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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Time for action.. Either do this or loose out for ever!


BACK GROUND

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The 4x4 ban or the closure of the all beaches within the coastal zones of South Africa to reasonable motor vehicle access in terms of legislation  associated with the NEMA (National Environmental Management Act) has had a very negative impact on domestic tourism along the entire coastal belt of South Africa.

Some areas have had bigger losses than others, and the rural areas along the entire Coastline of South Africa have been in the forefront of these very substantial impacts with many thousands of economic opportunities (read jobs) being shed due to exceptionally low domestic tourism numbers along the South African coastal belt.  

This blog is in place to discuss these losses and an action plan to restore a portion of these lost economic opportunities by establishing some  recreational tourism access to the remote beaches of the the Elephant cost of KZN South Africa through following the procedures laid out in the ICMA (Integrated Coastal Management Act) and the MSA (Municipal Systems Act) as well as the NEMA (National Environmental Management Act) and associated legislation, including the ROD (Record of decision) which was taken to close the elephant Coast beaches to reasonable recreational vehicle access.

visit the ARBU Google Plus PageThis is a very tall order, and the last time I got involved in this, I had extreme issues in getting the public to attend mandated meetings such as PPP (Public Participation Process) meetings and local municipality Integrated development plan Public Representative Forum meetings.  I ended up loosing the battle, and gave up hope of ever gaining reasonable motor vehicle access to my favourite recreation fishing grounds along the elephant coast of KZN South Africa.

Since December 2013  I have been recieving emails and phone calls asking me to take up this issue again.  I have been tempted, and refused quite a few times, but the call of those great fishing spots, that can only be reached by driving down the beach or walking more than 8 Km along the beach is just too great.  I miss those fishing trips, and would simply love to go there again, with my friends.

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The reaction of the south African public to the 4x4 ban came as a surprise to many, and the fact that the South African population shunned the remote beaches of South Africa had many unwanted and surprisingly negative impacts, to both  the financial and natural environments.  I will be talking about the Elephant Coast here  because that is the area where I have personal experience, but other rural coastal areas have the same and similar issues with both the natural environment and the socio-economic environments.

The socio-economic effects are easily seen, and many of those who relied on the domestic tourism market for their income are now living off the fat of the land, and causing environmental degradation within the entire Umkhanyakude district Municipality, as the friends, family and colleges of  those who come to the Elephant Coast for their fishing holiday are now putting up great resistance to the idea of walking great distances down the beaches, and have thus forced a change in coastal tourism dynamics.

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These very serious drops in the domestic tourism numbers are a very large concern to us as the Association Of Recreational beach users, as this impacts on our members coastal experiences.  This mass stay away has caused manybusinesses within the DOMESTIC TOURISM MARKET to close up shop,  and those that remained have not been doing very well at all,  with many becoming bankrupt and their employees finding them selves destitute. 

It has been alleged that the camp sites at Mapelane in the extreme South East corner of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park lost more than 90 % of their annual turn over, and the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) has refused to discuss this at the Mtubatuba Local Municipality Integrated Development Plan Public Representatives Forum  meetings as well as at Mandated PPP (Public Participation Process) meetings in terms of the 4x4 ban and associated laws and legislation.

The laws and legislation have been written in a people friendly way, and the South African Constitution gives us the rights in chapter 2, section 24, but the people need to take up the issue and attend the mandated meetings in sufficient numbers to force the issue at local municipality IDP level, where these matters are supposed to be addressed in terms of various different laws and associated legislation. 

Those who are not following their public mandates in terms of the various acts and associated legislation must either be removed from office or forced  fix the issues according to the laws in place.

I am once again taking up the issue, and request your help in the form of a mandate. click this link to see our petition and then if you agree, give us your mandate by signing the petition.
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