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Marine Spatial Planning Act in Effect

April 7, 2021

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The Marine Spatial Planning Act came into effect on 1 April 2021.

The environment, forestry and fisheries department published the commencement notice in Government Gazette 44383.

President Ramaphosa assented to the act in May 2019.

The bill was published for comment in March 2016 and tabled in parliament in April 2017.

Parliament passed the bill and sent it for assent in December 2018.

The act aims to:


• provide a framework for marine spatial planning in South Africa;
• provide for the development of marine spatial plans;
• provide for institutional arrangements for the implementation of marine spatial plans and governance of the use of the ocean by multiple sectors; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The legislation flows from Operation Phakisa for the Ocean Economy initiated in 2014.

A National Working Group on Marine Spatial Planning is to be set up tasked with developing a draft marine spatial planning framework and draft marine area plans.

A Directors-General Committee and a Ministerial Committee are also to be established.