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Ekurhuleni is a metropolitan municipality in the East Rand region of Gauteng, South Africa. It is one of the the 6 metropolitan municipalities in the country, with a population of 2,5 million people.

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality establishes Environmental Management Framework

September 23, 2008

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (An ICLEI Africa Member) located in Gauteng, South Africa, has produced its Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the geographic area of Ekurhuleni. The EMF was gazetted on 17 June 2008. This is the first gazetted EMF for an entire local government municipality in South Africa. EMFs assist government decision-makers to make informed decisions on environmental matters.

A work of collaboration

The South African national Environmental Impact Regulations (in terms of Chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998) make provision for Environmental Management Frameworks (EMF) as regulatory instruments. The EMF was established as a joint venture between the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE).

A system to support decision making

The purpose of the EMF is to provide the EMM and GDACE with a decision making support system that will help these authorities to execute their respective mandates in a coordinated, objective and efficient manner. It is important to note that the EMF will not be a “blueprint” land use plan for the area, but a decision support mechanism that takes environmental as well as socio economic factors into account for each individual developmental decision that has to be made. The EMF can, however, as a secondary function, provide valuable inputs into local land use plans and Spatial Development Frameworks.

Determining environmental opportunities and constraints

The EMF provides a framework that sets out the environmental attributes of Ekurhuleni in a way that determines environmental opportunities and constraints for development of the area while Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs) provide frameworks for interpreting the development vision and planning principles of Ekurhuleni.

The Ekurhuleni EMF includes (amongst others):

•    an overview of the environment;
•    a description of land use and land use planning policies;
•    a description of public perceptions;
•    development constraint zones
•    areas identified in terms of NEMA; and
•    key strategies.

Using an advanced mapping system to inform decision makers

The main element of the EMF is in the form of maps which is provided in a Geographic Information System (GIS) that can be queried by users. This GIS is supported by a concise EMF document as well as more substantial background information documents.

More information

A CD is available on request, which contains the EMF document and maps. Further information:

E-mail: environment@ekurhuleni.com
Tel: +27 11 456 0119
Fax: +27 11 456 0114
Website: www.ekurhuleni.gov.za