The Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) commissioned the drafting of a South African Oceans Economy Masterplan (The Masterplan) to unlock the development of the sector and its ocean-based industries. The stated intention of the Masterplan is to stabilize, revive, and grow key sub-sectors of South Africa’s Oceans Economy through to 2035.
Natural Justice provided comments on the Master plan. Natural Justice recommends the creation of an enabling legislation, policy, and regulatory environment, which will aim to further advance growth, transformation, and sustainability in the sub-sector. This effort will be supported further by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of value-chains; increasing investment to aid ailing infrastructure, including the power grid, road, and transport infrastructure; increasing research and development capacity; and ensuring responsive funding instruments. Furthermore, Natural Justice recommends that the DFFE focus on increasing the size of the industry in a manner which balances economic and environmental sustainability, whilst at the same time also mitigating the impact of climate change. Importantly, Natural Justice does not support those parts of the Masterplan which seeks to enable further exploitation of fossil fuel resources, which contravenes South Africa’s own international climate commitments, and jeopardises the livelihoods of current and future generations.