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open letter to IWPA September 2017.pdf
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Old School Birding Club <>

water flow issues within the lake St. Lucia system. 1 message

Old School Birding Club <>

Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 4:26 PM To:

OPEN LETTER addressed to and published to then shared on social media. is the registered email address for the IWPA --- iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority see their web site at

attention administrative staff at the IWPA


Many thanx for your post on FB 896067270542666

I have a few questions but am not sure where or who to ask. Can you link me up with the correct folks ?

I received an email containing a news flash from on 10 September 2017 (covering the same subject matter) and this seems to be rather confusing info. Either the scientists concerned are trying to fool us as the general public, or they are not qualified to do the job, as the info put forward is rather incorrect in many aspects.

lets start with the issue of the water flow between the ocean and the estuary....

does the estuary system include the lake or is it only the Umfolozi river flood plains ?

I was always under the impression that the estuary system included the water flow in and out of lake St. Lucia. If this is wrong then I apologise. If this is right, your scientists need a slap on the ear, and a rather tight solid one that makes their head spin... so that they can catch a wake up!!!!

From the article it is clear that they talk of the lake, but they deliberately neglect to discuss the water flow patterns which are needed to scour the estuary mouth clean, along with the water volume flow measurements, which keep the lake system from silting up.. they keep discussing the water flow of the Umfolozi river as if this is the only issue at stake. The Umfolozi river only really comes into play when there are drought conditions, and the mouth to the estuary system is closed to prevent the lake from becoming a salt pan, which nature takes care of itself. . Water evaporation is the issue here, as sea water would replace the evaporated water in the lake system, and cause ultra high salt level problems very soon, leaving the lake as a salt pan. This was close to happening, and we had a total fish die out when the lake actually dried up. This has not been declared an international disaster zone, in my mind due to tourism issues, with the IWPA fearing a collapse in tourism due to the bad publicity, and that is a major threat to the future of our tourism associated with lake St. Lucia. If the lake is not part of the tourism picture we will all be in trouble, coz the beaches are already out of the picture due to the 4x4 ban and the subsequent job losses where KZN tourism estimates more than 20 000 job losses in the formal tourism sector as in their occasional paper 20, found here ForIvestorandResearcher/Research/Occ%20Papers%20PDFs/Occ%20paper%2020% 20Legislation%20on%20the%20Use%20of%204X4's%20on%20Beaches%20.pdf see last paragraph on page 2

Who can I speak to so that I may find out more, and where may I find the IWPA input to the Integrated Estuary Management Plan as is mandated by the ICMA (Integrated Coastal Management Act 2008) chapter 4 sections 33 and 34

From the news flash article it is clear that the scientists in question who put this plan together have an agenda other than the natural rehabilitation of the lake and related estuary system. This needs to be explained at the PPPM (Public Participation Process Meetings) which are mandated in terms of the NEMA (National Environmental Management Act) and these issues also need to be included in both the Mtubatuba Local Municipality IDP, and the UMkhanyakude District Municipality IDP, so that these can then be included in the Provincial IDP and then pushed to the central Government IDP. This is essential as the estuary management is not exclusive to the St. Lucia estuary mouth, but also includes the lake systems, the fresh water catchment zones and the subsequent silt flow patterns that are in place due to a host of different reasons including but not limited to

bad agricultural practices in the estuary catchment zones bad land management in state owned lands in the estuary fresh water catchment zones over grazing in rural farm lands, which fall within the estuary fresh water catchm3ent zones bad land management in game parks (Hluhluwe / Umfolozi parks) and poor information flow patterns between the IWPA and the rest of the world, which are stilted and often not inclusive of the bad community impacts associated with the IWPA decisions.

Many of these estuary fresh water catchment zones are not even in the UMkhanyakude District Mu8nicipality, which compounds the need to have this addressed at provincial level through the provincial IDP

see these video discussing the missing silt traps along the Umfolozi River and related problems which your scientists are apparently sidestepping.

this is a serious matter, and somebody needs to be held accountable.

your help in assisting me to find the required information, and who to speak to , so as to evaluate an amicable way forward will be appreciated.

I used the email address to request registration with the IWPA integrated management plan, which is the equivalent of the municipal IDP , but for some reason this has not been activated and I do not receive the necessary invites or updates to these management plans. It is my opinion that this email address has been blacklisted, or labelled as spam by the IWPA administrative system. This is a problem in my mind....

Your advice of what my next step should be, before legal action is taken to force the issue will be appreciated, as I would prefer to solve these problems without legal actions which will be very bad for tourism within the area as a whole. We all rely on tourism, so when this dries up there will be other problems... no tourists in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is not a good thing for anybody. the 4x4 ban has already cost us dearly with KZN TOURISM in their occasional PAPER 20 (see link above)

estimating job losses in excess of 20 000 way back in 2004. Many things have changed since then, but domestic tourism has not recovered, and the IWPA are not doing anything visible to get domestic tourism numbers back up to where they were prior to the 4x4 ban. The recent destruction of perfectly functioning infrastructure which is mainly used by domestic tourists at the St. Lucia Estuary Mouth, and the extreme bad parking planning, along the St. Lucia beach front adds to this perception that the IWPA are anti domestic tourists within the park as a whole. see 153111/demolition-works-st-lucias-estuary-beach/ a clear way forward where information flow between the park and concerned citizens is addressed at the mandated public participation process meetings will be truly appreciated. If this is not activated soon, we will be forced to take alternative actions which include legal steps to force the issue. these will give out such a vastly negative vibe that tourism within the area will be drastically affected. We wish to minimise this impact, so please help us to connect with the right folks who can ensure that our concerns are addressed in an open and transparent manner where all will be happy..

looking forward to your response.