The Amajuba District Municipality (ADM) has embarked on the development of an environmental management framework (EMF). The ADM comprises three local municipalities (LM) i.e. Newcastle, Dannhauser, and Emadlangeni. It is the aim of the ADM to develop an EMF that proactively supports and integrates environmental considerations into decision-making and development planning across the district. The Newcastle LM has also developed an EMF and it is expected there is alignment with the ADM EMF.
The Newcastle LM is considered the economic hub of the ADM. The economic activities of the ADM include commercial agriculture, coal mining and industrial manufacturing. For example, it is the largest producer of chrome chemicals in Africa. There are transport and nodal links to Johannesburg, Durban and Richards Bay ports. The natural assets of the ADM include extensive river systems and riparian habitats within the Thukela and Pongola catchment. The northern and western mountainous areas of the ADM are considered of high natural asset value. With a developmental focus in the district, there are several competing land uses and it is imperative in this context that developmental planning be guided by the opportunities and constraints presented by the natural environment. An EMF provides one of the best tools to accomplish integrated development planning at the district scale.
The Institute of Natural Resources NPC (INR) has been appointed to undertake the development of the EMF for the ADM.
Project Aim and Objectives: The broad aim of the EMF is to proactively guide municipal planning and support decision making for specific development applications in the Amajuba District in terms of environmental sustainability. This is achieved by meeting the following specific objectives and associated outputs:
- Develop the EMF in keeping with the legal requirements of the National Environmental Framework Regulation (2010) and Guidelines (2012)
- To develop the EMF across all the required phases and activities to define applicable environmental sensitivities and appropriate guidelines for development and environmental planning.
- The EMF spatial outputs to be developed into an interactive GIS query tool (Decision Support Tool)
Project Duration: July 2017 to March 2019
Project Phases: The EMF comprises the following phases of activities with various reporting deliverables:
- Inception Phase
- Status Quo Assessment
- Strategic Environmental Assessment and Management Plan
- Final EMF Reporting and Decision Support Tool (DST)
Project Area: Within the KwaZulu Natal Province, the ADM EMF includes 3 Local Municipalities, namely; Newcastle, Dannhauser and Emadlangeni LM.