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Draft South African Water Quality Guidelines for Marine Coastal Water – Natural Environment and Maricultural Use

15 March 2019

On 15 March 2019, the Minister of Environmental Affairs published the draft South African Water Quality Guidelines for Marine Coastal Water – Natural Environment and Maricultural Use for public comment in terms of sections 69 and 83(1)(f)(v) of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008.

The draft guidelines are intended to set water quality standards for the marine coastal waters. the stated intention of the guidelines are as follows:

to provide reasonable confidence that, if they are indeed achieved, there will be no significant impact on South Africa‚Äôs designated uses of coastal marine waters with regards to those properties and constituents that have been included in the guidelines. Compliance with the water quality guidelines for the protection of marine aquatic ecosystems should be achieved in all coastal waters, except within approved sacrificial (mixing) zones. Effluent (and its associated contaminants) discharged into the marine environment from land-based sources typically undergoes initial dilution and dispersion at the outfall point (or pipe end) and naturally, water quality guidelines are likely to be exceeded in this area.”

Comments must be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs within 30 days of the publication of the notice.

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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