National Marine Spatial Planning Stakeholder Summit

Event date: 
2016-06-28 11:58
Introduction snd ackground
Implementing body
Vision and goals
Implementation plan
Media invitation


Introduction and background 

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is an approach that has been used and implemented by an increasing number of countries around the world with South Africa being one of the countries which is beginning to implement the process. MSP will guide what happens in the marine area, ensuring that the right activities are carried out in the right place and at the right time. It will therefore enable sustainable economic growth whilst protecting the marine environment, recognising the needs of all.

MSP guides single-sector decision-making and provides for comprehensive and integrated planning and management. It offers a practical way to address spatial challenges and helps to select appropriate management strategies to maintain a healthy ecosystem that will facilitate economic and socio-cultural development.


The implementing body


Cabinet has designated the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) as the coordinating department for MSP in South Africa. In this capacity, DEA will collaborate with all relevant national authorities that have a mandate relating to marine planning and management. A governmental working group will develop MSP and implement the process. This national MSP working group consists of representatives from a number of government departments including:


 [back to top] 


Vision and goals


South Africa’s shared vision for MSP is to achieve:

“A productive, healthy and safe ocean that is accessible, understood, equitably governed and sustainably developed and managed for the benefit of all.”

South Africa’s Goals for MSP

  • Goal 1: Unlocking the ocean economy
    This goal aims to stimulate the sustainable economic growth of South Africa‘s marine sectors to increase the ocean contribution to the national gross domestic product, create jobs and, ultimately, eradicate poverty.
  • Goal 2: Engaging with the ocean
    This goal builds on South Africa‘s marine heritage and seeks to strengthen our marine identity. It aims to increase our awareness of the value, opportunities and societal benefits of South Africa’s ocean territory. It encourages all communities and citizens to engage ineducation about the sea, good stewardship and participation in marine management.
  • Goal 3: Ensuring healthy marine ecosystems
    This goal is aimed at protecting, conserving and restoring South Africa‘s rich marine biodiversity by managing its living and non-living resources in a harmonious manner.
  • Goal 4: Contributing to good ocean governance
    This goal requires a collaborative approach between all relevant government organisations with a remit in ocean matters, through the establishment of formal and informal relations.

The process of MSP in South Africa will promote a culture of good ocean governance and thereby:

  • Achieve integration among different objectives and economic sectors;
  • Manage competing demands on its ocean territory;
  • Enable the co-existence of compatible activities wherever possible; and
  • Integrate with terrestrial and coastal planning as much as possible.


Implementation plan 


For the purposes of implementing MSP and making it manageable for detailed planning, South Africa’s ocean territory will be divided into smaller “marine areas” that will serve as planning units. South Africa’s marine area plans will be prepared sequentially. This will allow effort to be focused on one Marine Area at a time, and also mean that the experience gained from preparing each plan can be used in improving the preparation (or review) of subsequent plans.

MSP in South Africa is guided by:

  • National Framework on MSP

Its legal basis is:


Media invitation


The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will host the first national Marine Spatial Planning Stakeholder Summit, on the 28th of June 2016, at the Atlantic Beach Golf Club, Melkbosstrand, Cape Town. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is a process that enables a better development of ocean uses. MSP is an integrated, policy based approach to the regulation, management and protection of the marine environment including allocation of space that addresses the multiple, cumulative and potentially conflicting uses of the sea and thereby facilitates sustainable development.



 [back to top]