Cape Town - The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, published the draft Buffalo River Estuarine Management Plan (EMP) on Friday, 16 February, and invites the public to share their comments.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the Buffalo River EMP has been developed in terms of National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act 24 of 2008 (as amended) and the National Estuarine Management Protocol that provides a coordinated and efficient management approach for South African estuaries. To view the draft: click here.
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Situated at the mouth of the Buffalo River in East London, the estuary is also referred to as the Port of East London.
The estuary, the DEA says, "falls within the tertiary catchment of the Mzimvubu to Tsitsikamma Water Management Area (WMA)."
The key pressures that the estuary is facing, according to the DEA's baseline 2016 Situation Assessment Report, include change in water flow and pollution. These changes place the estuary's ecosystem and ecological health at risk and requires management interventions to prevent habitat damage and preserve the estuary.
"The ecological health status for this estuary was undertaken as part of the National Biodiversity Assessment Report and the overall findings of the estuary health index categorised the estuary as a Class D estuary, meaning the estuary is largely modified with a large loss of natural habitat, biota and basic ecosystem functions and processes have occurred," says DEA.
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The DEA says that the main purpose of developing this EMP is to "facilitate a balance between ecological processes and human activities while considering sustainable use of estuarine resources."
DEA says this can be achieved by identifying management actions that need to be implemented by relevant sectors.
The Minister invites any individual or sector departments to submit written comments on the released draft of the Buffalo River EMP within 30 days of its publication of the notice in the Government Gazette, to the following addresses:
- By post to: The Deputy Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs, Branch: Oceans and Coasts, PO Box 52126, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002.
- By hand at: Department of Environmental Affairs, Branch: Oceans and Coasts, East Pier Building 2, East Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any inquiries in connection with the draft Buffalo River EMP can be directed to Ntombovuyo Madlokazi on 021 819 2473.
Comment received after the closing date may not be considered.
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