The iSimangaliso Wetland Park (iSimangaliso) is a World Heritage Site located in the coastal and inland areas of north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. It was established in November 2000 in terms of Regulations published under the World Heritage Convention Act (No 49 of 1999). Between the 1950s and 1970s, the residents of what is today known as the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia were forcibly removed from their ancestral land. This resulted in a post-apartheid land claim that was settled in 1999 through cash compensation, a right to a percentage of gate takings, traditional access to graves and other heritage sites, and development rights to a portion of land (Bhangazi Heritage Site) on the south-eastern shore of Lake Bhangazi.
The Bhangazi Community Trust proposes to develop a cultural tourism lodge within the developable area of the Bhangazi Heritage Site., which provides links to their cultural heritage (as agreed between the Trust and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso)). The proposed three star lodge will provide catered and self-catering options as detailed in the Project Description section and has been designed in line with iSimangaliso’s Environmental and Development Guidelines/ Framework. Before the proposed project can begin, environmental authorisation (EA) must be obtained in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations of the National Environmental Management Act (No 107 of 1998, as amended) (NEMA). The proposed project triggers listed activities in terms of the NEMA EIA Listing Notices 1 and 3 (GNR. 983 and 985) and therefore requires the completion of a Basic Assessment (BA). As the project is proposed to take place within a World Heritage Site, the National Department of Environmental Affairs is the designated Competent Authority. As the development also falls within 500m of a wetland, the need for a water use authorisation under the requirements of the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998) will need to be determined.
Background Information Document
The aim of this Background Information Document (BID) is to provide stakeholders with initial project information, as well as information regarding the associated BA and Public Participation Process.
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