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1 March 2018 A Geospatial Approach to Managing Coastal Access in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Marinél Willemse, Bronwyn J. Goble
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Abstract

Willemse, M. and Goble, B.J., 2018. A geospatial approach to managing coastal access in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

In many countries minimum criteria for coastal access have been determined to ensure people's right of access. South Africa is no exception; the provision of coastal access is a legal requirement in terms of the recently promulgated Integrated Coastal Management Act (Act No. 24 of 2008). Unfortunately, as a result of working within a capacity vacuum, both human and financial, there still exists a knowledge gap pertaining to local coastal access and the provisions thereof. Given legislative requirements and public needs, this paper proposes a desktop assessment and cost-effective approach to determining reasonable coastal access. The main aim is to provide coastal municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) with a geospatial framework to support decision making through improved understanding of current and desired coastal access localities and quality. The KZN coastline varies substantially from a pristine northern coast to a highly developed southern coast. Because of this variability the type and density of coastal access routes along the coast differ and consequently require different management strategies. This paper proposes indices to inform coastal access management. The first is a proposed access route density index considering various social, recreational, and environmental indicators. The second index assesses the status of current coastal access via a desktop study, supported by ground truthing. The final index integrates the first two indices in quantifying the quality of coastal access and defining priority areas that require urgent management attention. Three major challenges are evident along KZN's coast: limited public access in less developed regions; private ribbon developments restricting public access in highly developed regions; and numerous inappropriate informal access paths crossing sensitive coastal environments.

©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2018
Marinél Willemse and Bronwyn J. Goble "A Geospatial Approach to Managing Coastal Access in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," Journal of Coastal Research 34(2), 282-292, (1 March 2018). https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-17-00009.1
Received: 13 January 2017; Accepted: 31 May 2017; Published: 1 March 2018
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