The requirements of the National Environmental Act with regard to the coastal buffer zone will be enforced with immediate effect and any further development applications within 100 metres of the high water mark will not be supported.
This decision formed part of a resolution of the Mossel Bay Town Council at its monthly meeting on 23 February 2012.
The resolution also included the adoption of an integrated coastal management strategy for Mossel Bay, the inclusion of several coastal management projects in the 2012/2013 budget and other projects and processes that will be implemented to ensure that the Municipality adheres to the requirements of the Act.
The projects that will be included in the 2012/2013 budget are the preparation and adoption of a municipal coastal management programme to manage the coastal zone in the Mossel Bay municipal area, a sediment supply study, an assessment of all key municipal infrastructure below the 6,5 metre average mean sea level and 4,5 meter river contour to see how resilient they are to the rising sea level or flooding, a sea level rise/flooding action plan to be incorporated into the Municipality’s Disaster Management Plan and the determination of setback lines.
The Integrated Coastal Management Act requires coastal municipalities to adopt a Municipal Coastal Management Programme. It furthermore requires that coastal access land be designated and that coastal setback lines are established.
According to a report released by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in May 2010 the coast of Mossel Bay is extremely vulnerable to erosion because a large percentage of the coastline is made up of sandy beaches and the Southern Cape experiences higher than average wave conditions.
Council also commissioned a Coastal Protection Study in 2010. A recommendation that came out of this study was that a sediment supply study to assess sediment transportation along the coast should be conducted. A further recommendation was that the latter project should include an assessment of how coastal municipal storm water system outlets were affecting coastal dynamics.