The coastal and marine abundance of South Africa is world-renowned. Users of the coastal and marine resources constitute a diverse range of stakeholders; from eco-tourism operators and fishermen to oil and gas companies. Facilitating dialogue between and with these stakeholders is paramount for local and federal governments. Follow the story map to see how the government is using spatial data as a starting point for policy.

Balancing Economic Benefits and Environmental Protection


The coastal and marine diversity of South Africa has the potential to contribute up to 177 billion rand to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create just over one million jobs by 2033. To safeguard this extraordinary diversity, the federal government has taken action by implementing open spatial data infrastructures as a starting point for dialogue.

Operation Phakisa


Operation Phakisa was launched in 2014 by the federal government to safeguard the ocean environment against illegal activities and promote socio-economic benefits. In 2016, 22 proposed Marine Protected Areas were opened for public comment.

Negotiations brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including public and private sector businesses, to discuss the boundaries of the protected areas and the benefits and limitations of each area. These negotiations are still on-going, and the boundaries have been adjusted to reflect public commentary.

Oceans and Coasts Information Management System


The National Oceans and Coasts Information Management System (OCIMS) is a public access platform to build outreach and support spatial planning. It was created with initial funding from the Ministry of Environment but is now used across multiple levels of government and by the public. It hosts spatial and nonspatial data regarding the oceans and coasts, and is open access and cloud-based.

Story Map: Case Studies in Coastal And Marine Negotiation