Integration of Minimum Environmental Standards in The Preparation of Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs) In South Africa

KENA Consult was contracted by the Department of Environmental Affairs to a framework for ensuring all pertinent environmental issues are integrated into the Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs) at the National, Provincial and Local Government Planning levels.  Furthermore the National Environment Management Act (NEMA) provides in  Section 24(2) that among other things, the Minister responsible for environmental matters or a Member of the Executive Council (MEC) with the concurrence of the Minister, may identify geographical areas based on environmental attributes, and as specified in spatial development tools, in which specified activities may not commence without an Environmental Authorization from the competent authority;

The purpose of the project was to develop protocols that would bring congruence between spatial planning and environmental planning within a framework of the respective spatial planning and environmental laws and legislation.  The project identified and elaborated on 6 steps to be used in the process of integrating spatial plans and environmental management:

  • Step 1: A detailed analysis of the all relevant environmental features within a spatial jurisdiction.
  • Step 2:  Developing overlays of spatial datasets.
  • Step 4:  Identifying compatible, potentially compatible& incompatible land uses on the basis of a Compatibility Matrix
  • Step 4: Developing key spatial planning and environmental management objectives and targets as they relate to the spatial data on environmental features and compatible/incompatible land uses.
  • Step 5: Applying principles for resolution of land use conflicts;
  • Step 6: Laying out the appropriate spatial planning categories for each identified environmental feature.