Draft coastal bylaw rouses robust debate

2019-09-17 06:00

Almost 700 submissions have been received by the City of Cape Town on the draft coastline bylaw. The proposed bylaw will assist the City to better manage the coastline; take appropriate action during emergencies and enable law enforcement of activities that may have a damaging impact on the coastal environment.

Cape Town’s coastline is a national asset and contributes approximately R40 billion per annum to our local economy.

Last month, the City published the draft coastal bylaw for public comment. Invitations were distributed to residents and businesses at the coastline to participate.

The total number of submissions, since the close on Monday 2 September, stands at approximately 700. “Approximately 150 people attended the information sessions, and I can honestly say that these engagements were extremely constructive,” said Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt.

Officials from the City’s coastal management branch are now busy collating the comments.

Officials from the City will solicit senior legal advice to ensure that the final version of the proposed bylaw complies with the constitution and the City’s mandate.

The draft bylaw will be applicable to the coastal zone, which covers the seashore, the coastal waters, and the environment on, in, under, and above the coastal zone.

“The proposed bylaw will give the City the legislative powers to enforce the public’s right to access and enjoy our beaches and sea,” said Nieuwoudt.

The bylaw will be a legislative tool to ensure the sustainable use and development of the coastal area; promote the protection of the natural environment of the coastal zone; enable better regulation, protection, and governance of the coastline as a sensitive and economically valuable asset.

It will also ensure safe and enjoyable use of beaches, and Nieuwoudt is hopeful it will be approved early next year.

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