Marine Spatial Planning in South Africa
By Lauren Hankel and Melissa Burgess, CSIR
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is a process that includes the analysis and allocation of human activities by multiple sectors in the ocean space through stakeholder engagement and public participation. These activities are conducted to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives and should not typically compromise marine ecosystems. These objectives are specified through political processes and will optimise sustainable economic growth .
The South African government has decided to undertake MSP as part of the Oceans Economy component of Operation Phakisa. The MSP component forms part of Operation Phakisa Initiative 10 ‘Marine Spatial Planning Process’ which is led by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
In 2016 the first draft of the Marine Spatial Planning Bill 2017  was published in South Africa and the Marine Spatial Planning Bill 2017  was passed by the national assembly in April 2018. The Marine Spatial Planning Framework 2017  was also published in 2017. A system was proposed in the Marine Spatial Planning Bill 2017  to assist with the MSP process. The system is expected to host data and information in order to develop Marine Area Plans (MAPs) .
The National Oceans and Coastal Information Management System (OCIMS) forms part of Operation Phakisa Initiative 6 ‘National Ocean and Coastal Information System and Extending Earth Observation Capability’. It was explicitly stated in the Marine Spatial Planning Framework 2017 that the spatial data will be integrated into OCIMS. To date, in this regard, OCIMS has developed a MSP Support Viewer to view MSP related data.
The MSP Support Viewer only contains a subset of data required for the development of MAPs. The National Working Group (NWG) on MSP that was established through the Marine Spatial Planning Bill 2017  have compiled a list of maps with required data. The NWG on MSP are currently in the process of gathering all of the required data and compiling static maps. The MSP Support Viewer will add value by displaying the data interactively so that users can overlay the data.
The Marine Spatial Planning Support Viewer can be accessed at the following URL:
1 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Marine Spatial Planning Programme. N.D. Marine Spatial Planning. Accessed 5 October 2018. Available from: <http://msp.ioc-
2 Marine Spatial Planning Bill 2017. Available from: <https://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/B9D-2017.pdf>
3 Marine Spatial Planning Bill 2017. Available from: <https://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Draft-Marine-Spatial-Planning-Framework-Published-for-public-comment-20160819-GGN-40219-00936.pdf>