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Oceanographic Research Institute & Coastal Management Unit, DAEA


A SUMMARY OF THE GUIDELINES FOR THE DESIGNATION OF OFF-ROAD VEHICLE RECREATIONAL USE AREAS IN THE COASTAL ZONE OF KWAZULU-NATAL: A PROVINCIAL STRATEGY.

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Other considerations
Only areas that were subjected to significant historical ORV usage at the time of the implementation of the 2002
regulations should be considered for RUAs. Carrying capacity of each proposed RUA needs to be
independently assessed.


RUAs and beach access points should in no way interfere with, negatively affect or detract from the conservation value of existing Admiralty Reserves and Coastal Green Wedges as identified in the relevant reports.


Where sensitive areas or sites exist within a designated RUA, a buffer protection zone should be declared. This
buffer zone must be between the normal high water mark and the edge of the sea or 20 m from the nearest dune vegetation, and 100 m from the nearest bank of an estuary.


Beach areas with hazardous conditions for ORV use should not be considered for RUAs. Environmental impact
assessments should comment on beach slope, grain size, beach width and length, and beach access points.
Small beaches that are limited in space for both pedestrian and vehicular use (<1 km from nearest car park)
should not be considered for RUAs.


Specific areas of archaeological interest and cultural significance should not be considered for RUAs.
Cognisance must be taken of the impact of the beach vehicle ban on past beach users.


Equitable access to all user groups must be considered when proposing a RUA and its management.
p. 1 Oceanographic Research Institute & Coastal Management Unit, DAEA


Beach access considerations
No new ORV access points to the beach should be considered.
Areas where erosion or other soil or resource damage will occur as a result of ORV accessing the beach should not be considered for RUAs.
The availability, convenience, conservation logic and safety of existing vehicle parking and pedestrian access
and facilities must be taken into consideration when determining the need for ORV parking and recreational
travel on the beach itself.
Only existing, appropriate beach access ramps should be considered for vehicular traffic.


Beach management considerations
RUAs should not be established where enforcement and monitoring of ORV use on beaches are inadequate.
The public services involved in the management of beaches must be considered but service access onto the
beach should not necessarily be opened for public vehicle access.


Adequate vehicular access for shore patrols, law enforcement, search and rescue, property protection and
control of litter and sanitation will be required at beaches.


Summary
The establishment of RUAs along the KZN coastline relies primarily on the disqualification of areas according to seven measurable exclusion parameters. Thus the initial phase, or “first cut”, disqualifies areas along the coast that would be unsuitable or unjustifiable for ORV use. This system identifies “no-go” areas, followed by careful consideration of potential RUAs according to a number of other important factors. A negative response to individual considerations does not necessarily imply immediate disqualification although a number of negative responses will likely cause an area not to be considered for a RUA.


With the promulgation of the 2002 regulations arise an unique opportunity for coastal governments, conservation managers and local authorities to contribute towards a strategy of integrated coastal management with a strong grounding in conservation logic. Integrated coastal zone management dictates that coastal use be defined according o a spectrum of variables. Similarly, RUAs influence a diverse number of users and user groups and a careful inclusive approach in their designation is needed to address all the concerns.


A copy of the complete document is available to local authorities, municipalities and coastal managers from
Louis Celliers
Oceanographic Research Institute
P.O. Box 10712
Marine Parade 4056
South Africa
l.celliers@ori.org.za

Tandi Moffet
Coastal Management Unit
Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs
Private Bag X9059
Pietermaritzburg 3200
South Africa
tandi.moffett@dae.kzntl.gov.za