Minister Edna Molewa invites public to comment on the Draft Regulations on the Reclamation of Land from Coastal Waters

27 February 2017


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, has on 24 February 2017, published in Government Notice R.167 in Government Gazette No.40638draft regulations on the reclamation of land from coastal waters, for public comment. The regulations seek to provide an administrative framework to implement sections 7B and 7C of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (Act No. 24 of 2008) relating to the submission, processing and consideration of applications for approval to reclaim land from coastal waters. 

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Environmental Affairs identified the reclamation of land from the sea, which is the process of creating new land from the sea, thus adding to the territory of South Africa, as a significant activity that was open to potential abuse. Therefore requiring dedicated provisions within the amended ICM Act as well as regulations to elaborate on the process laid out in those provisions and to ensure that reclaimed land is in the national interest of South Africans.

Some of the problems identified include; the potential abuse by private consortia by creating privatised space that is closed off to the public and the mixed use of reclaimed land and re-sale of portions of land that make it difficult to track and monitor. Furthermorethe old process in the principal Act that required the use of multiple pieces of legislation, as well as, previously reclaimed land being disposed of as state land without a market-related fee structure, resulting in reclaimed land being sold off for extremely cheap prices. Finally, organs of state not following a standardised process that has not undergone adequate assessment for environmental sustainability as well as public benefit.

The adoption of the new regulations will ensure that all potential reclamation on the South African coast will be subject to an appropriate and effective authorisation process. This will be in the national interest, beneficial to the public and state, whilst in line with sustainable development principles, which cannot be sold or have changes made in terms of usage that deviates from its primary purpose.

The Minister invites any person to submit written comments on the draft regulations 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
Branch: Oceans and Coasts
East Pier Building 2
East Pier Road
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town

By email:

Any enquiries in connection with the regulation can be directed to Mr Ryan Peter on (021) 819 2490.

Comment received after the closing date may not be considered.

To access the regulation click on the links below:

>> Reclamation Regulations 

>> Socio-Economic Impact Assessment 


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