Minister Barbara Creecy invites public to comment on the draft Umhlathuze / Richards Bay estuarine management plan

04 November 2019


The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, has published in Government  Notice No.1395 in the Government Gazette No.42812, the Draft uMhlathuze/Richards Bay Estuarine Management Plan (EMP) for public comment. The draft uMhlathuze/Richards Bay EMP has been developed in terms of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (Act No. 24 of 2008) and the National Estuarine Management Protocol (the Protocol, 2013) which provides a coordinated and efficient management approach for South African estuaries.

The uMhlathuze/Richards Bay estuary is located north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province. The National Biodiversity Assessment Report (2011) has classified the ecological health status of uMhlathuze at Class C meaning that the estuary is largely modified with a large loss of natural habitat, however, basic ecosystem functions and processes are still occurring. The Situation Analysis Report (SAR) has identified major threats on these estuaries such as the impact of sea-level rise on mangroves; deterioration of water quality and water abstraction; exploitation of resources (sand mining, harvesting of mangroves, fish) and loss of habitat.

The main purpose of developing this draft EMP is to facilitate a balance between ecological processes and human activities while considering the sustainable use of estuarine resources. The draft EMP identified management actions and the relevant sector departments responsible for certain aspects of estuary management in accordance with their legislative mandates.

The Minister invites any person or sector departments to submit written comments on the draft uMhlathuze/Richards Bay EMP within 30 days of the publication of the notice in the Government Gazette, to the following addresses:

By post to:

The Deputy Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs
Branch: Oceans and Coasts
P.O Box 52126
V&A Waterfront,
Cape Town

By hand at:

Department of Environmental Affairs
East Pier Road
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town

By email:

Any enquiries in connection with the draft uMhlathuze/Richards Bay EMP can be directed to

Mr. R Pillay
Tel: 021) 819 2561

Comment received after the closing date may not be considered.

Access the » gazette and the EMP

For media enquiries contact:
Zolile Nqayi
Cell: 082 898 6483