Posted on the 5th June 2011

The buffer zone concept is included in NEMA (National Environmental Management Act 107, 1998) and was published in the Government Gazette of the 5th March 2011. It is also based on the White Paper for Conservation and Sustainable use of South Africa’s biological diversity’s specific Objective 1.4, published in 1997, which addresses environmentally sound and sustainable development adjacent to protected areas. Input from the community is encouraged. The buffer zone is about the protection of National Parks against negative influences and activities around parks which will affect the ecological integrity and to integrate Parks better into the surrounding landscape. It is based on three principles, namely priority natural areas, catchment protection and view shed protection. Agulhas is fortunate in that the Nuwejaars SMA already exists on the northern border. 60% of the Agulhas buffer zone falls within the SMA. The buffer zone concept at present applies only to National Parks and not to other conservation areas. Buffer zones will promote the protection of National Parks and it will impact widely on several role players whose active support is critical, for example local government’s Spatial Development Framework (SDF) in which the buffer zone plans should be integrated; local governments should thus be aware of their responsibility towards sustainable resource use and urban development in general. The urban edge of Cape Agulhas Municipality is already included in their SDF and Agulhas National Park was involved in the process. The buffer zone concept is also relevant to other role players such as ESCOM and their proposed nuclear development which might have a negative impact on the National Park. Tertius Carinus will manage the project and he will be responsible for communication with the local government and the community. For more information: 028-4356078, 028-424 2589 or 082 9082794.


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