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Parliament Briefed on Marine Spatial Planning Bill

May 18, 2017

Department of Environmental Affairs

The environmental affairs department recently briefed parliament on the Marine Spatial Planning Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2017.

It was published for comment in March 2016.

The bill’s explanatory summary was published at the end of March 2017.

According to the explanatory summary, the bill seeks to create a marine spatial planning system that promotes economic growth and is facilitated by coordinated planning across multiple sectors.

It also aims to facilitate good ocean governance and give effect to South Africa’s international obligations in South African waters.

The bill applies to South Africa’s territorial waters, the Exclusive Economic Zone, extended continental shelf claim, the territorial waters, and extended continental shelf around the Prince Edward Islands.

It also aims to provide for the development and implementation of marine spatial plans and governance of the use of the ocean by multiple sectors.

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

According to the department, the bill will give legal status to integrated and coordinated planning across government sectors and unlock the economic potential in the ocean space.

The bill is currently before the portfolio committee on environmental affairs.