United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility Full Project – Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on the South African Wild Coast

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Institutional, sectoral and policy context

Institutional context

  1. With the exception of most of the National Parks, Marine Protected Area and National Botanic Gardens, managed by the South African National Parks (SANParks), Marine Coastal Management branch of DEAT and South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) respectively, protected area management is classified as the concurrent competency of national and provincial government. The new Protected Area Act however provides for another suitable organ of state to manage national parks. The National Department of Water Affairs and Forestry are responsible for the management of Indigenous State Forests but are currently in the process of delegating the management authority of the indigenous forest protected areas to the relevant national or provincial protected area agencies. The Marine Coastal Management branch of the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism are responsible for the management of Marine Protected Areas but may use provincial or national organs of state as service providers for the management of these MPAs.

  1. Each of South Africa’s nine provinces have established a body responsible for protected area management, either located within the provincial department responsible for nature conservation or in the form of parastatal boards. At a local level, a number of local municipalities have established a nature conservation function to manage protected areas within the municipal jurisdiction. This situation means that there is substantial institutional diversity in the way South Africa’s protected areas are managed. Institutional co-operation and policy and strategy coherence is enabled through the Committee for Environmental Cooperation, established in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, and MINMEC, a regular meeting between the national ministers and the provincial ministers of environment. A Protected Areas Forum that brings together the heads of all the country’s protected area agencies enhances the consultation between, and cohesion of, protected area agencies and their activities.

  1. The key governmental institutions involved in the conservation management and land use planning in the Wild Coast, are:

    1. National level: The Chief Directorate Research and Development, along with the Chief Directorate Resource Management of the Marine & Coastal Management (MCM) branch of DEAT is responsible for policy and management functions of Marine Protected Areas. The Chief Directorate Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement provides for compliance and regulatory oversight of coastal marine resources within MPAs. This Chief Directorate of MCM has satellite offices at Centane, Port St Johns and Mzamba in the Wild Coast. The key functions of these satellite offices are commercial quota inspections and the compliance, monitoring and enforcement management of marine resources, which includes both harvesting and non-consumptive use thereof. The sub-directorate: Indigenous Forest Management of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), the provincial office located in King Williams Town, is responsible for implementing provisions of the National Forest Act and the National Veld and Forest Fire Act. A number of foresters and forest guards are deployed across the Wild Coast.

    1. Provincial level: The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism is the delegated provincial authority for the administration and implementation of national and provincial environmental policy and legislation. DEAET has two regional offices within the Wild Coast - the OR Tambo and Amatole regions. The key functions of these regional offices include implementation and enforcement of coastal and environmental management legislation and policy, promotion of integrated environmental management and the review of environmental impact assessments. A number of public entities have also been established by DEAET to implement some of the department’s operational functions.

      • The key public entity on the Wild Coast is the Eastern Cape Parks Board (ECPB) that has been established as a parastatal agency in 2004 under the Provincial Parks Board Act 12 of 2003 to assume responsibility for terrestrial protected areas and a number of other off-reserve conservation management functions.

      • Other public entities that play lesser roles include the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and the Eastern Cape Tourism Board (ECTB).

    1. District and local level: The two District (OR Tambo) and seven local ((Mnquma, Port St Johns, Nyandeni, King Sabata Dalindyebo, Mbizana, Qaukeni and Mbashe) Municipalities are playing an increasingly important role in development. This includes waste management, integrated water management, estuary management, provision of support to sustainable resource use projects, clearing of invasive alien plants, rehabilitation and restoration, pollution control, ISO-compliant Environmental Management Systems and State of Environment Reporting. The local municipalities are structured into wards with each ward represented by a Ward Committee that is elected by the communities. Beyond the delivery of basic services and infrastructure to local communities, the municipalities are also responsible for spatial planning and land use decision-making. A number of municipalities have established Development Agencies (e.g. Ntinga Development Agency in the OR Tambo District) to coordinate development programs and facilitate private sector investments and developments.

  1. The traditional authorities of the Wild Coast are recognized as a critically important institution, as much of the land on the Wild Coast is currently occupied by local communities as communal land. The Provincial House of Traditional Leaders represents all regional authorities in the Province. There are four regional authorities in the Wild Coast – Qaukeni, Nyandeni, Dalinyebo and Gcaleka – each led by a ‘King’. Within each regional authority there are a number of traditional authorities, each headed by a Chief. Within each regional authority the Chiefs constitute the Council of the King. Traditional authorities are broken up into a number of smaller territories called administrative areas. The administrative areas are presided over by a Headman.

  1. Other important public institutions on the Wild Coast include: (i) the national Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) which has statutory responsibilities for administration of the National Water Act and the National Forests Act as it applies in the Wild Coast; (ii) the national Department of Land Affairs (DLA) which is responsible for providing the legislative and policy framework for land-use planning and land tenure reform; (iii) the national Department of Agriculture (DA) which locally provides extension services to promote agricultural development and the administration of communal land; (iv) the national Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs (DME) responsible for the development and administration of mining policy and legislation; (v) the provincial Department of Housing, Local Government and Traditional Affairs (DHLG&T) which co-ordinates and provides guidance in provincial and municipal planning, administers traditional affairs and oversees the administration of land development applications in the province and; (vi) the Social Responsibility Chief Directorate of the National DEAT is responsible for instituting the environment component of the Expanded Public Works Programme aimed at improving livelihoods of people by funding projects focused on community upliftment, conservation and tourism.

  1. There are only a small number of NGOs currently active in the area. These include the Pondoland Community Resource Optimisation Programme (PondoCrop) which is administering Coastcare projects across the Wild Coast, the Transkei Land Service Organization (TRALSO) which provides facilitation services for land redistribution, WWF-SA who support a master farmer program in Port St Johns and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) which provide environmental education support services.

  1. A number of university institutions (and allied research programs), including University of Transkei, University of Fort Hare, Rhodes University, University of Natal (Durban and Pietermaritzburg), Oceanographic Research Institute, University of Fort Hare and University of Port Elizabeth, have a number of research projects and programs active in the region.

Sectoral context

  1. The economy of the Eastern Cape is characterized by uneven development. This is evident in a number of dualisms: between the two urban industrial manufacturing centers and the rural areas of the former homelands of Ciskei and Transkei; between a developed commercial farming sector and a subsistence agricultural sector; and between concentrations of fairly well developed and efficient social and economic infrastructure in the western parts of the province and its virtual absence in the East. While the Wild Coast has a significant subsistence and informal economy, the formal economy is extremely small when compared to the rest of the Province. Government services and public works programs generate more than 50% of jobs in the formal sector.

  1. Land ownership: The Wild Coast falls within the boundary of the former Transkei and land ownership as such shares many features of the former South African homelands. Most of the land on the Wild Coast is owned by the State and held in Trust for the local people. Much of this land currently occupied by local communities as communal land, managed by both tribal authority and local government. The remaining State land is managed by the State for demarcated forests, plantations, agriculture or military purposes. There are a number of freehold plots along the coastal area, primarily those used for large tourism developments. A number of legal cottages, tourism businesses and hotels are scattered along the extent of the coastline of the Wild Coast in which cottage owners lease their sites from the State through short-term or long-term renewable PTO certificates or leases.

  1. The communal land is either residential, crop fields or grazing lands plus areas that the community uses for other natural resource use or spiritual purposes. Within a community, the boundaries of these different land use areas are often well defined and the usage of a homestead is governed by complex traditional regulations. Due to previous discriminatory laws, black people were never allowed to own the land they occupied, and were only granted weak and legally insecure forms of tenure in the form of quitrent titles or permission-to-occupy (PTO) certificates. The State has currently assumed nominal jurisdiction over these tribal lands until the Communal Land Rights Act is implemented. The intent of the recently promulgated Communal Land Rights Act is to facilitate mechanisms for the transfer of title of state-owned communal land to its rightful owners.

  1. A number of restitution claims in the Wild Coast have been on provincial nature reserves. The settlement agreement for Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve, and later the Mkambati Nature Reserve, has set the standard for similar settlement agreements for protected areas throughout the Eastern Cape and South Africa. Broadly, in terms of the agreement, the state hands over the ownership of the nature reserve to a trust representing the claimants; the land currently used as a nature reserve continues to be used as such in perpetuity; and the nature reserve is managed jointly by the claimants and nature conservation authorities for mutual benefit. This is in alignment with the GoSAs position on the restitution of land claims in protected areas, state forests and World Heritage sites as approved by the National Cabinet on 9 October 2002.

  1. Fishing: Fishing along the Wild Coast is mostly for subsistence and there is extremely limited commercial fishing. Commercial offshore fishing is limited by the lack of ports for commercial vessels and the unpredictable seas. Some 5500 recreational and subsistence fishers are known to operate in the Wild Coast region. Robertson and Fielding (1997) calculated a value of US$ 225,000 (US$ 413,000 at current prices) for fish utilized by visitors to the Wild Coast. One study estimated that holiday and cottage residents utilized at least six tons of rock lobster per annum. As a further example of the high levels of localized use, a local survey found that just three coastal hotels were estimated to take 45,000 oysters/ annum, while cottage owners were estimated to take 70,000 oysters/annum. Subsistence use intensity in the Wild Coast was estimated in 1988 at 5.6-14 tons of shellfish/km of rocky shore/annum, but there has been little ongoing monitoring of the levels of use in the area. The total annual value of inshore marine fishing, consisting almost entirely of recreational fishing is estimated at US$ 155,000 (210,459 kg annually). The most commonly exploited intertidal shellfish species in the Wild Coast region is the brown mussel; whilst others include abalone, oysters, red-bait, rock lobsters, octopus, and crayfish (Schoultz, 2001; Robertson and Fielding, 1997). About 18 fish species and 12 invertebrate species are caught by subsistence and recreational fishers in Eastern Cape estuaries. The estuaries are estimated to yield catches of over 70 kg per ha per year in the region, with catches being dominated by dusky cob and spotted grunter, both estuarine dependent species. For estuarine shellfish (crabs, sand prawns, and mud prawns), the annual value utilized by visitors along the former Transkei Coast amounts to US$12,000 (Robertson and Fielding, 1997; US$ 20,000 at current prices).

  1. Agriculture: A number of small state-sponsored irrigation schemes exist across the Wild Coast but these are operating well below their potential, with production reduced by lack of supporting infrastructure and services, poor maintenance of equipment, lack of management and marketing skills, and political conflicts. The area has a high density of semi-subsistence farmers. Between 50 – 60% of households enjoy some access to arable land. Somewhere between a quarter and a half of households own cattle, although the great majority of herds are less than ten head. Small stock - sheep and goats - are owned by slightly more households than cattle, but average herd sizes are not substantially greater. Many rural households are effectively self-sufficient in their staple foods. Small scale livestock farmers sell limited numbers of livestock through private livestock traders for cash needs. Estimates of agricultural income, in terms of cash sales and produce consumed within the producing household, show great variability, but most studies put it at between 10% and 25% of average household income, of which the greater part is accounted for by direct consumption. Access to land, even relatively small plots, forests or communal grazing, thus allows households to maintain a diversified livelihood strategy that may include wage employment, pensions, agricultural production (for consumption or sale), and livestock husbandry, which together enhances their ability to obtain a livelihood under difficult conditions. Overall, the available evidence suggests however that, while agriculture may not be the principal source of livelihood for the great majority of households in the Wild Coast, it does provide an important supplementary income for a substantial proportion, albeit with a high degree of differentiation between households.

  1. Natural resource harvesting: Livelihood strategies in the region are diverse and, in addition to subsistence agriculture, there is extensive use of other natural goods and services both for subsistence and for sale. The indigenous forests of the Wild Coast provide local communities with medicinal plants, fruits, fuel wood, kraal poles/posts and carving wood, among other materials. Fuel wood is the most important use with over 95% of the households reportedly depending on indigenous trees for cooking. Animals are hunted extensively across the Wild Coast by men from local communities for sport, consumption of meat, traditional medicine or to control ‘pests’. The most commonly hunted species include bushpig, duiker, bushbuck, porcupine, caracal, vervet monkey, dassie, genet and mongoose.

  1. Tourism: Tourism is a key economic sector in the region with tourism enterprises primarily centered on the coastal region of the Wild Coast. Market research revealed that the coastal tourism facilities between Port Edward and Kei Mouth offer in the region of 70 accommodation establishments representing around 3250 beds. An estimated 75% of the bed supply on the Wild Coast is located between Port St Johns and Coffee Bay. Catered accommodation (hotels, lodges and guesthouses) contribute 75% of the bed capacity clearly reflecting the lack of tourism support infrastructure in the region. According to the research the region achieved average bed occupancy of 40% during 2003, representing an estimated 474 000 bed nights sold. Considering that the double occupancy in the region is around 60%, the average room occupancy of establishments surveyed calculates to 50%. At an average length of stay of 2.8 nights, a total of 170,000 overnight visitors visit the area each year. There is considerable scope for the growth of tourism.

  1. Key underdeveloped economic opportunities in the Wild Coast include small-scale irrigation, dairy production, afforestation, fisheries, food processing, wool production, small-scale leather goods, and nature based tourism. It is the intention of the Eastern Cape Government to realize these opportunities through the vehicle of Community Public Private Partnerships (CPPP).

  1. The matrix below presents the extent of terrestrial land use types in the Wild Coast:

Land Use in the Wild Coast

Area (Ha) and Proportion of planning domain (%)

Total area

512,645 ha

Natural habitat (including Type 2 protected areas)


Type 1 Protected Areas


Cultivated land


Hard surfaces (e.g. roads)


Mines and quarries


Urban and industrial areas


Degraded areas (e.g. erosion)


Policy context


  1. The policy provisions of the Green Paper on Development and Planning (1999), the White Paper on Spatial Planning and Land Use Management and the National Spatial Development Plan (2003) are the key policy instruments framing and shaping current spatial planning and development in South Africa. Also key will be the proposed Land Use Management Act, yet to be enacted. These mechanisms intend to introduce a new unitary planning system, repeal the Development Facilitation Act (1995) and define the contents of spatial planning and land use management for the purposes of the Municipal Systems Act. Integrated development planning at the Municipal level arises from the principle of ‘developmental local government’ reflected in the White Paper on Local Government (1997) and this principle is enabled by the Municipal Demarcation Act (1998), the Municipal Structures Act (1998) and the Municipal Systems Act (2000). Municipal Integrated Development Plans are the principal strategic instrument that informs all decisions regarding the planning, management and implementation of development in the municipalities’ jurisdiction.

  1. A wide and diverse set of legislation and policies govern the management of natural resources generally, and the management of protected areas specifically. These include:

  • National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998, provides for co-operative environmental governance by establishing principles for decision-making on matters affecting the environment, for securing ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

  • NEMA: Biodiversity Act, 2004 provides for the co-ordination and alignment of biodiversity planning with other environmental and sectoral planning, allows for the setting of norms and standards for the management of biodiversity, establishes an integrative regulatory framework for biological resource management and use, and provides for the protection of special species.

  • NEMA: Protected Area Act, 2004 has as its main objectives: (i) the establishment of a national system of PAs to manage and conserve biodiversity; (ii) the promotion of sustainable use of PAs for the benefit of people in a manner that would preserve the ecological character of such areas; and (iii) the promotion of local communities participation in the management of protected areas. The Act provides for the consolidation of protected area classifications to align the country with the IUCN classification system, clarifies conservation objectives for each protected area category, setting of norms and standards for PA management, and the development of PA management plans.

  • The Marine Living Resources, 1998 provides for the conservation of the marine ecosystem, the long-term sustainable utilization of marine living resources and the orderly access to exploitation, utilization and protection of certain marine living resources.

  • The White Paper for Sustainable Coastal Development in South Africa, 2000 aims to achieve sustainable coastal development through an integrated coastal management approach. It serves as a directive and guideline for the development and management of the South African Coast.

  • The Sea Shore Act (1935) makes provision for various uses of the area between the high water mark and low water mark, and the conditions under which these uses may apply.

  • The National Water Act, 1998 provides a framework for the protection, use, development conservation, management and control of water resources. The Act requires the development of strategies to facilitate the proper management of water resources and prescribes a series of measures to ensure the comprehensive protection of those water resources.

  • The National Forest Act, 1998 establishes a regulatory framework for the sustainable management and use of forests and forest products, identifies measures for the protection of forests and forest species and provides for the involvement of local communities in forest management. The Act is accompanied by a draft Policy for Participatory Forest Management (2004) which promotes community forestry and encourages greater participation in all aspects of forestry and the forest products industry by persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.

  • The National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998 provides for the prevention and preparedness for veld and forest fires. The Act regulates for the establishment, registration, duties and functioning of fire protection associations.

  • The National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 provides for the administration, management, protection and governance of natural and cultural heritage resources.

  1. Many of these legal and policy instruments favor collaboration in natural resources management. Implicit in the policy and legislation is the notion that local communities should increasingly assume a role for custodianship of natural resources. NEMA makes provision for public institutions to enter into environmental management co-operation agreements (EMCA) with any person or community for the purpose of promoting compliance with the principles laid down in section 2 of the Act; the National Forest Management Act makes provision for community participation in forest management (PFM); the Coastal Management Bill proposes the establishment of Coastal Community Associations (CCAs) to facilitate participation by or co-management with civil society, with respect to coastal resource use; the National Water Act promotes community participation in the protection, use, development, conservation, management and control of the water resource in its management area through the establishment of Catchment Management Agencies (CMA); the Marine Living Resources Act implies the need for civil society to be sufficiently organized to be able to play a meaningful role as co-managers or decision makers on issues pertaining to the management of marine and estuary living resources; and the White Paper for Sustainable Coastal Development policy states that partnerships between government, the private sector and civil society must be built in order to ensure co-responsibility for coastal management and to empower stakeholders to participate effectively.

  1. The National Environmental Education Program (NEEP-GET), located in the National Department of Education, has established professional development programs for learning facilitators. These programs have concentrated on environmental learning as a key element of curriculum change. The NEEP-GET has been instrumental in institutionalizing environmental education in the schools curriculum and in departmental structures. This has been achieved through professional development, resource development and cooperation with partners. Some of the resources developed include guideline booklets and learning area booklets that are distributed to all primary schools in the country.

  1. Since 1994, South Africa has also embarked on an ambitious programme of land reform, designed to redress the grave racial imbalance in land holding and secure the land rights of historically disadvantaged people. This land reform has been pursued under three broad policy headings: restitution which provides relief for certain categories of victims of forced dispossession in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act (1994); redistribution, a system of discretionary grants that assists certain categories of people to purchase land from private owners or the state; and tenure reform, intended to secure and extend the tenure rights of the victims of past discriminatory practices. The recently promulgated Communal Land Rights Act, 2004 specifically deals with issues relating to traditional land rights. The Act seeks to secure land rights for traditional communities and in certain circumstances facilitates the formal transfer of land presently owned by the government, to these communities. It grants land allocation, land administration and ownership powers and functions to “traditional councils” created by the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act. The Act also provides for the development of a set of community rules, by the community who gains tenure, which determines the eventual application and use of communal land.

Provincial and regional

  1. National policies and programs in the Wild Coast areas generally focus upon rural development and poverty alleviation, mainly through the vehicle of Integrated and Sustainable Rural Development Program (ISRDP), launched by the national government in 2001 as a strategy to guide national rural development efforts. The ISRDP aims to improve living conditions for rural people through economic growth and development, infrastructure, social and institutional development and the enhancement to delivery capacity. The OR Tambo District municipality is identified as one of 12 national anchor project areas for the implementation of the ISRDP.

  1. The Eastern Cape Provincial Spatial Development Plan (PSDP) has been developed to rank areas of development potential within the province, and serve as a tool for spatial prioritization for government and its development agencies. The Government of the Eastern Cape has formulated a Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP) to align the province with the national policy framework for socio-economic planning and with the PSDP priorities. The PGDP provides the strategic framework, sectoral strategies and programs targeting economic growth, employment creation, poverty eradication, food security and income redistribution for the period 2004-2014. The PGDP provides for the decentralization of service delivery to the local sphere of government.

  1. The Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative (WCSDI) was launched in 1997 by the Department of Trade and Industry as a short-term investment strategy, using public resources to encourage private sector investment. It has as its major objectives the promotion of new businesses in agriculture and tourism and the creation of employment opportunities, particularly for women. Under the auspices of the SDI, the Wild Coast Tourism Development Policy (WCTDP) promotes, facilitates and regulates tourism development along the Wild Coast during the conceptualization, planning, construction and operational stages. The WCTDP makes provision for nodal development and inter-nodal zonation, and the associated operational guidelines, to ensure that environmental considerations are effectively integrated into all tourism-related developments and activities.

  1. In a ground partnership between all the national, provincial, local and traditional authorities across the Wild Coast, the Wild Coast Conservation and Sustainable Development (WCC&SD) Project was established in 2004 to participatively develop a bioregional land use and conservation planning framework for the Wild Coast. The project is providing support to the Local and District Municipalities in developing the regional and local land use planning frameworks required to strategically direct responsible investments and manage sustainable natural resource use in such a way that benefits to local communities are optimized. The project is further developing a detailed action plan that attempts to reconcile the extraordinary beauty of the area, the unique cultural attributes of its inhabitants, its globally unique biodiversity and the very real need for responsible and sustainable economic development. The project will be completed at the end of August 2005 and will deliver a comprehensive Strategic Environmental Assessment, a Spatial Development Framework and a Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for the Wild Coast.

  1. The Eastern Cape Environmental Conservation Bill (2004) provides for the consolidation of the laws relating to all environmental management functions in the province including waste management, pollution control, species protection, permitting and enforcement. The Bill also provides for the proclamation of terrestrial protected areas, their management, planning and mechanisms for involvement of stakeholders and local communities. The Transkei Environmental Decree (1992) provides for the conservation, management, protection and commercial utilization of natural resources in the area of the former Transkei ‘homeland’. It is envisaged that the provisions in the Decree will be included in the Eastern Cape Environmental Conservation Bill but, in the interim, remains a key piece of legislation governing a wide range of conservation issues across the Wild Coast.

Stakeholder analysis

  1. The main stakeholders involved in the Wild Coast are identified in the matrix below. During the project preparation stage, a stakeholder analysis was undertaken in order to: (i) identify key stakeholders in the Wild Coast; (ii) review stakeholder interests and associated impacts on resource use, land tenure and the project; (iii) identify and mitigate possible negative socio-economic impacts on local stakeholders resulting from the project; and (iv) identify and develop opportunities for the project to benefit stakeholders. A detailed stakeholder analysis and participation plan is provided in Section IV, Part IV:





Department of Land Affairs.

Land and Tenure Reform

Commission on Restitution of Land Rights

Spatial Planning and Information

Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Biodiversity and Conservation


Social Rsponsibility

Marine and Coastal Management

South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African National Parks

Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs

Regional Office

Department of Agriculture

Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture

Plant Protection Research Institute


Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

Working for Water

Indigenous Forest Management

Forestry Development

Working on Fire

Catchment Management Agencies

Department of Local Government, Housing and Traditional Affairs

Directorate: Land Administration

Directorate: Town and Regional Planning


Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism

DEAET management

Directorate: Biodiversity and Coastal Management

Directorate: Impact Management

OR Tambo and Amathole Regional office

Eastern Cape Parks Board



Park Operations – Eastern Region

Reserve Management

Eastern Cape Development Corporation

Spatial and Rural Development Unit

Enterprise Promotion Unit

Project Development Unit

Eastern Cape Tourism Board

Marketing Services

Tourism Development Services

Office of the Premier

Executive Council

Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council

Cabinet Committee (Environment, Tourism and Agriculture)


Amathole District Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Environmental Management


Planning and Administration Directorate

Regional Tourism Bureau

Amatola Water Board

Amathole Development Agency

OR Tambo District Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Environmental Management

Planning Directorate

Ntinga Development Agency

Regional Tourism Bureau

Mbizana Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Environmental Management

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Coastal ward committees

Qaukeni Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Coastal ward committees

Port St Johns Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Port St Johns Development Agency

Coastal ward committees

Nyandeni Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Coastal ward committees

Mbashe Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Coastal ward committees

Mnquma Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Coastal ward committees

King Sabata Dalinydebo Municipality and local communities

Office of the Mayor and Municipal Manager

Local Economic Development

Strategic Manager

Coastal ward committees

Co-operative Governance Structures

Wild Coast Program Steering Committee

Provincial Coastal Committee

Wild Coast Provincial Working Group

Eastern Cape Implementation Committee

OR Tambo Coastal Working Group

Hluleka Community Conservation Initiative

Mkambati Co-management Committee

Dwesa-Cwebe Co-management Committee

Mtentu Estuary Forum

Traditional Authorities

Provincial House of Traditional Leaders

Kings/ Queens


Headman and Sub-Headman






NGO’s and other associated institutions


Save the Wild Coast

Wild Coast Cottage Owners Association

Wild Coast Holiday Association WWF-SA



Environmental Justice Networking Forum

Wilderness Foundation

Conservation International

Eastern Cape NGO Coalition

Wild Coast Sustainable Development Initiative

Municipal Mentoring Project (MMP)

Academic Institutions

Rhodes University

University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban and Pietermaritzburg

University of Transkei

University of Port Elizabeth

University of Fort Hare

Oceanographic Research Institute

Institute of Natural Resources

Plant Protection Research Institute

Agricultural Research Council


Development Bank of South Africa


Baseline analysis


  1. The baseline course of events over the next six years described as activities that can be justified independently of global benefits is presented below for the three project outcomes:

(i) Institutional framework for protected area management in the Wild Coast:

  1. The Eastern Cape Parks Board, as a newly established parastatal, is in the process of securing delegated authority for the protected areas from DEAET, transferring staff from DEAET and the Eastern Cape Tourism Board, negotiating financing grants from central and provincial government, transferring assets and liabilities, appointing staff and developing its organizational strategy, operational plans and business plans. During this transitional process, the management of the provincial nature reserves in the Wild Coast is being sustained at a minimal, utilitarian level until these institutional and logistical arrangements have been concluded. The staff numbers, resources and skills within the provincial reserves are currently sufficient to meet only the minimum reserve management requirements.

  1. The sub-directorate Sustainable Livelihoods and Socio-Economic Development within the Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) Branch has as one its four key performance areas the management of Marine Protected Areas. Currently there are however no MCM staff dedicated to the management of any of the marine protected areas. Negotiations have been initiated between MCM and the ECPB to enter into a service level agreement to ensure an international standard and national consistency for the management of the Wild Coast MPAs. A budget for the management of MPAs through such service level agreements has been allocated by MCM but is not yet in implementation. The small numbers of MCM officials in the Wild Coast (currently 10 staff for the 250 km of coastline) with the function of compliance, monitoring and enforcement are essentially limited to quota controls in the development and recreational nodes. The inter-tidal areas of the MPAs adjacent to Hluleka, Mkambati and Dwesa-Cwebe are currently monitored by ECPB staff with the remaining coastline in the CCA monitored by DEAET staff, but they currently have limited training, staff and equipment, no back-up support and, as yet, no formal assignation as the management authority for MPAs from MCM. The management of estuaries, although still a MCM function, is carried out by ECPB, DEAET and municipal staff albeit ineffectively due to lack of an adequate staff complement and requisite skills. A process has been initiated for the development of business plans for the Wild Coast MPAs and a managers training course, funded by WWF-SA, has been developed in conjunction with MCM scientists, managers and compliance staff. MCM are in the process of establishing a channel of communication with DEAET or ECPB to co-ordinate aspects specifically associated with marine resource utilization and management of MPAs.

  1. Notwithstanding the legislative mandate and responsibilities of the DWAF for the management of indigenous forests, the management staff work under immense constraints and have been unable to prevent the increase in illegal use of indigenous forests. Some of these constraints include: severe staff shortages; poor facilities and equipment; poorly trained forest guards; little support to forest guards from local community structures; demotivation of staff due to restructuring and redeployment; and lack of administrative back up. A process is underway and funding has been secured by DWAF to delegate the management authority of the indigenous forests to an ‘appropriate and capacitated’ management authority. DEAET currently manage state forests within the Provincial Nature Reserves although the management authority for these state forests has yet to be formally delegated to DEAET.

  1. In the Coastal Conservation Area, a number of private low- and high-density tourism developments (CCA) are being conceptualized, planned and implemented, in collaboration with local communities, within the development nodes defined in the Wild Coast Tourism Development Policy (WCTDP). The absence of the implementation of the institutional arrangements envisaged by the WCTDP to direct the implementation of the tourism investments in the CCA and the lack of clarity on the legal authority (including how the Coastal Management Bill will affect the CCA) is further limiting sustainable tourism development opportunities within the coastal zone and inadequate implementation of the operational guidelines. Enforcement of the CCA is broadly the responsibility of DEAET, although other agencies may also implement complementary legislation within the CCA. Despite successful prosecution of illegal developers, and in some cases the demolition of illegal cottages, by DEAET and DEAT, the establishment of illegal developments within the CCA had not entirely stopped. There is a dramatic increase in off-road driving by cottage occupants, tourists, fishermen, tour operators and residents on the beaches, state forests and other communal land within the CCA. There is a general lack of enforcement by DEAET, DEAT (MCM) or DWAF staff of off-road driving regulations. This is primarily due to a lack of staff located within the CCA. Although there are no official sand mines registered by the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs (DME) within the CCA, building contractors are illegally excavating sand on a small scale across the entire extent of the CCA, but particularly on the river margins, with impunity from enforcement of regulations.

(ii) Management effectiveness in type 1 protected areas:

  1. In the business as usual scenario, the ECPB will cover staffing and basic operational expenses in the five provincial nature reserves. The current situation is that many of the PAs in the Wild Coast do not have any strategic management planning, structured knowledge management systems or business plans to direct and guide their management. There are limited or no specialist support services (technical, construction, financial, research) to the PA staff. Existing PA income from entry fees, lease agreements and tourism facilities is currently supplemented by financial support for invasive alien clearing programs from Working for Water, infrastructure and conservation maintenance programs from the DEAT Expanded Public Works Program and funding grants for recurrent and capital expenditure. Two tourism concessions have been awarded in the Mkambati and Silaka Provincial Nature Reserves and provide for private sector involvement and investment in tourism activities in the provincial reserves. The current tourism facilities and services in Hluleka and Dwesa-Cwebe are being upgraded.

  1. Despite the localized success of PFM in the State Forests (Type 2 PAs), relationships with local communities are generally poor to functional in the PAs and there are only limited formalized co-management structures and agreements in place with weak capacity to administer these agreements. There are no structured educational programs undertaken in, or by the PAs.

  1. Despite the afore-mentioned investments, a number of gaps would remain in the arena of PA management. Limited resources would be allocated directly to the management of MPAs, with fishery enforcement activities spread diffusely along the coastline, without concentration in the MPAs. Overlapping jurisdictions for the management of MPAs (between MCM and the Province), currently in play, would likely continue. There is an unmet need to rationalize management of MPAs, founded on sound business plans and underpinned by capacity building. As far as the terrestrial PAs are concerned, management efficiency could be bolstered through pooling staff and other resources under a PA cluster management approach, and using a management effectiveness rubric as a basis for assigning financial and human resources.

  1. In the next five years, without the GEF intervention, the planning and management process may be driven, in large part, by the socio-economic needs of local communities and commercial needs of private developers with limited control by the relevant conservation agencies with the risk that short-term commercial pressures could result in decisions/activities which could have lasting negative consequences for biodiversity. The PA agencies ability and capacity to establish and sustain co-management arrangements will be weak and agencies will revert to a simpler command-and-control management system.

(iii) Local economic development and conservation management in Type 2 PAs

  1. As the mechanism for directing implementation for the spatial, economic and political development of the municipal areas, the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) will align the municipal planning with the development plans and strategies of other organs of state. The IDPs aim to address poverty alleviation and sustainable development in the Wild Coast but do not explicitly, further the conservation management agenda. Conservation and sustainable use objectives are not effectively mainstreamed into the poverty alleviation and rural development agenda of the Wild Coast using the IDP, and other complementary policies and planning instruments. The local municipalities within the Wild Coast have severe technical and management skills constraints and many of the professional municipal services are provided by external service providers.

  1. A number of localized sustainable resource use and development programs and initiatives will take place in the Wild Coast over the next six years, including: the development of municipal Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), Spatial Development Frameworks (SDF) and Land Use Management Systems (LUMS) supported by DBSA and DLG&H; support to the implementation of the Participatory Forest Management policy in key indigenous forests funded by GTZ; Community Based Natural Resource Management in selected areas supported by GTZ, DFID and other funders; the development, support and implementation of community-based tourism enterprises in the Pondoland area of the Wild Coast supported by the European Union and DEAT; the development and implementation of a tourism development framework for the Wild Coast supported by DEAT and the District Municipalities; the support of mussel rehabilitation programs and abalone farming supported by MCM and DBSA; implementation of poverty alleviation projects through the Expanded Public Works Program funded by DEAT and the Department of Transport; the promotion of the management and sustainable use of the Wild Coast Estuaries through cooperative governance structures supported by the Water Research Commission; development of management plans for Hluleka, Pondoland and Dwesa-Cwebe MPAs; environmental education programs supported by various funding sources; the development of community woodlots and the delegation of management of selected state forests to local communities supported by DWAF; the development of eco-tourism enterprises based on non-consumptive use of marine resources funded by MCM and NORAID; the support for sustainable agriculture practices and LandCare programs supported by DA, municipalities, TRALSO and WWF-SA; the clearing of invasive alien plants supported by Working for Water and CoastCare; the establishment and operations of Fire Protection Associations supported by Working on Fire; the identification and development of commercial forestry in Pondoland supported by DWAF; the cleanup and rehabilitation of the coastal zone supported by CoastCare; the training and development of tourism-based entrepreneurs supported by private business, municipalities, THETA, WWF-SA and EU and; the processing of land restitution claims supported by the Land Claims Commission and TRALSO.

  1. The extensive presence of local communities living a largely subsistence lifestyle on communal land with high biodiversity value in the Wild Coast effectively inhibits the proclamation of traditional formal protected areas. Innovative alternative co-management models need to be developed that do not threaten land tenure and support the livelihoods of local people, permit them to use selected resources in a sustainable manner and provide alternative means of income that reduce their reliance on natural resources. The development of co-managed protected areas is however currently in its infancy in South Africa and, whilst the policy and legislation allows for such initiatives, there is a gap in knowledge and readily demonstrable models to facilitate conservation using this mechanism.

  1. In the business as usual scenario, the ECPB will cover staffing and basic operational expenses in the five provincial nature reserves, MCM will invest in strengthening enforcement and compliance monitoring for the coast, while DEAET will continue to ensure basic monitoring of the CCA (including demolition of illegal cottages and controls over illegal harvesting of marine resources).
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