only measure for the promotion of crop diversification at the farm level applied in South Africa to date has been the removal of agricultural subsidies. For example, the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act 47 of 1996 came into effect in January 1997 and is based on the view that state intervention in agricultural markets should be the exception rather than the rule. Another example is that with the termination of the General Export Incentive Scheme in July 1997, export subsidies in respect of agricultural products are now zero. These radical reforms have had two aims, namely, increasing efficiency and productivity, and increasing opportunities for access to markets for small and medium-scale farmers. It is believed that in the medium and long-term this will lead to crop diversification at farm level.

The radical reforming of the domestic marketing system and the opening up of international trade for agricultural products, set out in paragraph 30 above, will lead to increasing efficiency and productivity. This should also result in the sustainable intensification of productive lands.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

To oversee the development of policy in this area, a ministerial policy unit was established, focusing on food security, trade, drought and disaster management, co-operatives, credit and finance, sustainable resource utilisation, farmer support services and rural tenure systems.

A National Environmental Policy for South Africa that includes all the aspects of South Africa's environment including agriculture is being drawn up. A White Paper for Agriculture was developed during 1995, addressing production, marketing, sustainable utilisation of natural resources, agricultural financing, institutional infrastructure, information and agricultural technology, research, extension and training.

Besides this, agricultural goals and strategies to support the government's growth and development plan, at national and provincial levels were developed. Provincial Governments are also in the process of formulating Integrated Rural Development Policies aimed at implementing above-mentioned issues in sustainable agricultural and rural development.

In order to achieve sustainable, equitable and efficient agricultural development, the Government is reforming its agricultural policy with three strategic aims:

South Africa does not have a separate national strategy or policy on sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD). In November 1998, the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs brought out a Discussion Document on Agricultural Policy in South Africa. This document does address many of the issues pertaining to a SARD national policy.

The policy document states that 'Agriculture in South Africa has a central role to play in building a strong economy, and in the process reducing inequalities by increasing incomes and employment opportunities for the poor, while nurturing our inheritance of natural resources'.

South Africa's Agricultural Policy addresses the continuation of the process of market deregulation, while assisting the farmers to address some of the challenges of a deregulated environment. It involves negotiating reductions in protectionist measures in trade policies as well as taking steps to encourage export competitiveness; and reviewing the regulatory structure to ensure that it promotes efficiency and competition while retaining its essential functions of protecting producers and consumers from hazards and abuse. Further that South Africa's development needs can be accommodated and enhanced within the ambit of the WTO provisions. Regional economic integration is taking place through the Trade Protocol for the SADC, which was approved by the member states and signed during the summit meeting held in Lesotho on 24 August 1996. Implementation of the trade protocol is under negotiation to establish how tariffs and non-tariff measures will be phased out over an eight-year period. It is envisaged that the protocol will be implemented as from 1 January 2000.

The South African Government has not carried out a specific national policy related to food security following the World Food Summit held in 1996. Aspects of food security are addressed in the Discussion Document of the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs, Agricultural Policy in South Africa, November 1998. No specific programmes have been put in place.

Concerning the Rome Declaration on World Food Security (1996), the Government is guided by implementing policies that lead to an improvement of food production and economic development. The Government is committed to:

Please refer to the Programmes and Projects and Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising sections for information on the implementation of projects related to this issue.

A Food Security Policy for South Africa has been formulated with full consultation processes with various stakeholders.

The national Department of Agriculture is in the process of implementing risk management strategies to reduce vulnerability of farmers to natural disaster with the aim to alleviate poverty.

The Discussion Document of the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs, Agricultural Policy in South Africa, November 1998, addresses policy issues around land degradation and rehabilitation (also addressed in legislation, Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983), as well as plant and genetic resources.

Concerning the integration of environmental concerns into agriculture development projects, guidelines have been developed for the planning of agricultural resettlement projects under the Land Reform Programme (see also the chapter on Land Management). No general guidelines exist yet at national level.

At this stage, policies for promoting integrated pest management have as yet not been integrated into national development policies.

The National Water Policy for South Africa and the National Water Act 36 of 1998 make provision for water to be protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable and equitable manner to the benefit of all people. This provision has implications for the development of irrigation works and the application of water in agricultural production.

The document entitled 'Agriculture Policy in South Africa', a Discussion Document, published in November 1998, also contains a section dealing with the Irrigation Policy.

A water conservation and water demand strategy is in the process of being developed. A water pricing strategy is being implemented, and will be progressively extended to include the small-scale farmers.

Concerning the promotion of an environmentally sound energy transition in rural communities, the Department of Minerals and Energy published its White Paper on Energy Policy during December 1998. This policy document (www.gov.za) addresses energy demand sectors, and makes particular reference to poor households. The Government namely supports the concept of energisation, i.e. the widening of access to a safe and effective energy package within grasp of low-income households and will promote its implementation where appropriate.

Concerning the increase of non-farm employment opportunities in the rural areas, it is to be noted that both job creation and rural development and infrastructure investment are national priorities of the Government for the five-year period starting from 1999. A programme of action is being developed which includes an Integrated Rural Development Strategy. One of the strategic objectives set by Government for the next five years is to facilitate agricultural entrepreneurship development in order to create jobs, increase incomes, make the sector more competitive and achieve black economic empowerment. It is envisaged that these very recent initiatives will lead to an increase in non-farm employment opportunities in our rural areas.

Concerning a policy for reducing poverty through agriculture and food security, it is to be noted that South Africa's national priorities set in June 1999 for the next five years are job creation and rural development and infrastructure investment. The national policy goals set by the Government for agriculture are as follows:

The agricultural priorities the Government has agreed to for the next five years are:

The implementation of these goals and priorities will contribute greatly to reducing poverty through agriculture and food security.

The Government's policy spells out support for production and stimulating an increase in the number of new small and medium-scale farmers. This will be done by:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The major groups involved in decision-making on sustainable agriculture and rural development are: Organised Agriculture, Universities, the Agricultural Research Council, NAOS and CBOs.

In South Africa, draft national policies and legislation need to have undergone a proven process of public participation before being accepted and recommended by the Cabinet. For example, in developing the Discussion Document on Agricultural Policy in South Africa, the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs held workshops at the provincial level where local community leaders, small-scale farmers, women and the youth were involved and made their comments and inputs. Also, at the national level, representative farmer groups, including small-scale farmers, and NGOs are consulted in regard to issues around sustainable agriculture development.

Programmes and Projects 

The main activities to implement South Africa's Agricultural Policy include:

As agriculture is mainly a provincial function, many activities aimed at sustainable agriculture were launched by the nine Provinces dealing, for example, with:

The government is focusing on providing food security for everybody. All people at all times should therefore have access to enough safe and nutritious food to lead a healthy and productive life. In three provinces pilot projects were initiated to alleviate poverty, namely Mpumalanga, KwaZulu/ Natal and the Northern Province.

The South African government and the FAO established the National Food Security Special Programme in South Africa to improve household food security in rural and peri-urban areas of resource poor communities.

The National Landcare Programme for South Africa has an element that addresses the conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land, namely, the major works programme for resource conservation. For each province the major concerns about sustainable resource use have or are being identified and specific projects developed to address these needs. In addition, a soil conservation scheme, in terms of national legislation provides some limited support to farmers in dealing with conservation and rehabilitation, and the Government undertakes 'Key Soil Conservation Works' in identified critical areas on state and communal land. The criteria for investing in Key Soil Conservation Works are policy considerations (targeting historically disadvantaged areas), the rotation of work regions, the adding of capacity where it is lacking, the extent of the degradation and the feasibility (including a cost benefit analysis.

Since UNCED in 1992, the following specific rural energy projects have been initiated in South Africa:

Concerning the conservation and promotion of the sustainable use of plant genetic resources (PGR), the following major steps and initiatives have taken place since UNCED:

Concerning the conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources (AGR), the following activities have taken place since UNCED:

Concerning the problem of the detrimental influence of undesirable or problem plants on South Africa's natural resources (see the 'Challenges' section in this chapter), the country has had an active biological control programme for a number of years. The control of certain alien plants using biological agents has been very successful. Research in this field is ongoing and there is international co-operation with scientists in Australia, South America and the Caribbean.

Status 

The contribution of Agriculture to South Africa's GDP was 4.2%, 4.7% and 4.5% in 1995, 1996 and 1997 respectively.

The maize production totalled 8.488 million tons (mt) in 1997, compared to 9.69 mt in 1996. In 1996, human consumption was approximately 3.1 mt, representing per capita consumption of 62 kg/person/year. Industrial processing of maize for animal feed comprised 1.2 mt. Concerning wheat production, the 1997/98 season yielded 2.3 mt, of which 1.8 mt are designated for human consumption. This represents a per capita consumption of 57 kg/person/year. Average annual production of wool totals 55.1 million kg of greasy wool, 5.7 million kg from white wool breeds, other than Merino. 

During 1996, South African consumers spent a total amount of R 77,694 million on food commodities.

Livestock numbers are as follows:

Concerning the fishery sector, it is to be noted that in terms of South African Total Allowable Catches (TAC), quotas are adapted annually to allow for more sustainable consumption. For example, TAC of hake in 1995, 1996 and 1997 varied from 148,000; 151,000; and 151,700 tons of nominal mass respectively. Pilchard TAC quotas have decreased over the 3-year period and were fixed at 117,000: 105,000; and 98,000 tons nominal mass respectively. South Africa has a bilateral agreement with Mozambique, which covers the harvesting of hake in South African waters in exchange for a comparable amount of Mozambique prawns.

South Africa covers an area of 122,3 million ha, and has a total population of 40 million people. About 13% of South Africa's surface area can be used for crop production. High potential arable land comprises only 22% of the total arable land. Slightly more than 1,2 million ha are under irrigation. The most important factor limiting agricultural production is the availability of water. Rainfall is distributed unevenly cross the country, with humid subtropical conditions occurring in the east and dry, desert conditions in the west. Almost 50% of South Africa's water is used for agriculture.

An estimated 16 million South Africans are living in poverty, with its incidence highest in rural areas and among female-headed households. It is estimated that 72% of poor people live in rural areas, and that 70% of rural people are poor. Food security, defined as a lack of access to adequate, safe and nutritious food, is closely associated with poverty. While there is adequate food at national level, some 30% to 50% of the population have in sufficient food, or are exposed to an imbalanced diet, as a result of low incomes.

No real quantitative data are available regarding the actual extent of land degradation in South Africa. At times empirical estimations have been made from available information and data about the extent of degradation. The most recent study is Land Degradation in South Africa, which was conducted by the National Botanical Institute, January 1999. This report forms part of the first stage in the development of South Africa's National Action Programme as required by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

More than 50% of water in South Africa is already used for irrigation. The area under irrigation is 1.3 million ha and limited water availability suggests that at most an additional 200 000 ha could be brought under irrigation. This would represent 8% of the area suitable for arable farming. Present irrigation schemes vary from small schemes such as vegetable gardens on communal land to very large schemes fed from large reservoirs built on the major rivers of South Africa.

The current distribution of irrigation capacity is as follows:

Since 1992, an additional 400 000 ha (estimated) of agriculture area have been brought under irrigation. This represents 2.5% of total land cultivated today. In the same time, an estimated 25 000 ha of degraded land (waterlogged and saline areas) have been rehabilitated, which is 13% of total degraded land. The area of eroded land that has been protected, stabilised or rehabilitated is approximately 560 000 ha. This includes work on both arable and rangeland.

Concerning the availability of energy for household use in the rural areas, the years since UNCED have brought an increase of access to national electrical grids from 10% in 1992 to 42% in 1998. The availability of energy for rural-based agro-industries has also increased in the past eight years: about 28 000 windmills for water pumping, and circa 4 000 photovoltaic driven water pumps are in operation today.

Concerning action taken towards mobilising the potential of agriculture as a major producer of biomass energy, it can be noted that:

Concerning the implementation of energy-substitution strategies to reduce CO2 emissions, it is to be noted, that:

Challenges  

Sufficient funding from the national budget is a major problem for the implementation of the National Landcare Programme, in view of the tremendous need to fund priority areas such as education and health. Sufficient technically trained capacity is another major problem as there is a drain of experienced persons from the public to the private sector.

An additional major issue for South Africa is the detrimental influence of undesirable or problem plants on our natural resources. Most of these plants are of alien origin and have either been accidentally or deliberately introduced. Away from their natural habitats, they have tended to spread, invade ecosystems and become problem plants. Revised regulations are being promulgated for public comment and include an updated list of plants classified either as weeds or invaders. For programmes in operation in this issue, please refer to the Programmes and Projects section in this chapter.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The National Department of Agriculture, supported by the nine provincial Members of the Executive Council responsible for agriculture, established a national design team for broadening access to agriculture for those who previously lacked access. Their report, tabled during April 1995, dealt with financial services, human resource development, technology development and delivery systems.

South Africa participates in a regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) Food Security Training project. The purpose of the project is to strengthen food security related organisations by providing in-service training in key areas of food security, with emphasis in all activities placed on supporting and strengthening national training programmes and other capacity building activities. There are four main activities and outputs:

To date representatives from the Government, the private and the NGO sector have participated in the Food Security Training Project. Two regional workshops related to the institutional capacity building process were hosted.

Concerning the Rome Declaration on World Food Security (1996), workshops were organised by government departments with the participation of relevant stakeholders on factors affecting food security and possible solutions.

The Government has initiated a National Landcare Programme for South Africa. This is a community-based programme supported by both the public and private sector through a series of partnerships. It is a process focussed on the conservation of the natural resources (soil, water and vegetation) through sustainable utilisation and the creation of a conservation ethic through education and awareness. The programme has five elements including an awareness element that is a communication and information strategy geared primarily for the farmers and secondarily for the broader land-user communities and young people. The purpose of this element is to promote a better understanding of factors that can lead to unsustainable use of resources in agriculture and of policies and institutions which can address this.

Information   

From 1972 to the present, more than 90% of South Africa was covered by a Land Type survey, at 1:250,000 scale, such that each Land Type displays a marked degree of uniformity with regard to terrain, soil and climate parameters. It is foreseen that this process will be completed within the next five years. Through the integration of the Land Type information and crop modeling, within a geographical information system, high potential land for rain fed annual crop production in South Africa was demarcated on a 1:2 500 000 scale during 1996. The full potential of the Land Type database will only become a reality after completion of the second, or ecotope, phase that will lead to the establishment of an electronic database indicating areas that are homogeneous with respect to land suitability or land sensitivity. Research proposals for a pilot ecotope project are being considered at present.

The Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS), which is being developed, will produce better information on food security in South Africa.

No information is readily available to identify whether research or remedial measures on the effect of ultraviolet radiation on plants and animal life, as well as on agricultural activities, have received attention in South Africa.

Basic natural resource information such as climate, soils, vegetation and land cover plus cadastral information is available nationally. Certain information can be assessed via the Internet AGIS system. The address is www.nda.agric.za/agismaps/index.htm. Information gaps at this stage on the electronic system relate to, for example, information on sustainable management issues such as integrated pest management and integrated farm management technologies and practices.

The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) collects and analyses information on various production systems and technologies.

There is no information on Government support for early warning systems for monitoring food supply and those factors affecting household demand. Government has established a national early warning system making use of the NOAA satellite images. Information is made available on a weekly basis by portraying it as NDVI (Normalised Drought Vegetation Index) Drought Deciles. This is also available on the web site given above.

South Africa is in the process of developing indicators for monitoring and evaluating sustainable agriculture practices and rural development.

Research and Technologies 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) control combines biological control, host plan resistance and appropriate farming practices, and minimises the use of pesticides. It takes place on farms in many of the commodity industries. Industries of the Agricultural Research Council and the private sector are involved in promoting IPM. The production of cotton and citrus is an example of where IPM is actively promoted and implemented by both large commercial and small-scale farmers. The Agricultural Research Council is actively involved in IPM to control invader plants by the introduction of biological control agents and methods. At present, the South African Government has not yet used the Global Integrated Pest Management Facility for the development of IPM programmes.

South Africa has not yet developed and implemented an integrated plant nutrition approach. Research Institutes of the Agricultural Research Council as well as government researchers have been actively involved in plant nutrition research over many years. Thus, a depth of knowledge on the issues involved does exist. At this stage, there are no major policy instruments in place to promote sustainable plant nutrition management in South Africa. However, plant nutrition research, both generally and commodity focused does contribute significantly in promoting sustainable plant nutrition management.

Groundwater development is very extensive for both household and stock watering purposes. Irrigation farming takes place where strong sources are found, normally involving extensive aquifers. Research and demonstration of water harvesting techniques is increasing. For example, in the summer rainfall area, moisture conservation techniques are used for the production of dryland winter wheat.

Also, commercial farmers practice conservation tillage to a limited extent. Attempts to extend research to the small-scale farming sector have foundered due to a lack of funding.

Research to increase water use efficiency in agriculture is carried out by the Agricultural Research Council and also funded by the Water Research Commission (both parastatals). Under the new water legislation a system of licensing will, in time, be introduced to regulate the access of all users to water resources. As competing uses for water resources increase, the cost of water to the end users, including farmers will inevitably increase. This means that agriculture must change to more rational, economic and sustainable cropping and water-use patterns.

Research on and the development of integrated farm management technologies and practices is mainly within the Agricultural Research Council. Specialist research institutes are focused on the following:

Technology transfer to the commercial farming sector is mainly through private sector extension services provided by the commodity industries and large co-operatives. Each provincial government service has an extension service responsible for technology transfer to farmers, especially the small-scale and subsistence farmers on communal land.

At this stage, there are no Government plans or programmes in place on the sequestration of CO2 into soils (humus) through improved crop and soil management practices. Government officials and parastatal researchers have attended international workshops on sequestration of CO2 into soils. Workshops, some through international funding, are now planned to be held in South Africa during the next year. South African farmers are increasingly applying improved crop and soil management practices. Research is also being undertaken so as to give farmers practical advice and information. The National Landcare Programme for South Africa has projects in the communal areas involving many small farmers where improved crop and soil management practices are being demonstrated.

Financing 

The funds for South Africa's Agricultural Policy review come from the national budget.

The figure of total investments made on the rehabilitation of degraded lands since 1992 is unknown at this stage. During 1998, R 25 million was made available for the National Landcare Programme for South Africa. An additional R 20 million has been made available for 1999.

With reference to soil conservation measures, R 56 million was made available for support on individual farms. This programme has however been curtailed and even discontinued in some provinces. An amount of R 140 million was made available in terms of Key Soil Conservation Works, which was primarily used for gully control and regional water runoff control.

Cooperation  

The national Department of Agriculture is represented in Brussels, Rome and Geneva. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for matters concerning agricultural relations with other countries, for example bilateral agreements with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

The Department of Agriculture, DTI and the Department of Foreign Affairs co-operate with respect to trade negotiations, for example between South Africa and the EU, the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and the Cairns Group. Negotiations regarding the implementation of the Convention on Biodiversity are also covered. South Africa obtained qualified membership of the Lomé Convention, which will allow South African companies to tender for contracts funded by the European Development Fund and to make use of the rules of accumulation. The ARC is represented in Paris and Washington at the relevant South African missions.

Regional co-operation with the rest of Africa takes place in a Southern African context through the Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilisation of the Soil (SARCCUS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). International co-operation with multilateral organisations such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the SA/US Binational Committee has also taken place.

 

 

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This information is based on South Africa's submissions to the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 2000.

For acces to the White Paper on South African Land Policy, click here:
For information on land affairs from the South African Communication Service WWW Page, click here:
For access to the Government's White Paper on Agriculture, click here:
Click here to access the homepage of the Department for Agriculture with many further links on agricultural issues in South Africa:
For information on agriculture from the South African Communication Service WWW Page, click here:
Click here to acces the Department of Agriculture of the Free State Provincial Government:
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here for access to FAO country reports on Plant Genetic Resources:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA&T) is in charge of protection of the atmosphere. In August 1966, the Government decided to establish a coordinating office to facilitate and improve communication among the several national and international stakeholders. Implementation of The Montreal Protocol is undertaken through working groups from industry and government, including Working Groups for Solvents, Foams, Aerosols, Automotive Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Mining, and Methyl Bromide. An "environmental levy" of R5, 00 per kilogram is imposed on ODS's. Imports and production of ODS's are regulated by import - or production permits.

Also central to decision-making in this area are the Department of Transport, which is concerned with providing cost effective, efficient and safe transport systems which are economically and environmentally sustainable, and which minimise negative side effects; and the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), which gives guidance on coal emissions at power stations.

South Africa sent delegates to INC-9, -10 and -11 and also to COP-1 and COP-2. A National Committee for Climate Change (NCCC) was established in 1994, to coordinate government steps towards forming a climate change policy with the other stakeholders, including the 9 newly formed provincial governments.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

One of the strategies that will be used will be closer cooperation between transportation planning and land-use planning. Inventories of requirements and indicators will be compiled to allow progress to be monitored on a regular basis, in accordance with government policy. The South African Navy has initiated a programme to upgrade naval ships to make provision for the phasing out of CFCs in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. The Army and Air Force are also in the process of investigating the implications thereof in order to plan and implement the necessary amendments to equipment and procedures.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

A low smoke coal project has a specific objective pertaining to protection of the atmosphere. MINTEK, a parastatal body, is involved in monitoring air quality in certain key areas. The process has specific requirements on air quality, including dust pollution. The rehabilitation of asbestos mines and goldmine slimes dams is aimed at addressing dust pollution. The DME assists DEA&T in drawing up an inventory of greenhouse gasses and promotes the concept of best practicable means and the use of clean technology.

Gauteng Province initiated the Clean Air Programme which will contribute towards air quality improvements. The programme will be run on a pilot-project basis in one area once the principles are accepted by the relevant authorities and will promote the use of cleaner production technology and incentives. Another area of involvement is in the Vaal Triangle Atmospheric Protection Action Committee, which addresses the air pollution problem in the most impacted area of Gauteng.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

In February 1995, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA&T) issued a preliminary document, for information at INC-11, entitled: South African Policy - Management of Global Climate Change. Also in 1995, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), contracted by the DEA&T, published two reports: "South African Greenhouse Gas Inventory," and "Greenhouse Gas Adaptation Strategy for South Africa". The DEA&T and FCCC have held workshops and seminars to inform all stakeholders, including NGOs about the implications of the FCCC and also to stimulate an advance towards ratification of the Convention

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

The Montreal Protocol (1987) was signed in 1990. The London Amendment (1990) was signed in 1992. The Copenhagen Amendment (1992) has not yet been signed. The latest reports to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 1995. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1993.

 

 

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This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry for Environment and Tourism acts as a national focal point for matters relating to biodiversity and biosafety with national policy making and coordination as its main function. Specific powers rest also with Provincial Authorities, as nature conservation is a concurrent responsibility of national and provincial governments. Executive functions regarding protection and conservation of biological and other resources of the natural environment reside with the National Parks Board and the Provincial Nature Conservation Authorities. An assessment of the natural resources in the area of each of the authorities is presently underway and is to be collated into a national status report towards the end of 1997. A subcommittee on biodiversity has been established under the Committee for Environmental Coordination and began its work in September 1996.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A wetlands conservation bill has been tabled in parliament, and a national act for the protection of endangered species is being prepared.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is given very high priority by the South African Government. A national policy on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is presently being developed and is in the final green paper stage, with submission to Parliament for acceptance envisaged early in 1997. Under the auspices of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, a National Forestry Plan is also being developed in collaboration with other relevant sectors.

The Natal Parks Board has initiated a process in the Kwazulu/Natal Province for assessing the degree to which current policies, programmes and actions meet the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and to reformulate these as a Provincial Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. It is emphasized that most current programmes, which are highly advanced, and under the control of the provincial nature conservation authorities, meet the requirements of the Convention. The current process is a review which may lead to a revised prioritisation of current activities.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Among the Major Groups involved in decision-making for biodiversity are the National Parks Board, the National Botanical Trust, private landowners and game farmers; the Vulture Study Group, the Wildlife Society, the World Wildlife Fund, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Anglers Societies, Falconry Clubs, SANCCOB, and various commercial organizations.

Programmes and Projects   

Conservation bodies work together with various government and non-government organizations with regard to the following projects, e.g. Proteas, Bird and Frog Atlassing Projects, Rhino Management and Zoos.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

Unfortunately, funds for biological conservation are decreasing, and many functions have been delegated from the Central Government to Provincial Government without the necessary finances being provided.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

A regional capacity-building programme in plant taxonomy has been developed and funding approved. Information contained in Environment Management Programme Reports (EMPRs) on biodiversity enhances the information resource capacity. 

Information 

For more information on the implementation of the CITES Convention, please refer to the Chapters International Cooperation and Trade.

Research and Technologies   

Less research is being done by government organisations. Universities and other research institutions are contracted for research work.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1993 and ratified in 1995. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was signed in 1975, and the latest report was submitted in 1995. Other conventions which support the principles of the conservation of biodiversity to which South Africa is a party to, are the Bonn Convention and the Ramsar Convention.

South Africa participates in regional planning with other countries of the Southern African Subregion through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as IUCN-ROSA. South Africa is also active in the broader African Regional context as well as within the Valdivia Group of countries. The Government participates in an Interprovincial Coordinating Body concerned with trade in protected species and translocations.

 

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This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

To access the Draft White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa's Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is promoting, via its National Action Plan, the development of community forestry to reduce the pressure on natural woodlands, which are the sole source of energy for a significant part of the population, and which are rapidly being denuded.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Rehabilitation of mining areas through the requirements of the Minerals Act, takes into consideration climatic conditions, land capability and aspects of desertification.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is currently negotiating with international donors to procure funds for the development of the NAP, the audit, as well as for the awareness raising campaign. In South Africa's approach towards the National Action Programme, the following objectives have been determined to implement the Convention:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

NGOs such as the Environmental Justice Networking Forum and Environmental Monitoring Group and CBOs are working on desertification issues in South Africa. National, provincial and local governments and private sector are also involved in combating desertification and drought.

Programmes and Projects   

The process leading to ratification of the Desertification and Drought Convention has already commenced and will include, inter alia, a wide consultation process. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is responsible, with the advice of the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG), a non governmental organisation, for the coordination of the implementation of the Convention in South Africa to develop and implement the National Action Programme (NAP). A reference group, or Steering Committee, has been established to implement the national programme to combat desertification, This Steering Committee is chaired by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, in attendance at INCCD - as well as Valdivia Group meetings.

The National Action Programme includes the following components/working units:

Reclamation and rehabilitation programmes financed by the Department of Agriculture and donations from overseas institutions are escalating annually. Reconstruction and Development funds are also being incorporated in combating desertification for e.g. the Department of Water Affairs & Forestry's invasive plant control programmes in water catchment areas throughout South Africa, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, NGOs and CBOs. 

Status   

No information is available.  

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

A workshop has already been organized to formulate a strategy on awareness-raising. In developing a National Action Programme for South Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism organised a meeting during which all the provincial governments and national departments were informed about the Convention, as well as their roles in the implementation phase. Through the process of developing a National Action Programme, capacity will be built on a national, provincial and local level. 

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa was signed in 1995.

In the sub-regional context, South Africa is a member of the Southern African Developing Community (SADC), which is currently busy formulating a sub-regional action programme to combat desertification. South Africa is the coordinator of desertification issues within the Valdivia Group (member countries of the Group of Temperate Southern Hemisphere Countries on Environment). The Valdivia Group fosters exchange and cooperation on environmental and scientific matters between the participating countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Uruguay).

The Government has attended Asia-Africa Forum meetings to combat desertification as well as the Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilization of the Soil (SARCCUS) and SADC relevant annual committee meetings. The Government has also participated in the initiation and management of Reclamation and Rehabilitation programmes throughout South Africa's nine Provinces in collaboration with the relevant Provincial authorities, NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs).

In forestry initiatives, relationships exist within SADC with respect to training courses, exchange of information and advice, and acquisition of seedstocks.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.  

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (1965) establishes a structure for the control of atmospheric emissions. Four categories are addressed: the control of noxious or offensive gases, where the requirement is that activities stated in the Act may only be executed if a registration certificate authorising the process had been issued by the chief air pollution control officer; the control of smoke which focuses mainly on the control of fuel burning appliances; the control of dust where the offender can be required to avoid dust migration through whatever best practicable means can be used; and the control of fumes emitted by vehicles.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Draft White Paper on Energy Policy for South Africa (1998) promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy.

Unleaded petrol is made available to motorists cheaper than leaded petrol in order to promote use of unleaded petrol.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

An extensive solar power programme, in combination with an accelerated electrification programme, is making a major contribution towards enhancement of the sustainability of rural energy consumption.

The accelerated electrification programme targets formal and informal households in urban as well as rural areas, with the objective of raising the percentage of electrified households from the 1992 level of 32 %, to more than 70 % by 2000. Despite the total number of homes approaching 8.5 million, more than 63 % have already been equipped with electricity.

Escom, South Africa’s electricity supplier, has used solar systems and micro-hydro schemes to bring electricity to more than 1500 schools and 300 clinics in rural areas. In addition, Escom, in a joint venture with Shell International Renewables, commenced with the first phase of a programme entailing electrification of 6000 homes, using solar technology. The second phase targets another 44,000 homes.

Electrification programme progress statistics showing number of connections

Year Escom Local Government
1991 30 000  
1992 145 000  
1993 208 000 70 000
1994 254 000 164 000
1995 313 000 150 000
1996 307 000 137 000
1997 285 000 166 000
1998 300 000(planned) 150 000
1999 290 000 (planned) 150 000
TOTAL 1 750 000 918 000

Escom conducts constant and ongoing research into alternative energy sources: solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, biomass, wave, geothermal.

Through its National Action Plan, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is promoting the development of community forestry to reduce the pressure on natural woodlands, which are the sole source of energy for a significant part of the population, and which are rapidly being denuded.

See also under Status.

Status   

Mining and industry are the largest energy consumers, accounting for nearly half of total energy consumption in South Africa. Households, at 22 % and transport make up most of the other half while agriculture accounts for 3 % of energy consumption. In rural areas most household energy is obtained from fuel wood, with the remainder sourced from coal, illuminating paraffin, and a small amount from liquid petroleum gas. 

Electricity and coal provide about three-quarters of energy consumed by the industry and mining sectors. The balance is made up largely of coke and blast furnace gases and small amounts of heating oils. Total primary energy supply for 1996 was 4.552 million TJ, compared to 4.527 million TJ in 1997. This included coal, crude oil, gas, nuclear, hydro and renewable energy.

The mining industry depends on electricity for 87 % of its energy use. Minerals and metal processing use large amounts of both electricity and coal, mostly in large scale minerals beneficiation processes, with base metals the largest single industrial energy consuming sub-sector.

The food sector shows both a high total use and relative high intensity, although, in terms of value-added, its energy requirements are very modest in comparison with the minerals and metals industries. The chemicals and pulp and paper industries consume large amounts of energy at high intensities.

Consumption of energy by sector was as follows (total energy consumption of 2.47 million TJ):

  1997 (%) 1996
Industry 35.9 35.4
Residential 24.4 24.9
Transport 23.6 23.6

Escom produces 98.3 % of the electricity in South Africa, using a low quality coal that would otherwise be discarded. A volume of 90 million tons was used by Escom in 1997 to generate 170,464 GWh of electricity as opposed to 85 million tons of coal to generate 163,541 GWh of electricity in 1996. Escom has reduced its total particulate emissions by 91 % over the last 15 years, despite increased electricity output. Short term total emissions decreased by 25 % and relative emissions by 30 % compared to 1996, despite a 5 % increase in energy production.

Total energy supply equalled total energy consumption (176,000 GWh) in 1997. In terms of total primary energy supply, coal contributed most (72.9 % for 1996 compared to 74 % in 1997). This was followed by crude oil (13.6 % in 1996 compared to 12.3 % in 1997).

Renewable energy sources

REFSA (Pty) Ltd (Renewable Energy for South Africa) is a subsidiary of the state-owned Central Energy Fund group of companies which operate in the energy arena. Its main objective is the financing of renewable energy-based systems for those households that cannot readily be connected to the national grid. Its activities are guided by an independent and representative board of directors, to which several key institutions have been approached to nominate members. These are, amongst others, the DME, Escom, the Independent Development Trust, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the World Bank Group. REFSA commenced its operations by launching a number of pilot projects designed to identify possible financing and delivery models. These include providing loans to potential customers through the retail banking sector operating in the rural areas, and financing interested rural communities on a collective basis and assisting them to manage a tendering process for the procurement and installation of systems.

DANCED, has, over a three year period, set aside 8 million rand for Cleaner Production projects in selected industrial sectors (including the Fishing and Fish Processing, Abattoirs and Dairy, Wood and Furniture, Metal Plating and Textile Industries), with the aim of promoting Cleaner Technology in South Africa. Criteria used for support is the recognition of negative environmental impacts associated with the activities of the specific sector. This donor agency is committed to the transfer of technical skills relating to the environment as spelt out in Agenda 21.  

After 20 years of flaring these gases to the atmosphere, Samancor's Manganese Alloy operation in Meyerton found a way to burn carbon monoxide and gases containing hydrogen. In the process, the company generates an average of 30 Megawatts of electricity every hour, about 10 % of the total plant demand. The benefits to both the atmospheric environment and the company are significant: About 275,000 MW hours of electricity are generated each year, with an average availability of 98 %, saving the company R28 million annually in power costs. The electricity saved would have been generated by Escom power stations burning 10 tons of coal each hour, or 87,600 tons per annum. Gases containing hydrogen are no longer released to the atmosphere. The plant made a giant leap in terms towards energy efficiency.

The need for energy efficiency gave rise to an industry strategy to promote Energy Services Companies. Energy efficiency market surveys provide information on consumer energy, behaviour and needs. DME is developing an energy efficiency database. The main aims are to obtain data to inform benchmarks for awareness and educational campaigns.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Energy efficiency is being included in school curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary levels as well as in industrial training. In the domestic sector, the second phase of a communication campaign with the theme Enerwise/Moneywise was launched in March 1997 with the aim of educating, training and informing consumers on improvement of energy efficiency. An energy labeling system for refrigerator equipment has also been introduced. In the commercial sector, voluntary programmes have been initiated in collaboration with the International Institute for Energy Conservation, and if proven to be successful it will be expanded to the domestic and industrial sectors.

Campaigns:

In the domestic sector, the second phase of a communication campaign with the theme Enerwise/Moneywise was launched in March 1997 with the aim of educating, training and informing consumers on improvement of energy efficiency. An energy labeling system for refrigerator equipment has also been introduced. In the commercial sector, voluntary programmes have been initiated in collaboration with the International Institute for Energy Conservation, and if proven to be successful, will be expanded to the domestic and industrial sectors.

The need for energy efficiency gave rise to an industry strategy to promote Energy Services Companies. Energy efficiency market surveys provide information on consumer energy, behaviour and needs. DME is developing an energy efficiency database. The main aims are to obtain data to inform benchmarks for awareness and educational campaigns.

The Minerals Act legislated Environmental Management Programme Reports (EMPRs) for the mining sector. The DME provides an Aide Memoir to assist mines with compiling environmental impact assessments prior to mining authorisation being granted, and with EMPRs during the mine’s lifetime. The Aide Memoir is presently being revised through a comprehensive and broad-ranging participation process. At the same time, development of a new Minerals and Energy policy, which includes consideration of the principles contained within the draft Environmental Management Bill, has been initiated.

For the end user to be aware of new developments in the DME, an Energy Management Newsletter periodical has been published since June 1997. The newsletter covers all economic sectors including households, commerce, industry, mining, transport and the public service sector.

In order to promote an awareness of fuel efficiency among the South African motoring public the booklet titled ‘A Fuel consumption of passenger vehicles, 1997/98’ was published. The booklet informs decision making of potential buyers of cars, bakkies and mini-buses. Fuel consumption comparisons are also intended to encourage manufacturers to design for fuel efficiency.

The DME hosted national energy efficiency awareness campaigns in the domestic sector in 1997 and 1998. Awareness was promoted regarding energy efficiency measures in households. Consumers were informed and educated regarding the benefits of energy efficiency improvements. The campaign succeeded in sensitising certain target groups to the importance of efficient use of energy, inter alia women’s organisations and municipalities.

A set of campaign objectives were presented to several audiences. The overall aim of the campaign was to promote the concept that national economic development and a decrease in energy intensity can occur simultaneously. Practical guidelines on achieving energy efficiency were provided and an appeal was made to South African households to become part of an energy-wise culture by informing, educating and creating awareness of energy efficiency in the home. The Living Standards Measurement was used as a guide. One outcome of the campaign was that free editorial space and airtime were received for energy efficiency messages.

In order to ensure that builders and building owners make use of the standards incentives thus created, the DME is cooperating with the CSIR and other institutions to run an incentive scheme, titled Green Buildings for Africa, for energy efficiency in buildings. Participation in the programme provides the property owner with a framework that will allow access to an environmental labeling system recognising energy efficiency efforts. This programme seeks to develop the infrastructure and resources to overcome the barriers inhibiting the implementation of cost effective environmental improvements in the commercial property sector. Specific objectives of the initiative are to : build local capacity to promote and deliver energy savings to the property sector; demonstrate the cost savings and emission reduction potential of improved energy efficiency in the property sector; stimulate the creation of Energy Service Companies and other private sector mechanisms to foster and replicate energy efficiency investment; and initiate the development of institutional mechanisms that will establish a sustainable national Green Buildings for Africa programme. The project is in the demonstration phase and a number of building owners have agreed to their buildings being used as showcase buildings. Demonstration buildings include, among others, the buildings of parliament and the Union Buildings, housing the Pretoria offices of the President and the Deputy President.

Escom has initiated an "electro-wise" campaign to promote efficient electricity usage around the home. The programme offers advice about saving energy and reducing electricity bills in and around the home. Escom also administers a system of energy efficiency design awards.

Information 

The DME assists DEA&T in drawing up an inventory of greenhouse gasses and promotes the concept of best practicable means and the use of clean technology.

The national approach to energy and material efficiency, waste reduction, recycling, public transport and quality of life comprises a mixture of quantified and quality indicators. There is scope for developing a general paradigm of interlinked quality of life and sustainable consumption and production targets.

In 1993, the Chief Air Pollution Control Officer (CAPCO) published new guidelines for particulate emissions for the petroleum industry, stating that within five years (i.e. by 1998), allowable concentrations have to be diminished from 500 mg/m3 to 120 mg/m3.

In 1994 the CAPCO introduced a new guideline for sulphur present in the fuel used in refinery heaters, to be reduced from 3.5 - 4%, to 2% by weight. Expressed in terms of tons of sulphur dioxide, this translates to a reduction from 60 tons to about 48 tons per day.

Guidance is given by the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) on coal emissions at power stations. A low smoke coal project has a specific objective pertaining to protection of the atmosphere. MINTEK, a parastatal body, is involved in monitoring air quality in certain key areas. The EMP process has specific requirements on air quality, including dust pollution. The rehabilitation of asbestos mines and goldmine slimes dams is aimed at addressing dust pollution.

Research and Technologies   

A new type of nuclear technology, the Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactor, is very promising and feasible applications for South Africa are investigated.

Renewable energy sources other than biomass, have not yet been exploited to the full in South Africa. Research projects are, inter alia, investigating solar, wind and hydro energy. Current and envisaged main uses of solar energy include the use of solar power for water-pumping and for heating. Research is presently conducted to evaluate the feasibility of building a solar thermal power plant in the Northern Cape, and a wind farm in the Western Cape. 

Financing   

See under Status.

Cooperation  

A bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Minerals and Energy and the German Government to collaborate on the promotion of solar cookers in South Africa, was implemented in 1997. During the implementation phase, solar cookers or stoves were distributed, accompanied by training, information workshops and evaluations.  See also under Status.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submission to the Fifth and Seventh Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

For information on mining, minerals and energy from the South African Communication Service WWW Page, click here:

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Forestry is an area of national legislative competence, and the principal decision-maker is the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, supported by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Partnerships are developed to facilitate holistic decision-making. The Development of the National Forest Action Plan (NFAP) involved other government departments, the forestry industry, forestry industry labour, communities and all stakeholders. The NFAP will ultimately form a part of a National Environmental Plan, co-ordinated by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA&T). The management of some state forests has been delegated to provincial government.

The certification of forests (please, See under Programmes and Projects section in this chapter) will be influenced by the work of the Committee for Sustainable Forest Management. This Committee has been constituted to represent the different parties with an interest in sustainable forest management. Its task is to advise the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry on any matters related to sustainable forest management. It will focus on the development of criteria and indicators, based upon the principles contained in the National Forests Act, for national as well as local (forest management unit) assessment of the state of sustainable forest management. Through the representation of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on the Committee, its work will be closely linked with South Africa's participation in the testing and development of indicators of sustainable development.

Where necessary, the Committee will identify minimum standards of forest management, which would be enforceable through regulations in terms of the Act. Such measures would be linked with the licensing of plantation forests as stream flow reduction activities under the National Water Act, since these licenses set conditions under which plantation forestry may be practised in each case, and these conditions must conform to the principles contained in the National Forests Act. Similarly, environmental impact assessments that are required for afforestation projects must conform to these principles.

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is now actively working with other government agencies, such as the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, with private-sector forestry, and other parties in streamlining and consolidating the regulatory requirements that govern plantation forestry. The goal is commonly agreed standards to be met through a workable system while the forest sector achieves sustainability as well as international competitiveness.

The work of the IPF and the IFF (please refer to the Cooperation section in this chapter) has been discussed at national level in the National Forest Advisory Council and its predecessor. To date, the principal areas of national relevance have been in regard to National Forestry Programmes (equivalent to the National Forestry Action Programme in South Africa) as instruments for co-ordinated and purposeful strategies for sustainable management and development of forest resources. Criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management as supportive tools are also considered as being of national relevance. South Africa has the aim of employing the outcomes of the IPF/IFF process as mechanisms for attaining national goals and aspirations, through adapting these mechanisms to meet national requirements and simultaneously contributing to and influencing the development in the international forum.

The principal steps to implement the IPF proposals in South Africa have been through the development and deployment of the NFAP (see earlier) and the work of the Committee on Sustainable Forest Management.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

New forest laws, the National Forests Act and the National Veld and Forest Fire Act were passed in 1998 after the development of the National Forestry Action Programme (NFAP, please refer to the 'Main Programmes' section in this chapter). The National Forests Advisory Council and its two permanent Committees, the Committee on Sustainable Forest Management and the Committee for Forest Access, established in terms of the National Forests Act, have all been constituted and have begun their work. The Government has since pursued the strategies set out in the NFAP.

Principles guiding decision-making state that forests must be developed and managed so as to sustain the potential yield of their economic, social and environmental benefits, and to conserve natural resources, especially soil and water. Special measures are included to protect indigenous forests and trees. Regulations may be made to control the collection, removal, transport, and various other activities relating to parts of or products from protected trees.

See also under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

South Africa adopted a White Paper on sustainable forestry development in South Africa, in March 1996. This policy holistically addresses the sustainable development of the country's 1.5 million hectares of plantation forests, the 420 000 hectares of indigenous closed-forest, and the approximately 32-40 million hectares of woodlands.

In South Africa, there are no provisions to compensate forest owners who provide non-market environmental benefits.

Through the Environment Management Plan (EMP) and mining authorisation processes, sensitive forest areas are either excluded or a specific Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has to be done prior to approval of an EMP. Rehabilitation of mining areas takes cognizance of the specific vegetation and land capability requirements.

The NFAP is not yet formally part of the country's sustainable development strategy, since this did not exist at the time it was developed. Nevertheless, the National Environmental Management Act that has been passed subsequently provides a framework for such a strategy through its requirements for procedures of co-operative governance. These include the instruments of Environmental Management Plans and Environmental Implementation Plans to be agreed with line Departments, as well as its provisions for environmental management co-operative agreements. The NFAP will provide the basis and the content for such instruments in the forest sector.

The NFAP and the integrated land management strategy are linked through the instruments mentioned above. There is also a special chapter in the NFAP describing a strategy on integrating the forest sector with other natural resources policies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The White Paper on Sustainable forestry development (1996, please refer to the Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans section in this chapter) includes commitments inter alia to improve the role of women at all levels of forestry related decision-making and to provide support for small growers and processors.

Where local communities have access to forest resources, e.g. for medicinal purposes, or for fuelwood, arrangements and agreements between the nature conservation agency and local communities have been structured to ensure that the use is sustainable, and that there is no net loss of components, either quantitatively or qualitatively.

Programmes and Projects   

South Africa's national forest programme is the National Forestry Action Programme (NFAP). It was developed in 1997, according to the principles of the country's forest policy through the work of a set of representative teams overseen by a steering committee, each addressing a major policy issue. As a result, the process and its outcomes were dictated by our own requirements. Nevertheless, the NFAP was informed by the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF), and there is substantial coherence between its content and these recommendations (see Table 1).

The NFAP is recognised by FAO and UNBED as the most appropriate planning process for sustainable forest development and implementation of Agenda 21. Forests of all kinds are encompassed by the NFAP. Promotion of community forestry is seen as an important component of the strategy to counter the degradation of natural woodland by those who rely on fuelwood as an energy source.

The principal initiatives for recognising and respecting customary and traditional rights are captured in South Africa's land reform programme. The NFAP recognises this issue, and addresses it in many ways. An example is through strategies related to joint forest management and community-based forest management. The National Forests Act makes special provision to clarify land tenure and forest rights, including access rights, and creates the instrument of Community Forest Agreements.

Table 1. Summary of IPF proposals for action regarding national forest programmes and their coherence with South Africa's National Forestry Action Programme.

IPF guidelines for national forest programmes in the Proposals for Action (paragraph 17 of the report of IPF 4) Relevant elements of South Africa's National Forestry Action Programme
17 (a)(1): consistency with national, subnational or local policies and strategies NFAP contains a section and strategies for integrating the forest sector with other natural resources policies
17 (a)(2): partnership and participatory mechanisms to involve interested parties NFAP was developed under guidance of and through the work of a steering committee and policy issues teams, each of which was representative of interested parties; the NFAP provides the details of these teams
17 (a)(3): recognition and respect for customary and traditional rights of, inter alia, indigenous people and local communities The issue of such rights is recognised throughout the NFAP and linked to land reform, access issues and community forestry agreements; given force through the National Forests Act
17 (a)(4): secure land tenure arrangements Recognised through linkage to the national land reform programme and in the provisions of the National Forests Act
17 (a)(5): holistic, intersectoral and iterative approaches NFAP conforms
17 (a)(6): ecosystem approaches that integrate the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of biological resources NFAP recognises this e.g. in Section IV on natural forest and woodlands and Chapter 12 on sustainable industrial forestry development; given force through the principles and provisions of the National Forest Act
17 (a)(7): adequate provision and valuation of forest goods and services Recognised as a deficiency in South Africa and identified for action e.g. in chapters 3 and 8 of the NFAP.
17 (b): improved co-operation in support of the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests; national forest programmes as a basis for international co-operation in the forest sector Design of the NFAP provides for this.
17 (c): need for international co-operation in the adequate provision of ODA, as well as possible new and additional funding from the GEF and other appropriate innovative sources for the effective development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of national forest programmes NFAP does not address this directly
17 (d): improved co-operation in support of the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests; national forest programmes as a basis for international co-operation Design of the NFAP provides for this and was developed with strong ODA from the United Kingdom and from Denmark; subsequent initiatives have also enjoyed support from the Government of Finland [and China, Taipei]
17 (e): develop, test and implement appropriate participatory mechanisms for integrating timely and continuous multidisciplinary research into all stages of the planning cycle Chapter 23 of the NFAP addresses this requirement.
17 (f): to elaborate systems that identify and involve a broad participation of indigenous people, forest dwellers, forest owners and local communities in meaningful decision-making regarding the management of state forest lands in their proximity, within the context of national laws and legislation NFAP introduces joint forest management and the National Forests Act provides for it; the NFAP also determines that the course of forest sector development should be guided by representative forums, and the National Forests Act lays the foundation by establishment of the National Forests Advisory Council.
17 (g): include capacity-building as an objective of national forest programmes, paying particular attention to training, extension services and technology transfer and financial assistance from developed countries, taking due account of local traditional forest-related knowledge Section VI of NFAP addresses this issue, as do Chapters 5, 9 and 10
17 (h): establish sound national co-ordination mechanisms or strategies among all interested parties, based on consensus-building principles, to promote the implementation of national forest programmes Addressed through the institutional elements of Chapter 24 and through the subsequent provisions of the National Forests Act and the National Veld and Forest Fires Act.
17 (i): to further develop the concept and practice of partnership, which could include partnership agreements, as one of the potential approaches for improved co-ordination and co-operation between all national and international partners Addressed in part, e.g. through the concept of Community Forestry Agreements, but needs further development in the light of subsequent provisions in the National Environmental Management Act for Environmental Management Co-operative Agreements

For natural forests on private land, a number of programmes have been developed to inform landowners of the value of these resources and the need for their protection, and to enlist the support of landowners in protection. These programmes are:

The "Buyer Must Pay Initiative" of the Department of Minerals and Energy has been completed and the responsibility for wood supply and tree planting is now in the hand of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Status 

The Government has progressed substantially in restructuring its holdings in industrial forests. These consist of the plantations held by SAFCOL, the state forestry company, and those held by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, together constituting about 30% of the plantation forests in the country. Final bids for the leases for these forests have been received and are currently under scrutiny with a view to agreements with new forest companies by the end of 1999. The forests are among the best of their kind in the world. This step is the largest single privatisation of plantations in the world, and once completed will result in a fundamental restructuring of the sector. Government will in this way mobilise private sector investment in sustainable forestry, while addressing its objectives of local economic development, employment creation, skill development and equitable redress of past discrimination.

In parallel with this restructuring, government is addressing its own institutions. The national forests authority, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, has reorganised and refocused to address its national role on State forests, as well as with regard to forest and woodland resources on communal and private land. It has launched an audit of the natural closed-forests of the country, and will use this as a basis for the programmed delegation or assignment of the management of these forests to provincial authorities wherever appropriate, on the basis of agreed requirements for sustainable forest management. It is actively pursuing formal arrangements for joint forest management with local communities in cases where joint interest is strong, and is pursuing this through several trial cases. Through these means it is also addressing conflict situations arising from land invasions, such as in the Dukuduku forest in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, it is currently developing province-level strategies for promoting sustainable management of natural forests and woodlands on private and communal land.

Concerning the certification of forests (please refer also to the 'Decision-Making' section in this chapter), it is to be noted that the private forestry sector in South Africa has made substantial progress in sustainable forest management over the past several years. In 1995, the organised industry adopted a set of guidelines, the Guidelines for environmental conservation management in commercial forests in South Africa. These have been progressively deployed through the industry, and their implementation has recently been further formalised through forest certification.

The forests of SAFCOL and the Mondi Paper Company have all been certified according to the requirements of the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). Thus, about 494 000 hectares of plantation forests are now certified through FSC. South Africa has the fourth largest number of FSC-certified forest management units in the world. In addition, of the NCT Timber Co-operative has just developed an approach to facilitate certification of its members, who each have relatively small forest holdings. To date, 14 farm forests owned by members have been certified under FSC. Sappi Forest, owner of 500 000 hectares of estates with plantation forests, has chosen certification under ISO 14001, and manages its forest for sustainability through this environmental management system.

Transfer of about 70 000 hectares of plantations from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to private operators in the restructuring process will also advance sustainable management of industrial forests. The new operators will be required to achieve certification within five years of signing the lease.

Several of the customers in South Africa for wood from the forests have insisted on certification since they export lumber or manufactured wood products in markets that require SFM certified products. This is indirect evidence that forest certification is needed to maintain access to some international markets, though not necessarily to gain access to them. At this stage, however, there is nothing to indicate that national markets are requiring certification.

The principal forest product recycled in South Africa is waste paper. About 35% of paper used in South Africa is recycled, and this provides about 24% of the furnish for paper manufacturing (the deficit arises from exports). South African companies have developed innovative ways to support emergent entrepreneurs in paper recycling.

The South African Lumber Millers Association has for years attempted to promote the use of timber in housing as an alternative to bricks and mortar and steel. However, the unit consumption of timber in houses has fallen steadily over the past two decades, because of tastes and preferences among homebuyers, the regulatory environment, and changes in housing delivery systems.

In general, the forest industry promotes itself as being based on renewable resources. There are no other overt discussions, policies or initiatives on forest products as substitutes for products from non-renewable resources.

In 1997, plantations covered an area of 1,518,138 ha. Yields vary from an average of 15 m3 of per ha per annum for softwood to 20 m3 per ha per annum for eucalyptus and 9 m3 per ha per annum for wattle. The production from plantations in 1996 amounted to approximately 24.7 million m3. More than 10 million m3 of firewood is chopped annually.

Through signing the Convention to Combat Desertification, South Africa has committed itself to combating deforestation as a priority. KwaZulu/Natal Province is in the fortunate position that most natural forests occur in areas that have statutory protection, either as state forest areas, nature reserves or wilderness areas, or as statutory protected areas under nature conservation legislation. This is a reflection of the small proportion of the province where natural forests occur.

Challenges

Wood supply for rural areas is scarce in many places. In view of indoor air pollution caused by fuel wood and its scarcity, alternatives to the use of wood fuel are investigated and promoted.

In South Africa forestry has a complex relationship with poverty. In the order of two million poor rural households depend in some degree on forest goods such as fuelwood and supplementary medicine and food supplies for their well being. On the other hand, industrial forestry, non-wood forest products from plantation forests and increasingly ecotourism in natural woodlands, offer employment as the escape from poverty.

In many districts, the needs of the poor and the withering away or destruction by forces such as local population growth and migration of customary resource management systems, has caused degradation of forest resources.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The National Forest Action Plan directs special attention to capacity building. A working group has been established to address research, technology and innovation issues.

The institutional reform measures described in the 'Main Programmes' section in this chapter are accompanied by capacity building of several kinds, often with overseas development assistance.

Information   

The South African Government is currently compiling the first national State of the Forests report, as required by the National Forests Act. This report will give a comprehensive overview of sustainable forest management in South Africa and map out the road ahead for further improvements. The report is due in April 2000. This, together with parallel initiatives, will also lay the basis for the national Forest Resource Information System, a system which will give stakeholders access to a network of information on sustainable forest management in South Africa.

Information on the South African forest sector, including policy papers, is available on www.dwaf.pwv.gov.za (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) and on www.forestry.co.za (industry information). These sites include policy information. The site for the Department will be developed to include information relevant to sustainable forest management, via the national Forest Resource Information System. The industry site includes links to company web sites.

Research and Technologies 

At this stage, South Africa is not ready to propose which criteria and indicators could be useful to assess progress towards sustainable forest management at the international level. We are at the early stages of identifying our national criteria and indicators.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

South Africa has been an active participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) from the first session to the last, and continues to be active in the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF). South Africa has been active in many of the inter-sessional activities linked with IPF and IFF and in June 1996 was co-hosting with Denmark and the UNDP a workshop on Financial Mechanisms and Sources of Finance for Sustainable Forestry, in Pretoria. Currently, South Africa with its co-member countries is active in developing the Southern Africa Development Community's (SADC) position on the items in the IFF agenda, especially with respect to international instruments.

An important area for new action will be active collaboration with SADC countries in developing wherever appropriate a common view on the IPF proposals for action, and on the agenda of the IFF. South Africa participated in the first meeting on a regional approach, in September 1999.

South Africa participates in the FAO Dry Zone Africa process, and has participated in the development of ISO 14001 as applicable to forestry.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submission to the fifth, seventh and eighth Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 2000.

Click here for information from the Ministry of Water Affairs and Forestry:
Click here to access the White Paper on Sustainable Forest Development in South Africa:
For information on forestry from the South African Communication Service WWW Page, click here:

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Water Services Act (1997) sets requirements for local government tariff structures and other water related issues in local government. Some of the objectives of the Act are to: set out the rights and duties of consumers and those who are responsible for providing services; promote, support and strengthen the capacity and authority of local government while creating mechanisms that will allow national and provincial governments as well as consumers to monitor its performance; and promote the effective and sustainable use of financial and natural resources.

The Water Services Act also provides for the phasing in of a tariff structure designed to promote water conservation by all stakeholders, including consumers. In addition, this act requires that water services activities have a duty to progressively ensure efficient economical and sustainable access to water services, noting the duty to conserve water resources. Water Boards are required to take measures to promote water conservation and water demand management, and to promote public awareness.

The National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) endorses the concept of tradeable rights for water use, including the use of effluent discharge.

In terms of the National Water Act, the allocation of water depends on the principles of sustainability, along with a range of mechanisms for protection of natural water resources. The mechanisms include better management practices such as Cleaner Production, Cleaner Technologies, recycling of water and waste minimisation. Demand management through tariff and water pricing and water conservation measures is supported by the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), in which re-use and recycling of water is promoted.

The management programme for water quality relies on the SA Water Quality Guidelines issued by DWAF. The guidelines focus on establishing tailor made effluent standards for individual industries or other producers of waste water based on the policy of determining the needs of the receiving water body and structuring the standards with reference to the water quality required by downstream water users.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In a joint venture between DWAF and the mining industry, a sector specific management strategy in terms of water management for prospecting and mining activities has been initiated. One of the steps in this regard is the development of a set of the Best Practice Guidelines for water quality management in the mining industry. Research conducted by the mining industry has resulted in the wide-spread use of water-recovery technology, to the extent that many mines can report a 30% reduction in the use of raw water resources. In the Witbank Dam Catchment Management Programme, water quality objectives, achieved through the allocation of permissible waste loads per industry, were set by a multi-sectoral group.  

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

See under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Programmes and Projects   

See under Research and Technologies.

Status

Water use and management

The irrigation sector has by far the largest water demand of all water sectors in South Africa at 54 % of the country’s total demand, including state regulated water schemes (9.8 % of total demand), irrigation regulated by irrigation boards (11.4 % of total demand) and private irrigation schemes (30.7 % of total country demand). Industry uses 11 % of the country’s demand and forestry 8 %. The major areas for demand growth are likely to be the domestic, urban and industrial sectors as a result of population growth, increasing levels of service provision, and increasing industrialisation.

Escom sustained specific water consumption at 1.2 R/kWh, and has probably achieved the lowest water consumption possible at power stations. Further reductions will only be possible with the development of new dry-cooled power stations.

Water demands in South Africa have been growing at 4 – 5 % per annum since the 1930’s, and it is estimated that within three decades, i.e. by 2030, the country’s water resources would be fully utilised under current growth and consumption patterns.

Total daily average sales of water by Rand Water increased as follows over the last ten years:

1986-1987: 1 820,383 megalitres
1996-1997: 2 656,288 megalitres

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

The Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) is implementing research on Water Demand Management. The project is financially supported by SIDA, and is planned for completion within 18 months effective from January 1998. The main aim of the project is to establish and assess the level at which water demand management is being practised in the region against a background of diminishing resources and increasing demand. IUCN has commissioned five country studies through which to execute the project. The CSIR, through its Division of Water Environment and Forestry Technology (Environmentek) accepted the invitation to lead the South Africa country study.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submissions to the 5th, 6th and 7th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

Click here to access the Government's 1997 White Paper on Water Policy:
Click here for information from the Ministry of Water Affairs and Forestry:
For information from the Water Research Commission, click here:
For acess to the Computing Centre for Water Research, including the South African Hydrology Resources Page, click here:
For access to the Kruger National Park Rivers Research Programme, click here:

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources (Agenda 21, Chapter 10)

National and provincial authorities have concurrent legislative competence with regard to the functional areas concerned with the planning and management of land resources, but minerals and water are still national functions.

Various high level committees have been established to promote co-operation between national and provincial authorities to integrate policies and legislation. On national and provincial ministerial levels, a MinMEC committee has been established. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the nine provincial Members of the Executive Council (MECs) responsible for the environment are represented on this committee. Section 12 of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989 provides for the establishment of a Committee for Environmental Co-ordination (CEC) to co-ordinate actions taken by departments on national and provincial levels which may have an impact on the planning, protection, management or utilisation of land resources. This Committee has several subcommittees for environmental impact management, integrated pollution control, sustainable development and environmental education to assist the CEC with its tasks.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism are the lead role players in the above mentioned co-ordinating committees. As such, they influence and participate in the development of other national and provincial departments' policies and legislation in order to integrate the planning and management of land resources. The following progress has been made on the national level in this regard:

The responsibility for the natural environment is spread over different national and provincial departments, each carrying out their jurisdictions as specified by the specific acts. The institutional framework, as well as the legal system, generally fails to facilitate integrated approaches to land use. The various laws assume integration of environmental management in land use planning but at the administrative level, environmental management practices remain sectoral and fragmented. Furthermore, there is a lack of clarity concerning roles and responsibilities for overlapping functional areas.

The Regional Director of the Department of Minerals and Energy makes decisions on mining authorisations after consultation with each department that administers laws pertaining to the environment.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Land Reform Programme is the main instrument to counter the injustices of past colonial and apartheid policies (see Main Programmes). The Development Facilitation Act no. 67 of 1995 provides an alternative legal framework for land development. The Act provides for a fast track process to land delivery, new planning procedures and long term changes in planning and development legislation. The Development Facilitation Act (DFA) was introduced as an initial step towards changing the way that planning had been done in the past. The DFA does not replace the pre-1994 planning laws but is rather an interim measure to establish and test a number of fundamental changes to the ways in which land development and planning was to be done by government. The DFA introduces general principles for land development and decision-making and conflict resolution. These principles are concerned with integrated, sustainable planning and development, transparency and democratic decision-making and community participation in planning and development management. The DFA gives power to elected representatives in consultation with their communities, to formulate strategic plans which will guide land development through instruments called Land Development Objectives (LDOs). The Act also gives these LDOs statutory status. The DFA also creates powerful bodies called Development Tribunals at provincial level, which take decisions on individual land development applications in a speedy manner. The Tribunals' decisions are guided by the Act's chapter 1 on Principles. These Tribunals are also given extra-ordinary power to remove bottlenecks that may have dilatory effects on land development projects.

Pre-1994 planning legislation was control orientated and sectoral, rather than integrated. It encouraged separate land uses, which led to fragmentation along racial zones, geographical areas and tribal authorities. Most of South Africa's provincial governments have decided to draft their own provincial planning legislation. KwaZulu/Natal and Western Cape Provinces have already developed Provincial Planning Acts, whilst other provinces have either drafted bills (Gauteng and Northern Cape) or have preliminary documents which will inform the drafting of a bill (Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern Province, North-West and Free State). The purpose of provincial planning laws is to rationalise/consolidate the land development and planning legislation; to facilitate and co-ordinate development; to facilitate planning and development at all levels of government in the provinces, as well as to ensure effective, participative and sustainable development.

The Development Facilitation Act of 1994 makes it mandatory for municipalities to prepare Land Development Objectives. Future local government legislation intends to make this one critical component of the municipal Integrated Development Plan. In 1999 a draft policy on Development and Planning was issued by the Department of Land Affairs. This draft policy document further recognised the authority of local government as the appropriate sphere of government to plan, regulate and manage land planning/development at a local level.

Provincial planning laws that have been produced, cater for a more co-ordinated approach to development and planning. In the case of KwaZulu/Natal the Planning and Development Act allows for the establishment of a Planning and Development Commission, which will be responsible for the co-ordination of planning and development in the province.

The Subdivision of the Agricultural Land Act, No. 70 of 1970, aimed to prevent the subdivision of agricultural land to the extent where the new portions created are so small that farming will no longer be economically viable. The laws, pertaining to the subdivision of agricultural land, which required the Minister of Agriculture's approval for any subdivision of non-urban land, were therefore repealed in 1998. It is no longer felt necessary for the national government to control the subdivision of agricultural land.

While Act 70 was enforced by the national government, subdivision applications were always referred to the relevant provincial government for a decision to be made. The new provincial planning laws include subdivision provisions. In terms of co-ordination and delegation of duties and powers, this example indicates how planning legislation is being rationalised and consolidated and at the same time shows how appropriate authorities, at the appropriate level have taken over certain functions.

The National Environment Management Act, 1998, is providing for co-operative environmental governance by establishing principles for decision making on matters affecting the environment. One of the principles is stating that the disturbance of ecosystems and the loss of bio-diversity are avoided, or, where they cannot be altogether avoided, are minimised and remedied.

In terms of water resource planning, protection is afforded wetlands under the recently promulgated National Water Act. One of its fundamental principles was that the quantity, quality and reliability of water required to maintain the ecological functions on which humans depend shall be reserved so that the human use of water does not individually or cumulatively compromise the long term sustainability of aquatic and associated ecosystems

This water which is required to sustain ecological functioning is referred to as the Reserve and enjoys priority of use by right. The National Water Act also makes provision for the progressive development of integrated catchment management strategies for designated catchments. Such strategies must take into account:

The Development Facilitation Act of 1995 allows for a streamlined Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. The environmental impact assessment regulations are being enforced by the nine provincial environmental authorities in close co-operation with the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. These regulations apply to a comprehensive list of identified development activities that may have substantial detrimental impacts. This action may be regarded as a very significant step in formalising environmental impact assessment in South Africa and is in line with similar developments internationally. In this manner the integration of environmental impact management with development activities is being facilitated. This will lead to more responsible and sustainable development.

Expansion of human settlements that would change the current land use is specified as activities identified under the EIA regulations that may have substantial detrimental impacts on the environment. The formal environmental impact assessment (EIA) process would therefore cover it.

To provide for thorough and uniform control of the environmental impact of development projects within South Africa, a compulsory environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure, based on Integrated Environmental Management principles, was successfully implemented between September 1997 and April 1998. The main objective of this action is to integrate principles of environmental management into the planning and development process and to identify, predict and evaluate the effects which policies, programmes, proposals and projects may have on the environment.

The EIA regulations are being enforced by the nine provincial environmental authorities in close co-operation with the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. These regulations apply to a comprehensive list of identified development activities that may have substantial detrimental impacts. This action may be regarded as a very significant step in formalising environmental impact assessment (EIA) in South Africa and is in line with similar developments internationally. In this manner the integration of environmental impact management with development activities is being facilitated. This will lead to more responsible and sustainable development.

It is important to realise that the application of the EIA procedure results in the rejection of very few development applications, as this procedure provides for the identification and mitigation of expected detrimental environmental impacts of developments already at an early stage of the planning process. As the EIA procedure forms an integral part of the planning process, fatal flaws - on environmental grounds - are timeously identified, making the consideration of site alternatives or operation alternatives possible. In this manner, generally good working relationships have evolved over the last three years between the environmental authorities and project consultants / developers, to the benefit of South Africa's people and their environment.

Through the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of 1991), the DME has been instrumental in furthering this objective in the mining industry specific to mining areas. The Minerals Act, 1991, provides the authorities with dedicated control measures which, if judiciously applied, will ensure economic growth and environmental conservation. The act provides that the rehabilitation of the land surface disturbed by mining shall be carried out by the holder of the prospecting permit or mining authorisation in accordance with an Environmental Management (EMP) and as an integral part of mining operations.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The recently published draft Policy on Development and Planning represents the government's boldest attempt at revising the land development and planning policies and gives South Africa a new vision of planning. It builds on the foundation of the Development Facilitation Act (DFA) by proposing ways in which planning can be used to address the imbalances created by apartheid planning.

The draft Policy also proposes new ways of development management that respond to real needs on the ground rather than simply maintaining political objectives. The draft policy also proposes a parallel national and provincial process of rationalising planning laws, which will result in one national planning law as well as each province having its own planning law.

The Department of Provincial and Local Government is responsible for local government matters in South Africa. Legislation spearheaded by this department makes it compulsory for municipalities to prepare Integrated Development Plans. In terms of legislation to be passed within 1999/2000, via the Municipal Systems Bill, municipal Integrated Development Plans are meant to be 5-year strategic plans addressing local priorities and needs and the legislated sectoral requirements of all national and provincial ministries. A specific component of these plans is a spatial development framework that should directly address integrated land development planning and management.

The recommendations in the draft Policy on Development and Planning can be summarised as follows:

Concerning the impact of Land Management on other natural resources, the White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa's Biological Diversity was accepted by Parliament as official policy in the latter half of 1997. This framework contains South Africa's bio-diversity policy and strategy and is divided into six goals. Goal number one and two, namely Conserve South Africa's bio-diversity, and Use biological resources sustainable and minimise adverse impacts on bio-diversity, are referring to the conservation, and management of bio-diversity, fresh water resources and mountain ecosystems.

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, with assistance from the British Government, has embarked on a consultative process to produce a policy on coastal management. The Coastal Policy Green Paper was released in September 1998 and lays the foundations for the implementation of integrated coastal management in a manner that is participative, practical and scientifically sound. The proposed focus of the policy is sustainable coastal development, which entails enhancing the capacity of current and future generations to realise their human potential, within the context of maintaining diverse, healthy and productive coastal ecosystems, in a manner that minimises harm to other life-forms.

Wetland issues, although not mentioned directly in the Green Paper, are broadly addressed under the following proposed goals of the policy:

At present, the policy is in an early stage of development. The Wetlands Conservation Programme of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will participate actively in the policy development process in order to ensure that wetland issues are adequately addressed in the final product. Other organisations and individuals involved in wetland-related work will also be encouraged to contribute.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The Development Facilitating Act includes the principle that members of communities affected by land development should actively participate in the process of land development. Local authorities in developing their Land Development Objectives are obliged to follow an open, inclusive and participatory process. Each province has produced development objective regulations, which stipulate that community participation is essential in the formulation of LDOs.

In the South African Land Policy, there are a number of land reform principles. Noteworthy ones include:

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations require thorough public participation processes during especially the scoping stage of environmental impact assessments. All interested and affected parties must be involved in the public participation process, including representatives from disadvantaged groups.

Programmes and Projects   

Since 1994, there have been policy and legislation changes in South Africa concerning planning and development of, and access to land resources, towards more sustainable development. The Land Reform Programme of South Africa was initiated in 1994 in an attempt to address some of the injustices of past colonial and apartheid policies. These policies had effectively displaced at least seven million people by establishing native reserves. They occupied 13% of the land but the government had designated them as the legal place of residence for approximately 80% of the population. This saw the progressive erosion of the peasantry and black farm management skills, distorted the roles and powers of traditional authorities and induced large-scale environmental degradation and poverty. The 1997 White Paper on Land Policy sets out to address the injustices of racially-based land dispossession, the inequitable distribution of land ownership, the need for security of tenure for all, the need for sustainable use of land, the need for rapid release of land for development, the need to record and register all rights in property and the need to administer public land in an effective manner.

The Land Reform Programme has three principle components:

In terms of gaps and challenges, the pressure for land reform is high and delivery of land has been the Department of Land Affairs' most urgent priority, superseding in-depth consideration for the long-term sustainability of the Land Reform Programme. Furthermore, land reform has been project based and not coherently linked into a broader planning context.

The aim of the Decentralised Development Programme is inter alia to extract and test integrated municipal planning methodologies.

In September 1998 the Department of Land Affairs, in partnership with DANCED initiated a project entitled 'The Integration of Environmental Planning into the Land Reform Process' in an attempt to address sustainable land reform. The project duration is from September 1998 to March 2001. Adequate consideration has been given to rural livelihoods, food security, environmental aspects and social aspects in this project.

The immediate objectives of this project are institutional arrangements, procedures and guidelines for incorporating environmental planning into land reform and land development at local, provincial and national levels are adapted and reflected in appropriate policies. Increased capacity within the Department of Land Affairs, local authorities, NGOs and other service providers to integrate environmental issues into both the land reform and the land development process.

To achieve these objectives, the following principles are operative:

The Management of provincial and national protected areas execute burning programmes, alien plant control, erosion control, game census, game reduction, and infrastructure development. This creates jobs, contributes towards eco-tourism and economic growth and food security through community participation.

Status 

The Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution, section 25 (6), determines that a person, or community, whose tenure of land is legally insecure, as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices, is either entitled to tenure that is legally secure or to comparable redress. Tenure reform is one of the three components of the Land Reform Programme. The Department of Land Affairs has developed a series of legislation that addresses security of tenure and land rights. The proposed rights are the right of occupation or possession; the right of use; the right to bequeath land; the right to defend it against others; the right to lease the land; and the right to sell or mortgage the land.

Until the 1990's it was government policy that black people should not own land. Tenure reform in South Africa is a particularly complex process and it must address the difficult problems created in the past. The following guiding principles have informed the policy and legislation development process:

While the focus thus far in the legislation has been on securing tenure rights for groups holding land collectively, labor tenants, farm workers and unregistered "occupiers", new legislation is still being developed to secure tenure in the former homeland areas of South Africa. Specific urban tenure issues are also currently being addressed which not only focus on upgrading or securing tenure rights but also do so in the context of sustainable urban development.

South Africa acknowledges that tenure security is a precondition for people to invest in land improvements and encourages environmentally sustainable land use practices. Tenure security is indeed a national priority.

Challenges  

Through the implementation of Land Reform, a number of difficulties have arisen through the lack of co-operation between the national Department of Land Affairs and the various provincial governments and line department. A major difficulty in land reform concerns the fact that the Department of Land Affairs' responsibilities officially end with designation of land, while post-transfer support is the responsibility of various provincial government agencies. Up until now these departments have not given priority to land reform.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Most Provincial Governments are currently in the process of capacity building and training due to the responsibilities assigned to them in terms of the Constitution. With regard to integrating the planning and management of land resources, an Integrated Rural Development Policy is being drafted by the KwaZulu/Natal Province. Furthermore, KwaZulu/Natal Province approaches the integration of land resources through a hierarchy of plans system. The overall spatial development distribution, frameworks for planning at lower levels, plans for areas of intersection and interaction between areas covered by regional and local councils will be determined by this system.

At the lower regional, metropolitan and local levels, planning exercises will be undertaken which will address the efficient utilisation and management of land resources. The Natal Parks Board, a conservation body which has adopted IEM principles in its policies, programmes and procedures, is assisting the KwaZulu/Natal Provincial Government in developing the hierarchy of plans system.

Concurrent to the 'Integration of Environmental Planning into the Land Reform Process' project (see under Programmes and Projects), a capacity building programme is being operated for the Department of Land Affairs, local authorities, NGOs and other service providers. It will include development and implementation of a number of relevant training courses and materials for key stakeholders.

The importance of experiences from demonstration areas being used to inform training and policy development is emphasised. A major aim of the demonstration areas will be to link project activities to the overall-planning framework at provincial and district levels. The linkages to the development of LDOs will be especially important. The project focuses on improving co-operation between service providers, by providing joint training and capacity building activities.

The training courses will link participatory approaches to broader spatial development planning. This project will address the concerns and obstacles in land reform implementation in South Africa, including inadequate consideration of sustainable livelihoods as well as the poor institutional arrangements.

Information   

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has developed a product that pro-actively identifies areas of potential conflict between development proposals and critical and sensitive environments. Known as the Environmental Management Framework (EMF), it was developed in response to the lack of a spatial framework within which to define the sensitivity of the environment. EMFs will support the Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) procedure, published in 1992 by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, by identifying the issues which should be addressed during the decision-making process and making this information available in the initial stages of the IEM procedure. EMFs thus help to focus environmental impact assessments or other decision-support instruments on the really important issues, and pro-actively 'red flag' areas of high environmental sensitivity.

The EMF is essentially a framework of spatially represented information (maps) connected to parameters. The level of sensitivity of the environment determines these parameters. The parameters in turn provide a framework within which development should proceed in order for it to be environmentally sustainable. The EMFs are developed on a comprehensive base of information as well as socio-economic priorities. The sensitivity ratings for geographic areas produced by EMFs will have a legal basis, being incorporated into the Environmental Management Bill currently before Parliament.

The environmental data input into the EMF is composed of various layers of spatial information, of which wetlands and hydrology are one. Each feature in each layer has a set of parameters attached to it which define the nature and extent of development which can take place without significantly affecting the feature in question. For example, rivers and wetlands have a 50m buffer zone around their boundaries. The EMFs operate on a national scale, and include all wetlands and hydrological features delineated on 1:250000 topographical maps, as well as other wetland data sets supplied by provincial authorities. Clearly the development of the EMFs adds more urgency to the need for a comprehensive national wetland inventory, which will provide a standardised set of spatial wetland information for the entire country. As inventory data becomes available, it will be incorporated into the EMFs so that wetlands are adequately considered in any decision-making and planning processes.

The following inventories/databases are currently used to guide sustainable land resource allocation and management in South Africa:

Name Update

The Environmental Potential Atlases (ENPAT) and the Environmental Management Framework (EMF) are digital environmental databases made up of thematic maps. These maps range from scientific data (e.g. soils, geology, vegetation, etc.) to socio-economic and cultural phenomena (e.g. land-use, land-cover, natural heritage sites, special environmental features, etc.)

In the EMFs, various field specialists evaluate all the features on the thematic maps for their sensitivity to development and assign environmental management parameters to the sensitive features. These parameters are guidelines and preconditions for development activities that may have a potential harmful impact on the environment. In addition, they set the limitations within which development should proceed in order to achieve sustainable development.

The purpose of the EMF is to serve as a tool to assist environmental managers in decision making. It is used in the scoping phase of an environmental impact assessment to identify the important environmental issues to be expected in a specific locality.

It will identify areas of potential conflict between development proposals and sensitive environments by red flagging the issues and areas of critical importance. In addition, it will provide a list of environmental management parameters applicable for any chosen locality, which will determine the extent of the required investigations and direct the establishment of minimum conditions under which an activity can be allowed in a specific environmental setting.

EMFs have been completed on a regional scale for six of South Africa's nine provinces and the remaining three will be completed by March 2000. The information and database is updated annually for each province, therefore continuos updating are part of the development process.

A viewer was developed to enable users to view the data without having to purchase additional software or requiring extensive training. The viewer is included on the CD-ROM with the EMF and the ENPAT information. EMF CDs have been distributed to each provincial department dealing with the Environmental Impact Assessments and ENPAT CDs are available for all sectors at a minimal fee.

ENPAT is available to all potential users on a CD-ROM and can be ordered from the University of Pretoria, Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

(e-mail: BREEDLOV@SCIENTIA.UP.AC.ZA)

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

Regional co-operation and exchange of information take place through involvement in the Southern African Developing Communities (SADC). A specific project regarding an environmental regulatory framework for mining activities in SADC is currently being undertaken.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submission to the fifth, seventh and eighth Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 2000.

For acces to the White Paper on South African Land Policy, click here:
For information on land affairs from the South African Communication Service WWW Page, click here:

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

National and Provincial Government are responsible for legislation affecting mountain areas, and a wide range of legislation controls the development of mountain ecosystems. The provincial governments are responsible for Mountain Catchment Areas in terms of the Mountain Catchment Areas Act, Wilderness Areas in terms of the Forest Act and nature reserves and planning (rural and urban development) in terms of their ordinances. Development of water resources is controlled by the Water Act and forestry (silviculture) is controlled by the Forest Act, both of which are the responsibilities of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the implementation of the Agricultural Resources Act. National Parks are managed by the National Parks Board in terms of the National Parks Act. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is a need to harmonize legislative policies and formulate new mountain specific legislation. See under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

The major mountain ecosystem in the Kwazulu/Natal Province is largely contained within statutorily proclaimed protected areas, collectively described as the Natal Drakensberg Park. This straddles the international border between Kwazulu-Natal Province (South Africa) and Lesotho. The protected area is managed for water production and for the protection of biodiversity, as well as for the provision of nature-based recreation. Since the 1970s, the Natal Parks Board, through an intergovernmental liaison structure, has been engaged in the promotion of a transboundary protected area with the National Environmental Secretariat of the Government of Lesotho. The European Union has agreed to provide the funding for a feasibility study for an integrated conservation and development in the Lesotho component of the Drakensberg-Maluti mountain range. It has been suggested that a similar programme should be promoted in South Africa. The Natal Parks Board is in the process of preparing a nomination for World Heritage status for the Natal Drakensberg Park, and for the inclusion of certain key areas in Lesotho as component areas. In addition, the Natal Parks Board has submitted a nomination for the Natal Drakensberg Park to be designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. Community liaison forums have been established along the length of the Natal Drakensberg Park within the context of the Natal Parks Board's Nature Conservation Outreach to ensure that the nature conservation objectives and the needs of local communities can be integrated. This has resulted in the establishment of many joint programmes, including the provision of a basic infrastructure, the promotion of community and agency capacity for sustainable living and projects such as vegetable gardens, craft markets and medicinal plant propagation.

The Kwazulu/Natal Province has recognised the importance and the ecological sensitivity of the Natal Drakensberg Park and has initiated a number of planning projects to look at the sustainable planning and management of the areas adjoining the Natal Parks Board area. The current policy in place is the Drakensberg Approaches Policy, and the Town and Regional Planning Commission has funded a project investigating the feasibility of a Drakensberg Regional Authority.

Status 

A large part of the mountainous areas is in private ownership. In the wetter areas, forestry companies have changed the natural grassland to commercial plantations of exotic timber species. There is some concern regarding the effects of this type of development on the biodiversity, wetland ecosystems and water supply. Wetlands, while a major cross sectoral issue, are considered to be extremely important and equally fragile ecosystems and in future should warrant a chapter of their own.

At the same time, a significant percentage of the major mountain ranges in the country are state-owned land and are managed as protected or conservation areas. A project plan has been developed for the proposed establishment of the entire Cape Peninsula including Table Mountain as a National Park. Plans are also underway to register Table Mountain as a World Heritage Site.

Fragile mountain catchment ecosystems are considered sensitive areas in the Environmental Management (EMP) and mining authorisation process. The mountainous areas of South Africa are a critical natural asset especially as water catchment areas for the country and its neighbours which in the recent decade have become water-stressed areas. There are broadly speaking two mountainous areas, namely, the Cape Fold Region and the Mountains of the Great Escarpment, especially of the Eastern seaboard. The latter includes the Drakensberg Mountains that are shared with Lesotho. Major land-uses in such areas besides water catchment are indigenous forestry, commercial afforestation, recreation, nature conservation, agriculture and communal land.

Challenges  

See under Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Very little has been done towards capacity building in relation to these programmes since 1992. There are national institutional bases that carry out research, training and dissemination of information which relates to sustainable development of the economies of mountain ecosystems, but these activities need to become more focused on the problems experienced in such areas.

Information   

No information available. 

Research and Technologies   

No information available. 

Financing 

Financial resources to cover the objectives of sustainable mountain development are obtained from each organisation's budget. Specific figures are not available.

Cooperation  

South Africa has joined the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Most regional cooperation will be through the structures of this organisation. Bilateral cooperation with Lesotho on the Drakensberg-Maluti ranges continues. South Africa is an active member of a number of relevant international treaties and organizations including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, the Convention on Migratory Species, and the IUCN.

Lesotho and South Africa cooperate and coordinate activities relating to the management of the upper Drakensberg mountain catchment area. A representative of the Natal Parks Board attended the Intergovernmental Consultation on Sustainable Mountain Development held in Addis Ababa in May 1996, which identified the issues and main actions for the implementation of Chapter 13 in the African context. This has also given further impetus to the development of sub-regional cooperation for sustainable mountain development in the countries which form the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as to promote further contact with countries elsewhere in Africa.

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA & T) is responsible for integrated coastal zone management, marine pollution control and sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources. Although the national department is overall the responsible ministry, provinces play a major role, since the Constitution of South Africa gives wider powers to the provinces, e.g. Provincial planning, which is a provincial issue. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) are other key bodies dealing with marine environmental protection.

The DEA & T is the Lead Agent for the Environment in terms of the National Environmental Management Bill and formulates national policy and legislation pertaining to the environment. To a certain extent, this department is also responsible for enforcing legislation, as is the case in the fisheries sector. Executive functions lie mostly with the provincial departments of environmental affairs.

A Committee for Environmental Co-ordination (CEC) and several sub-committees have been established in terms of the Environmental Conservation Act (Act No 73 of 1989) to facilitate coordination between the responsible bodies. Since the Constitution of South Africa makes provision for wider powers at the provincial level, the national Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism also co-operates and consults with the following departments and ministries: Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment of Gauteng Province, Department of Environmental Affairs of Mpumalanga Province, Department of Agriculture, Land and Environment Affairs of Northern Province, Department of Tourism and Environmental Affairs of North West Province, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Nature Conservation of Northern Cape Province, Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism Eastern of Cape Province, Department of Community Safety and Environmental Affairs of Western Cape Province, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism of Free State Province, and Department of Traditional- and Environmental Affairs of KwaZulu-Natal Province.

In addition, there is formal and informal co-ordination between various departments at both the national and provincial level.

An example of formalised interrelationships is in the case of oil spill response. The DEA&T is responsible for co-ordinating oil spill response once the oil is released into the environment. The Department of Transport, through the SAMSA, is responsible for prevention of pollution which it achieves by checking the seaworthiness of ships, and undertaking salvage operations in the event of an incident, including the removal of oil from vessels in distress. SAMSA is also responsible for dealing with ship owners in the case of recovery of costs from pollution incidents. Contingency plans have been drawn up for the various coastal regions. The Department of Transport and SAMSA work closely with the DEA&T to combat oil spills and minimise impact.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The following regulations guide integrated coastal zone management: Environmental Conservation Act 73 of 1989, Sea Shore Act 21 of 1935, National Water Act 36 of 1998 (replaced Water Act 54 (1956).

Physical Planning Act 125 (1991), National Parks Act 57 (1963), Lake Areas Development Act 39 (1975), Mountain Catchment Areas Act 63 (1970), Forest Act 122 (1984), now superseded by the Draft National Forests Bill, National Monuments Act 28 (1969), Defence Act 144 (1957), Sea Birds and Seals Protection Act 46 (1973), Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance 19 (1974), Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 (1974), Development Facilitation Act 67 (1995), Provincial Planning Legislation, Sensitive Coastal Area (SCA) Regulations, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, Land Development Objectives and Integrated Development Plans (for Local Authorities), Draft Development Zones Bill (1998) and Minerals Act 50 (1991).

Marine environmental protection is regulated by: Dumping at Sea Control Act 73 (1980), International Convention relating to intervention on the High Seas in cases of Oil Pollution Casualties Act 64 (1984) and regulations made in terms of this Act, Marine Pollution (Control and Civil Liability) Act 6 (1981)giving effect to Civil Liability Convention, Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 2 (1986) giving effect to MARPOL 73/78, Marine Pollution (Intervention) Act 64 (1987) giving effect to 1969 Intervention Convention and 1973 Intervention Protocol, Territorial Waters Act 87 (1963), Marine Traffic Act 2 (1981), Maritime Zones Act 15 (1994), Maritime Safety - International agreements and regulations, Merchant Shipping Act 57 (1951), National Water Act 36 (1998), Guidelines for Marine Water Quality, Guidelines on the Management of Dredged Material and Minerals Act (1991).

Sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources is regulated by the Marine Living Resources Act 18 (1998) and regulations made in terms of this Act, and the Sea Shore Act 21 (1935).

In general, most of the laws have been adapted to be consistent with international laws and standards.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Main national policies concerned with integrated coastal zone management are: Coastal Policy (Green Paper, which is a discussion document was recently released, and which will soon be followed by a White paper), White Paper on Environmental Management Policy for South Africa (an umbrella policy pertaining to the environment generally), Off-road Vehicle Policy, White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable use of South Africa’s Biological Diversity, White Paper on a Minerals and Mining Policy for South Africa and Policy for Marine Protected Areas. Furthermore, a range of structure plans and zoning schemes cover part of the coastline. Various policy statements are included in the provincial planning ordinances, bills and acts.

The White Paper on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management in South Africa covers government policy pertaining to pollution generally, including marine pollution.

The main national policy dealing with sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources is the South African Fisheries Policy, superseded by the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.

Special protection is afforded to Coral reefs off the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast, where they are incorporated into extensive Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Various estuarine mangrove forests are also protected by Provincial regulation in KwaZulu-Natal and in the Eastern Cape.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Most of the codes of practice, standards or guidelines have been established by Government. However, many of the new initiatives encourage broad participation and involve a number of stakeholders and interested and affected parties. The Coastal Policy Steering Committee consists of fifty percent government and fifty percent civil society, as an example of a partnership programme. Six regional managers have also been appointed to facilitate public involvement. Some of these codes of practice, standards or guidelines are mandatory (for example the EIA regulations, while others are voluntary (for example the use of chlorofluoro-carbons (CFC’s) and halons). For mining of precious stones and oil-exploitation, mandatory procedures and requirements are given by the Minerals Act and compulsory guidelines.

In the Coastal Policy as well as the New Marine Living Resources Act, broad participation has been encouraged. The Coastal Policy process involved all interested and affected parties and all stakeholders, including local communities, non-governmental organisations, local authorities, individuals, business and industry. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism appointed a Policy Committee as a partnership between government and civil society, representing the following key sectors: national and provincial government, community-based organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, business, labour and sport and recreation. The Policy Committee has appointed a Project Management Team to conduct the day to day management of the project, Regional Managers to co-ordinate public participation in the various coastal regions and Specialist Study Teams to provide technical information. The programme aims to ensure meaningful public participation, scientific integrity, integrated coastal management and a practical policy.

Programmes and Projects 

Specific programmes include a Global Environmental Facility (GEF)-funded project aimed at developing a ballast water management strategy; the CoastCARE, which is a broad-based information exchange, public awareness and education initiative and which addresses issues pertaining to integrated coastal management (See also under Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising); and a combined base line study, impact assessment and broad management programme by the Marine Diamond Mine Association for all the relevant concession holders for precious stones on the West coast, known as the GEMPL.

The major projects and activities to solve pollution problems include: a GEF-funded project on Ballast Water Management, oil spill response training (at regional level), a Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development (DANCED) project to look at the introduction of cleaner technology in the South African fishing industry, and the development of waste minimisation strategy, to introduce cleaner technology, notably within industrial activities.

Status

The major uses of the coastal areas in South Africa are as population centres and for tourism, recreation and leisure, commercial and recreational fishing, agriculture and mining. For more information, see the following sections: Sustainable Tourism, Agriculture and Changing Consumption Patterns.

South Africa has a population of 40,583,573 (1996 Census figures), with 53.7 percent of the population living in urban areas, and 46.3 percent living in non-urban areas respectively.

At present, it is estimated that about 12 million people live within 60km of the coast, which constitutes about thirty percent of South Africa’s population. In the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces approximately eighty percent of the population resides in the narrow coastal strip.

Many South Africans are dependent on the coast for their subsistence. Activities include line-fishing, collection of inter-tidal organisms, beach and seine netting and agricultural practices. The value of subsistence activities is difficult to determine because of limited information. Preliminary indications are that at least 3.6 million South Africans are dependent on coastal resources for subsistence, and that the total value of these activities is at least ZAR 1billion annually (ZAR 5.7=US$ 1)

Coastal and marine resources play a major role in sustaining the economic and social development of the nation and contribute to the national economy, and to the employment and food security of local populations. The diverse environmental characters and conditions found along the coast, largely due to the influence of the Indian, Atlantic, and Southern Oceans, have influenced human settlement patterns and land-use activities in the coastal zone. Historically, much of South Africa’s population and economic activity has been concentrated inland, but in recent years the coastal zone has been subjected to increasing development pressure. This is particularly evident in the four major coastal cities of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban, which are experiencing rapid growth and together support more than 6 million people. Other major urban centres include Saldanha Bay and Richards Bay. At the core of both of these fledgling cities is a specialised, export-based, deep-water port. Richards Bay is a growing urban centre of some 40,000 people on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. Saldanha Bay is considerably smaller, about 17,000 people, on the West Coast.

Coastal cities are a gateway to world-trade. Shipping and harbours are a strategic element of this trade. Cargo valued at over ZAR 140 billion is transported through South Africa’s ports, generating over ZAR 4.2 billion in revenue annually. According to the national transport agency, Portnet, this revenue has a sevenfold multiplier effect, an amount exceeding ZAR 29.7 billion. Most harbour traffic (75-80% by volume) goes through the ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

Tourism activities have grown into a global growth industry, and the south African coast has particular value in this regard. They generate more than ZAR 15.2 billion with more than 20 million international and domestic visitors each year. More than 40 different recreational activities take place at the coast. The Gunston 500 surfing competition, Ocean Action attracts over 800 000 visitors and generates over ZAR 220 million for local Durban business in only 10 days. There are about 100,000 SCUBA divers active on our coast, in an activity worth about ZAR 36 million annually. Increased tourism leads to further development on the coast and there is potential for negative impact. The EIA Regulations which were promulgated in September 1997, regulates or prohibit certain activities, such as residential development. The SCA Regulations also control certain activities in parts of the coast, notably the more vulnerable or sensitive areas. These four activities are: earthworks, disturbance of vegetation, dredging and dune stabilisation.

Many other economic benefits are derived from our coast and future development prospects are enormous. For example, in recognition of current and future economic opportunities, and in response to the marked disparities along the coast, eight of ten Spatial Development Initiatives (SDIs) are linked to the coast. These multi-billion rand coastal development proposals have an anticipated total value of ZAR 90 billion and a projected employment of 90 000 people.

South Africa’s coast provides significant opportunities for agriculture, with generally poor, but variable soils on the West Coast and rich soils on the East Coast. The coast also provides some potential for mariculture, with good water quality and nutrient supply, but a limited number of sheltered bays for large-scale activities in the sea. Land-based mariculture offers potential, particularly in the south-western Cape. Marketing the products though, could prove to be challenging.

The coast offers significant mineral resources. Along northern and central parts of the West Coast, diamonds are mined on the sea-shore and seabed. On the East Coast, and to a lesser extent along the West Coast, heavy minerals, titanium and zirconium in particular, are extracted from beach and dune sands. Other important minerals include offshore deposits of oil and gas, most notably giving rise to the Mossgas operation on the South Coast. Smaller scale mining includes the extraction of salt from seawater, and the mining of sand and pebbles for construction material or cement production. Other mineral resources present on the seabed are manganese nodules and phosphorite. The resultant dune mining has an impact on the pristine coastal dune forests, especially on the east coast. Mining companies are now implementing programmes to rehabilitate the affected areas. Offshore oil and gas exploration also result disturbance and degradation of benthic marine communities.

Fisheries is a relatively small sector within the national economy of South Africa. It is estimated that the South African Fishing Industry generates some ZAR 1.7 billion wholesale revenue per annum to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Its contribution is thus 0.3 percent of the overall GDP of South Africa. Expansion of the fishing industry, however, is limited by the natural productive capacity and sustainability of the living marine resources. Some 27,000 direct jobs are created by the industry and a further 100,000 people are estimated to indirectly generate an income from the industry. Limitations are also placed by the need to manage and conserve this resource so that it can be viably economically sustained over a long-term basis. The Benguela fisheries of the West Coast support the bulk of the industry, but smaller commercial fisheries are also located on the South and East Coasts. Recreational fishing attracts more than 600,000 enthusiasts and employs more than 131,000 people. This activity is especially popular on the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

The methods for sustainable use and conservation are laid down mainly in the form of the regulations of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998, which effectively control all aspects of exploitation as well as placing safeguards to protect marine ecosystems within South Africa’s regions of jurisdiction.

The major land-based pollutants are wastewater from industries and sewerage as well as run off from agricultural lands and urban areas which may reach the coast directly, via storm water drains and pipelines, or indirectly from run off via rivers and seepage. The main mechanisms for controlling pollution from land-based activities are the provisions for controlling the use of water for a wide range of industrial (which has been very broadly defined) purposes. Water use, which has potential pollution impacts, requires licensing under the National Water Act (36 of 1998). Of particular relevance to coastal pollution are regulations in the National Water Act that determine the quality of wastewater that may be discharged into freshwater resources and the sea. All waste discharges must meet a set of water quality criteria, and where the waste is to be discharged into certain sensitive rivers, a set of more stringent water quality controls are applied. Water quality criteria for seawater is available.

Certain activities, related to water use, such as sewerage treatment plants, are controlled in terms of regulations promulgated by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in September 1997 under the Environment Conservation Act 73 (1989).

Storm water run off from urban areas is recognised as a major cause of water pollution effecting coastal waters that is both diffuse in origin and difficult to control.

Since 1965, fourteen major deep sea outfalls have been constructed in South Africa, which discharge industrial and sewage waste water in excess of 600,000 m3 per day. There are also a number of outfalls with shorter pipelines along the coast, some discharging within the surf zone. In total, marine outfalls account for approximately eighty-six percent of the total discharges.

Despite public opposition, outfalls remain a viable option for effluent disposal in South Africa. South Africa has a very high energy coastline, and waste water diffuses readily within the oceanic waters. Current volumes discharged appear to cause little environmental pollution, but this may change as volumes increase.

Significant discharge of waste water from industrial and domestic premises is regulated through a licensing procedure, under which potential impacts on other users are assessed before permission to discharge is obtained. Contamination of edible fish, shellfish and other food sources, as well as environmental and human health risk, are additional factors to be considered when licensing a sea discharge.

The primary sources of sea-based pollution are from the shipping industry. This includes accidental oil spills, deliberate discharge of oily wastes from ships at sea, deliberate discharge of ballast water, plastics and other pollutants released from ships, and ship maintenance activities.

South Africa is situated on one of the major global oil tanker routes which, together with its notoriously rough sea conditions, makes it highly vulnerable to oil spills. This is reflected in the relatively high number of shipping accidents which have been recorded in our waters, although some of the worst incidents have been as a result of the foundering of bulk carriers rather than oil tankers. Possibly the most significant recent accident was the sinking of the Apollo Sea, an oil carrier, which resulted in the spilling of 2,400 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. This oil contaminated most of the beaches along the west coast of the Cape Peninsula, including its most famous tourist beaches, and necessitated a cleanup which lasted 18 months and cost ZAR 25 million.

Another concern is the discharge of ballast water into coastal waters. Some 20 million tonnes of ballast water are discharged annually, primarily into Richards Bay and Saldanha Bay. This is a particular threat in Saldanha, where there is a thriving mariculture industry, and which has experienced a number of unexplained algal blooms in the past few years.

Other areas of concern include anti-fouling paints, and hull cleaning activities, which, together with ballast water discharges, are largely unregulated at present.

Challenges  

Development and other pressures on the coast have recently increased dramatically, and it is expected that this trend will continue. Already there are clear signs that increasing population pressure and the consequent potential for over-exploitation of coastal and marine resources and environmental degradation of our coast are reducing the ability of coastal systems to sustain human activities.

Priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address integrated coastal zone, marine environmental protection, and sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources include: weak implementation actions and enforcement of legislation due to capacity limitations, availability of resources, development of systems for monitoring and measurement of impacts; inadequately controlled development with insufficient attention being given to environmental considerations; lack of strategic planning; lack of resources (human, infrastructure and budgetary); existing Off-road Vehicle Policy not yet implemented fully; fragmented legislation; inadequate control measures; lack of environmental data (historical and real-time) in some sectors; lack of co-ordination between government departments, the public and private sector; lack of structures to involve civil society and consequent low level of commitment from communities; lack of national co-ordination and integration of economic, social and environmental policies; lack of adequate vessel monitoring and control systems; inability to ensure competent marine control and inspection services; lack of marine patrol vessels and concomitant inability to control fishing in all parts of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); threat of declining safety standards; lack of ballast water management; insufficient monitoring of the (physical) environment which affects the efficiency of warning systems, both weather and waves; substandard ships, which present safety and / or pollution risks; research constraints in terms of technology, best management practices and socio-economic dynamics; lack of maritime air surveillance as well as naval forces; and inadequate data and information on population and development interrelationships.  

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The CoastCARE programme of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is a broad-based information exchange, public awareness, education and capacity-building programme. It not only targets policy-makers, but also the general public, and has achieved considerable success over the past five years, since it has been initiated by DEA & T in 1993. CoastCARE has the following main objectives: to promote optimum awareness of the coastal zone so that its resources can be managed and developed in a sustainable way; to play a dynamic role in the exchange of information amongst all interested and affected parties; to facilitate the education of the diverse coastal communities through individually designed projects; to form a bridge of communication between scientists and other role players; and to co-ordinate relevant associated projects to promote consistency and integration on a national level. The main focus area of CoastCARE is thus capacity building, education and training and creating wider public awareness of the coast as a national asset with special management needs and of the need for, aims and objectives of coastal management in South Africa.

Diverse target groups for the various CoastCARE projects have been identified. These include: local, provincial and national authorities; coastal communities and residents; national and international tourists; subsistence and recreational resource gatherers; property developers; industry; the scientific community; the youth; students on all levels; conservation officials; law enforcement officers and legal fraternity; politicians; non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations.

In reaching out to these groups, tailor-made projects have been developed by CoastCARE over the last five years and are in various stages of implementation. Some of these projects include: a Technical Manual for Coastal Management managers in local and provincial authorities as well as coastal engineers, town planners, developers and other decision-makers in this field; formal and informal training courses for students, mid-career professionals, the legal fraternity and coastal communities; a national needs assessment and prioritisation for all educational and training needs in the field of coastal and marine management. This is done in co-operation with the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR); interactive multi-media displays (an ongoing educational programme at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town aimed at school groups and the general public); a national interpretive signage project along the coast of South Africa; a national beach clean-up day; a series of popular booklets on coastal issues in South Africa; an educational video series; computerised information packages for schools and tertiary institutions; a series of fact sheets on Coastal Management topics ; and an Internet website containing information on the National Coastal Management Office, to name but a few of the current CoastCARE initiatives.

All these projects are developed and workshopped with other role players and tested out in communities or institutions. As a result of severe manpower and budgetary constraints, CoastCARE is very dependent on strong partnerships with a variety of organisations and other role players. These include the private sector, government, non-governmental organisations and research and academic institutions.

Through the CoastCARE Programme, various popular pamphlets and displays were prepared, in order to raise awareness of some of the pertinent coastal management issues. CoastCARE, together with SANCOR, Oceanographic Research Institution (ORI) and Sea Fisheries, are working on joint programs to highlight the International Year of the Ocean. Sea Fisheries prepared a popular display and some brochures. Another joint initiative is the preparation of fact sheets to make scientific information available on various aspects of the coastal and marine environment. There was also a series of public exhibitions, such as on the Waterfront in Cape Town and inputs at the Expo98 in Lisbon, Portugal. The International Year of the Ocean will be further highlighted at the forthcoming Conference on Co-operation for Development and Protection of the Coastal and Marine Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa, to be held in Cape Town on 30 November to 4 December 1998. This conference is organised by the Advisory Committee on the Protection of the Sea (ACOPS), in association with the Government of South Africa and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Information   

National information to assist both decision-makers and planners working in coastal areas related to sustainable management of fishery resources is provided by the Gilchrist Library at Sea Fisheries is the national repository for information on sustainable management of South Africa’s fishing resources; and FISHLIT, a literature database maintained by the Ichthyology Department, Rhodes University.

There is very limited information on marine pollution available at a national level. Most monitoring is done at the level of individual outfalls. There is, however, a mussel watch programme in the Cape Peninsula, which will hopefully be expanded to the national level in the near future. It is also planned to establish a national database to consolidate information on coastal water quality status from a variety of sources.

Information on off-shore resources like diamonds and oil/gas as well as on coastal resources like heavy metals can be obtained from the DME Minerals Bureau, as well as from the Council for Geoscience.

Information on living resources other than fish is available from the Gilchrist Library at Sea Fisheries. Also, comprehensive data on marine ecosystems is available at marine research institutes such as University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, Oceanographic Research Institute, etc.

There are no comprehensive databases containing information on critical uncertainties, but numerous individual time-series databases are available at a large number of different research institutes. Co-ordination, assimilation and analysis/interpretation is a requirement which can probably be met by out-sourcing. A comprehensive report on Sea-level rise and its potential physical impacts on the shoreline of KwaZulu-Natal was commissioned by the Town and Regional Planning Commission. The report is aimed at facilitating optimum coastal zone management. The report, in map form, provides an atlas of the KwaZulu-Natal coast and details the possible future shoreline positioning far as one metre rise in sea-level.

An Estuarine Health index was developed to assess the state of South African Estuaries. A comprehensive inventory and database, covering more than 200 estuaries have been completed. The information will be available in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Internet format before 2000.

The DEA & T has initiated the Environmental Potential Atlas (ENPAT) Programme, which is a database of environmental information on a national level. This information is provided on a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform, with a menu-driven interface for easy access and visualisation. At the moment, the ENPAT data is available on request and on CD-Rom. It is envisaged that this data will be available on the DEA & T’s World Wide Web Site in due course.

Another project is the Decision Support System (DSS) for Local and Provincial authorities, to assist them in their decision-making process. This DSS however currently only pertains to the areas declared as SCA’s in terms of the SCA Regulations. It is currently available in a beta format and is available to Local and Provincial Authorities on CD-Rom. The DSS as well as other information pertaining to the coastal management will soon be available on a website.

The National Land-Cover Database (NLC) has been produced as a joint venture between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), with additional funding support from the Department of Agriculture, the DEA & T, DWAF and the South African National Defence Force. The primary objective of the NLC project is to produce a standardised land-cover database (with more than 25 land-cover classes, based on the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s classification system) for all of South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. The land-cover database has been derived from a new series of 1: 250 000 scale geo-rectified space maps, based on seasonally standardised, single date LANDSAT Thematic Mapper satellite imagery, captured during the period 1994-1995. The digital data is supplied in GIS-based vector formats.

The DEA & T is developing a comprehensive State of the Environment Report for the Internet, to be completed by the end of 1999.

South Africa, through the DEA & T is assisting in testing the proposed list of sustainability indicators of the Commission on Sustainable Development. An expert workshop, focussing on environmental indicators was held in October 1998. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the environmental indicators in the CSD list, and to propose alternative indicators. Experts in the areas of coastal management participated in the workshop with the specific aim to debate indicators related to oceans and seas. 

Research and Technologies 

South Africa currently has a number of dedicated dispersant spraying vessels which are used in the response to oil spills at sea. The dispersants are manufactured locally, and the manufacturers are at present involved in developing a new type three dispersant, which will be in line with international developments. There are also a number of other private sector initiatives aimed at producing oil spill response equipment such as booms and skimmers in South Africa.

The National Waste Minimisation Strategy aims to promote the use of cleaner technology in all sectors - through financial, legislative and institutional interventions, including phase out of priority waste streams, a national voluntary waste minimisation initiative, and a partnership programme between large companies, who share waste minimisation expertise with smaller companies.

Selection of technology can be influenced by the requirement for cleaner waste discharge, and some technology is increasingly and actively discouraged by national Departments, including the DEA &T and DWAF.

Cost-effectiveness, responsiveness for use in emergency situations and long lifespan are also determining factors.

Financing   

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is funded by national government funds. As a result of severe budgetary constraints, the DEA & T relies on partnerships with the private sector and other institutions to fulfil its obligations and to complete relevant projects. In terms of Coastal Management for example, the British Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the current Coastal policy formulation programme. At provincial level, a small percentage of their budgets is also indirectly spent on Coastal Management related projects. Sea Fisheries is also involved in a number of GEF-funded projects and DANCED has also provided a substantial amount of assistance for the development of the Pollution and Waste Management Strategy.

Cooperation

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was ratified on 20 August 1997.

South Africa acceded to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) in December 1991. The Fifth Conference of the Parties in 1997 elected South Africa the alternate member of the Standing Committee for the Africa region.

South Africa participated in the 1973 Washington Conference during which the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was drafted, and ratified the convention in 1975.

South Africa signed the Antarctic Treaty on 21June 1961.

South Africa ratified the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention) in March 1975.

South Africa ratified the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) in May 1994.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed in June 1993 and ratified on 2 November 1995.

South Africa was one of 15 nations to sign the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Convention in December 1946.

South Africa ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) on 29 August 1997.

South Africa ratified the Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Convention) on 10 July 1997.

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter was ratified in September 1978. The convention is brought into force locally in terms of the Dumping at Sea Control Act, 1980 (Act 73 of 1980) which came into force on 23 April 1982. South Africa was also a signatory to the 1996 Protocol which will eventually replace the current convention. The protocol was opened for ratification in April 1997 and DEAT is in the process of getting Parliamentary approval for ratification.

South Africa obtained membership in the IUCN in 1973. Approval has been given for the establishment of an IUCN Country Office in South Africa.

Signing the agreement Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and is currently under consideration and a recommendation to that effect has been made to Cabinet International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT): South Africa acceded to the convention in October 1967 and ratified it in 1970.

South East Atlantic Fisheries Regional Organisation (SEAFRO): Negotiations between coastal countries of the region (Angola, Namibia, South Africa, United Kingdom) have started and a draft convention is being compiled.

South Africa is currently exploring the possibility of accession to the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region and related Protocols.

(Nairobi Convention); and to the Convention for Co-operation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region and its related Protocol (Abidjan Convention).

Bi-lateral agreements and collaboration are described in the following:

Negotiations are going on with France regarding funding to replace the coastal patrol vessel fleet. Either outright funding or a joint venture between France and South Africa as to shipbuilding is being sought.

A co-operation agreement in environmental matters with Israel has entered into force. Areas covered include integrated pollution control, nature conservation (including biodiversity), solid, hazardous and liquid waste management, coastal zone management, promotion of public participation, environmental impact assessment, environmental monitoring methods and surveillance, development of environmentally sound technologies, desertification and afforestation, environmental legislation and co-operation in global environmental projects.

A co-operation agreement with Mozambique in the fields of environment, tourism and water affairs has entered into force. The following areas affecting us are included: Maputo Corridor; studies of siltation, erosion, pollution, bathometry in Maputo harbour and Maputo Bay; geological evolution of the Mozambique coastal plain and coastal lagoons and the Mozambique continental shelf; regional contingency planning regarding major oil spills; urban environmental management; regional climate change and paleoflood studies; seismological monitoring to assist in seismic hazard determination.

A German - South African Bi National Commission has been established. An agreement on environmental cooperation has been negotiated in the following fields: air pollution monitoring and control; conservation and sustainable use of natural resources; management of solid wastes; pollution abatement and prevention; energy efficiency; management of ecosystems including environmentally sound tourism. Germany, through GTZ, has provided South Africa with DM 400,000 (ZAR 1,040,000) for mitigation measures for the implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The money is administered through the Foundation for Development. Germany has also been approached separately to assist SA in keeping the pilot rainfall enhancement programme based on hygroscopic seeding of summer convective clouds going. An amount of R 14,000,000 for the whole programme is involved part of which is funded by the Weather Bureau.

A USA - South Africa Bi National Commission is in place. South Africa co-chairs the Conservation, Environment and Water Committee which has working groups on Oceans and Atmosphere, Fisheries, Water, Environmental Management and Pollution Control, and Nature Conservation and Ecotourism. A large number of projects have been identified and put on the table but thus far the assistance has been limited to the exchange of visits, expertise and study tours. The American Country Study Programme has made available (separate from the BNC) an amount of R1 125,000 for the implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The funding is administered by the Foundation for Research Development.

A joint commission of co-operation has been established with the Palestinian National Authority covering a variety of fields including environmental management, tourism development and archaeological aspects. An exploratory visit to Gaza and the West Bank was undertaken under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs to define projects for possible co-operation, technical training and transfer of expertise. These areas of co-operation will be embodied in a co-operation agreement which will be signed at a later stage.

An agreement with Zimbabwe on a joint commission for economic, technical, scientific and natural co-operation addresses, for example river catchment management, national parks and wildlife management and forestry. Tourism is also covered through joint marketing and promotion, training, cross-border tour operations and African language training for tour guides.

An agreement with Sweden on co-operation in a joint venture in Antarctica involves co-operation as far as logistic matters are concerned such as sharing ships time and helicopter support services.

Other bilateral, multilateral and international co-operation in which South Africa participates in order to further activities related to sustainable development and use of oceans and coastal areas include the following:

With regard to regional co-operation, the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), and meetings of the UNEP are attended, depending on the themes of the meetings. In sub-regional context, South Africa is a member of the South African Development Community (SADC).

The Marine Pollution Division of the DEA & T is involved in a World Bank funded project to provide oil spill response training in the Indian Ocean Islands.

One of the priority areas identified by the South African Government in promoting and funding co-operative ventures in the fields of science and technology with foreign countries is the the sustainable management of environmental issues and of natural resources - energy, water, coastal resources, through environment-friendly technologies.

 

 

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This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

For access to the White Paper A Marine Fisheries Policy for South Africa, click here:

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Department of Health is responsible for the development, updating and monitoring of regulations regarding the control of hazardous chemical substances in terms of the Hazardous Substances Act (Act 15 of 1973). It also assists in policy development, coordination and monitoring of health aspects regarding hazardous chemical substances. It liaises with other government departments, non-governmental organisations, industries and international organisations with a view to create legislation and programs corresponding to the latest trends and legislation. The Department of Health contributes to the development of the SABS Codes of Practice relating to hazardous substances. Where necessary reference is made to SABS Codes and then integrated into regulations to make the Codes enforceable.

The classification of agricultural and stock remedies registered under the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, 1947 (Act No 36 of 1947) is the responsibility of the central government. The formulations are classified according to the hazards they pose.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Ministries of Health and of Agriculture administrate the Hazardous Substances Act and the Agricultural Stock Remedies Act respectively and therefore have primary responsibility for the control of hazardous chemicals and pesticides including the international traffic in and out of the country.

In terms of the current regulations (Environmental Conservation Act No.73 of 1989), waste is not formally classified as hazardous or toxic unless designated by the Minister by notice in the Government Gazette. However, waste has in the past been subject to a separation process and the collection, handling and disposal of hazardous wastes and their facilities are distinguishable from those of domestic waste. The "Minimum requirements for the handling and disposal of hazardous waste" was published by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry which gives guidelines on what is regarded as hazardous and how it should be dealt with. The Basel Convention is another document which is used internationally for hazardous waste management.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism embarked during 1994 on a project called the Environmentally Safe Management of Hazardous Materials. The objectives of this project have been matched with six programme areas of Chapter 19 of Agenda 21. Different government departments, private sector as well as NGOs involved in this matter, took part in the process and, although the project has not yet been finalised, a number of codes have already been drafted by the South African Bureau for Standards (SABS) in order to address different aspects of the Environmentally Safe Management of Hazardous Materials.

The Department of Trade and Industry is fully involved in the negotiations of new chemical conventions such as Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). South Africa is also taking part in programmes of the International Programme for Chemical Safety (IPCS). Terms of an agreement to participate in the IPCS programmes are currently being finalised.

There is active participation in the Inter Departmental Advisory Committee for Safeguarding Man Against Poisonous Substances (INDAC). This group consists of a wide spectrum of government department representatives and experts with the chairmanship in the Department of Agriculture. INDAC meets twice monthly to discuss the registration and labeling of agricultural and stock remedies (including swimming pool chemicals). In terms of the Health Act (Act 63 of 1977), drinking water treatment chemicals can also be regulated and a formal registration system is implemented to ensure illegal importation and use of these chemicals.

The South African chemical industry, through its umbrella body, the Chemical Allied and Industry Association, launched a Responsible Care programme which concerns environment, health and safety.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

Cleaner production/technology pilot projects involving toxic substance substitution and life cycle analysis will encourage better management of toxic substances and reduce their occurrence in the waste stream.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

The Department of Health is also involved in various activities of the IPCS of the World Health Organisation: INTOX rapid response to poisoning, Prevention of Toxic Exposures and the Programme Advisory Committee.

South Africa is in contact with member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A joint FAO/UNEP - UNITAR workshop on the implementation of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and the Sound Management of Chemicals for Countries of Eastern and Southern Africa was hosted by South Africa.

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This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

A variety of national government departments, provincial departments and local authorities are responsible for the sustainable management of solid waste in South Africa.

The permitting and control of waste disposal (landfills and hazardous waste sites) are a national government competency. The Department of Water Affairs and the DEA & T are using guidelines for the issuing of permits for waste disposal. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry deals with matters regarding the classification and transboundary movement of waste. The classification of waste has recently been assigned to the Provincial level. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Important legislation on waste management are the Environmental Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989), the Water Act (Act 54 of 1956), the Health Act (Act 63 of 1977) and the Hazardous Substances Act (Act 15 of 1973). Environmental health and safety in the workplace (waste facilities) are enforced in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 181 of 1993).

Draft regulations in the form of the Minimum Requirements for Landfill, Minimum Requirements for Hazardous Waste Management and Facility Minimum Requirements for the Monitoring of Waste Management Facilities are the first in a series of guidelines to achieve control over the whole generation cycle from cradle to grave, including generation, transportation, treatment and final disposal.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Waste Management Strategy will be completed by December 1998. As part of its implementation, priority pollutants will be identified and targets set for reduction.

The Draft Policy on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management in South Africa proposes a policy to promote the implementation of a hierarchy of waste management practices, namely reduction of waste at source (cleaner production/technology), reuse, recycling and safe disposal as the last resort. South Africa's Draft Policy on Environmental Management outlines the following with regard to pollution and waste management,: "Waste management must minimise and avoid the creation of waste at source especially in the case of toxic and hazardous wastes". The National Waste Management Strategies and Action Plans (NWMS) will propose strategies and actions for each component of pollution and waste management.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Municipalities and private waste handling companies are currently responsible for sewage-related issues and domestic refuse removal and disposal. The local authorities manage the waste stream according to the guidelines published by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the relevant permits granted to them.

Programmes and Projects   

The Department of Minerals and Energy has litter abatement projects and paper recycling projects which increase awareness and create jobs. However, the waste stream itself should be addressed. Effective management can be demonstrated through cleaner technology pilot projects and sound environmental management practices.

The Pollution Research Group of the University of Natal has conducted a number of projects including ways of recycling water and using co-products of one process as input for others. The group also provides guidelines on water and waste management, especially for the Textile Industry.

A project was launched by the DEA&T with DANCED support in August 1997 with the aim of establishing a National Waste Management Strategy Project (NWMS) for South Africa. The baseline situation in South Africa with regard to cleaner production and waste minimisation was reviewed and targets for waste minimisation identified. The Situation Baseline Analysis Report comprised a synthesis of the findings of the four NWMS Task Groups i.e. Waste Minimisation, Non-Hazardous Waste, Hazardous and Related Wastes and Waste Information System.

Status 

South Africa's total waste stream for 1991 was estimated to be 460 million tonnes of which industrial and mining waste amounts to about 419 million tonnes per year (81%). Non-hazardous industrial waste amounts to approximately 22 million tonnes. Waste from urban areas, domestic and trade, varies considerably from local authority to local authority depending on the socio-economic level of the community. Per capita generation is much higher in communities with a higher income.

Ninety-five percent of urban waste is disposed of on landfill sites of which there are about 1200 in South Africa. These sites are mostly run by local authorities. Of the estimated 1200 landfill sites, 214 (18%) are under permit. The permitting of the sites became a legal requirement during 1991.

A number of industrial sectors have made significant progress in implementing recycling systems resulting in waste minimisation, reduction of new material consumption and job opportunities. The glass, metal, plastic, paper and packaging industries have all contributed to the growth of recycling and reuse as alternative to disposal. 

Voluntary waste and pollution reduction targets have been adopted by a number of individual companies. Mechanisms to promote this type of initiative will be developed as part of the National Waste Management Strategy and Cleaner Production Technology Project. Existing ventures are self-regulatory and industry-driven and recycling of reusable urban waste developed spontaneously because it is a source of income to many a poor family.  

Challenges  

Waste recycling (paper, glass, aluminium cans) is encouraged nationally but there is much room for improvement. 

The Environmental Management Policy has recognised the current problem that: "There are no effective incentives to encourage all waste producers to adopt cleaner production processes and minimise waste generation". In the draft Integrated Pollution and Waste Management Policy document, promotion of cleaner technology has been identified as a priority

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

See under Programmes and Projects.

Information   

Information collated through the National Waste Management Strategy is expected to provide quantative data about the scope and importance of the recycling industry.

Research and Technologies 

Through the National Water Policy, 1997, a system of economic incentives will be put in place to foster the development of low-waste and non-waste technologies, and to reduce pollution and other impacts on water resources. Organisations such as state corporations and government departments have already formulated or are in the process of formulating policies on waste stream reduction and the management of effluent discharges.

Through the Environmental Management Programme requirements of the Minerals Act, 1991, and the mine water related research done through WRC, environmentally sound waste management technologies at mines are specifically promoted. The environmental management programme requirements for the mining industry are based on Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Costs. The Department of Minerals and Energy is developing a specific code of practice for mining residues.

The Environment Management Programme Report (EMPR) process for mining in South Africa makes provision for a detailed description of the solid waste management facilities, which may include industrial, domestic and mine residue disposal sites. Waste management at mines is also part of the EMP process. Any impacts on the environmental components have to be mitigated by appropriate environmental management measures and rehabilitation, based on the concept of BATNEEC, and monitored, as spelled out in the environmental management programme for every specific mine. This process ensures the promotion of environmentally sound waste disposal and treatment. The handling of different types of waste is also spelled out in the standard environmental management programmes for various mining and prospecting activities.

See under Programmes and Projects.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

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This information is based on South Africa's submissions to the fifth, sixth and seventh Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

National and provincial environmental departments and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry are responsible for hazardous waste. The placement of mining waste lies with the Regional Director of the Department of Minerals and Energy after consultation with other departments. Several national departments administer laws relevant to pollution control and waste management. However, there exists a partnership between the government departments of Water Affairs and Forestry, Health and Environmental Affairs and Tourism for the issuing of permits for Waste Disposal Sites.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

South Africa has been identified as a host country for a Regional Training Centre for the English speaking countries of Africa. A feasibility study is currently in progress.

Policy and regulations for hazardous waste management have not yet been finalised. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA&T) is in the process of developing policies and drafting regulations in consultation with interested and affected parties.

Hazardous waste is classified according to the SABS Code 0228, which uses the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code as its base. The list of hazardous characteristics in the Basel Convention is also taken into account. Hazardous wastes are then hazard rated (Hazard Rating 1 to 4) for disposal, taking into account their acute and chronic toxicity and their environmental fate. All of these waste types can be treated and safely disposed of in a landfill if the site is properly managed. Co-disposal of general wastes with hazardous wastes is practised at H sites. This classification also provides a Hazard Rating for transport to implement the cradle to grave principle.

Currently, there is no comprehensive legislation for environmental protection which incorporates integrated pollution control. Draft regulations in the form of the Minimum Requirements for Landfill, Minimum Requirements for Hazardous Waste Management and Minimum Requirements for the Monitoring of Waste Management Facilities are the first in a series of guidelines to achieve control over the whole generation cycle from cradle to grave - including generation, transportation, treatment and final disposal. The following points are principles in these guidelines and draft legislation: Precautionary measures; cleaner technology; Polluter pays; Cradle to grave; Duty of care; Continuous monitoring. Environmental health and safety in the workplace (waste facilities) is enforced in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 181 of 1993).

Mining waste is included, within the definition of hazardous wastes as developed under guidance of DWAF. However, it has been agreed that the regulation of mining waste falls with the Department of Minerals and Energy.

In terms of the current regulations (Environmental Conservation Act No.73 of 1989), waste is not formally classified as hazardous or toxic unless designated by the Minister by notice in the Government Gazette. However, waste has in the past been subject to a separation process and the collection, handling and disposal of hazardous wastes and their facilities are distinguishable from those of domestic waste. The "Minimum Requirements for the Handling and Disposal of Hazardous Waste" was published by the DWAF, which gives guidelines on what is regarded as hazardous as well as how it should be dealt with. A workshop on the establishment of a Regional Centre for Training and Technology for English Speaking African Countries was hosted by South Africa.

The disposal of pharmaceutical waste as well as the disposal of sharps and syringes has never been legislated and occurs in many ways. Reports from the provincial pharmacists as well as first hand information gained from visits to various facilities nationally has yielded the following: (1) A few of the authorities have employed firms specialising in waste disposal, and, where this has taken place, needles are being stripped from syringes to save costs; (2) the majority of hospitals have incineration facilities, but the incineration is not always at the correct temperature, resulting in noxious fumes, smoke and incomplete burning of the waste. Half-burnt needles are found in the ash dumps, especially when these are concentrated in small containers. Many of the hospitals do not supply correct disposal containers, using old plastic bottles (PVC - which produce toxic fumes on incineration) or even cardboard boxes through which there is needle penetration (3) in the rural areas, shallow burning pits are used, and the waste is incompletely burnt and often next to a public pathway where children walk and play; (4) Pharmaceutical waste in the form of expired medicines is often poured into the sewerage drains, so polluting the water table; (5) during the measles campaign in August 1996, the volume of spent syringes for disposal was calculated at 701,000 litres, and to date many disposal containers have not been collected by the contractors.

In the Cold Chain and Operations manual currently being compiled, provision is being made for the correct disposal methods of both sharps and pharmaceutical waste. The South African Bureau of Standards Code of Practice 0248:1993 "Handling and disposal of waste materials within health care facilities" has been used as the basis for the policy on disposal, and a request was made that this same code be incorporated into the regulations of Chapter 6 of the Health Act which has been published for comment.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

See under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) initiated a central data base in 1989 consisting of: a registry for all operating and closed sites; types, volumes and site characteristics (WASTEMANAGER); a data base on the producers of hazardous waste and control from generation to disposal (HAZAUDIT); and a data base to enable emergency measures to be applied in case of accidental spillage of toxic materials (HAZBASE).

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed and ratified in 1994. The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1995. 

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This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In terms of the Nuclear Energy Act (Act No. 131 of 1993), the Atomic Energy Corporation (AEC) is tasked with the management of nuclear waste, whilst all waste repositories (like at Vaalputs) must be licensed with the Council for Nuclear Safety (CNS). The latter oversees the safety of any such site. 

Both the CNS and AEC report to the Minister for Mineral and Energy Affairs. In addition, control of all radioactive waste from medical, scientific, agricultural, commercial and industrial usage (sealed and unsealed material) is strictly enforced along international guidelines as part of a radiation control programme. All users of sealed and unsealed radioactive material in medicine, science, agriculture, commerce and industry participate in the management of radioactive wastes.

Representatives from government are also on the Steering Committee of the Atomic Energy Corporation to facilitate the permitting of new and existing facilities and assist with environmental management of radioactive waste activities. This is to ensure that existing environmental problems are addressed, future problems are avoided, and all activities comply with international norms and standards as well as local legislation.

The Department of Health is currently responsible for the control of radioactive materials that are used for medical, scientific, agricultural, commercial and industrial purposes. This includes any radioactive waste that may be produced as a result of any of the above processes.

The Council for Nuclear Safety is responsible for the issue of licenses for the disposal of radioactive materials used inside nuclear installations as well as mines and minerals processing facilities which handle radioactive substances. Draft guidelines concerning the technical aspects of assessing residual contamination were drawn up. The AEC launched a new business unit, focusing on radiation safety and the decommissioning of radioactive plant, equipment and sites. This business unit, known as PELRAD is geared specifically towards assisting the mining industry in remediating plant sites contaminated with radiation.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations   

A code of practice has been drafted for mine deposits with other key stakeholders and the South African Bureau of Standards. This involves the establishment of an integrated safety and environmental hazard classification/rating for the residue deposits. The code of practice has the potential to facilitate self-regulation and assign minimum standards to the industry.

Each producer of nuclear waste is responsible for financing its operations. Each pays a license fee to the CNS. However, since the CNS is an independent body in existence only since 1989, some pre-1989 producers of radioactive waste (such as mines) do not fall under the present legislation. Eskom (Koeberg Nuclear Power Station) and the AEC are nevertheless covered under this legislation. While the state finances the regulatory authorities, the principle of "the user must pay" is adhered to with regard to the costs involved with radioactive waste disposal.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government is currently developing a comprehensive future Radioactive Waste Management Policy.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status 

At present, low and intermediate level waste is stored at a national facility at Vaalputs (Northern Cape Province) and at the Thabana Waste Facility at the Atomic Energy Corporation's (AEC) nuclear facility (Gauteng Province). High level wastes, i.e. spent nuclear fuel, from Koeberg power station and the AEC safari research nuclear reactor are stored on site at Koeberg and Pelindaba respectively.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

South Africa cooperates fully with IAEA and assists the training of personnel in neighbouring countries.

* * *

This information is based on South Africa's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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