The IDZ

The IDZ

The CWCBR therefore aims to establish an industrial biodiversity corridor in the major industrial area of Saldanha. The industrial biodiversity corridor will be secured through a range of different land consolidation strategies where one of these would be the signing of stewardship agreements with CapeNature to ensure the long term protection and conservation of these corridors of vegetation. The CWCBR is undertaking stewardship on behalf of CapeNature within the CWCBR.

The Saldanha Peninsula is under very high pressure for development, threatening the remaining areas of natural vegetation. Saldanha-Vredenburg has been identified in the Provincial Spatial Development Framework (PSDF) (CNdV Africa, 2005) as one of the two regional motors in the Western Cape for urban economic development to support the City of Cape Town, due to the presence of Saldanha Bay – the deepest and largest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere. As a result of this Saldanha has been the focus of industrial development over the past two decades with the establishment of several major industries in the area including Mittal Steel (previously Saldanha Steel), the Transnet Iron Ore Export Harbour and Namakwa Sands Smelter. The Saldanha Peninsula contains three endangered vegetation types (Saldanha Limestone Strandveld, Saldanha Granite Strandveld and Saldanha Flats Strandveld) and one vulnerable vegetation type, according to the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment, with many Red Data species that are confined to the Saldanha Peninsula.

The Saldanha industrial area extends northwards from the Iron-Ore Export Harbour. There are currently sections of undeveloped land in between the industries containing endangered vegetation types in good condition. The expansion and further development of industries in the area are likely to result in a continuous corridor of industrial development. The extant vegetation between the industries forms the only possible corridor linking the natural vegetation on the Saldanha Peninsula with other natural vegetation further inland. These corridors have been identified in the CAPE Fine Scale Planning Project for the Saldanha Municipal area, where the Critical Biodiversity Areas (CBA) map clearly indicates the corridors.

Corridors are additionally recognized as important mechanisms to mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity by facilitating the movement of biota into areas with more favourable climatic conditions. The West Coast has been identified as one of the areas that will be most seriously affected by climate change and is projected to become increasingly arid.

The CWCBR therefore aims to establish an industrial biodiversity corridor in the major industrial area of Saldanha. The industrial biodiversity corridor will be secured through a range of different land consolidation strategies where one of these would be the signing of stewardship agreements with CapeNature to ensure the long term protection and conservation of these corridors of vegetation. The CWCBR is undertaking stewardship on behalf of CapeNature within the CWCBR.

The corridor can also be secured through inclusion within statutory spatial planning initiatives. The proposed Saldanha Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) project being implemented by the Saldanha Municipality focuses on the area surrounding the proposed corridor. The IDZ aims to maximise the industrial potential of the area (due to the presence of the harbour) through various incentives and proposal. The proposal is for a green IDZ whereby an attempt will be made for all the energy requirements to be supplied by green energy initiatives within the IDZ e.g. wind and solar energy. An Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the IDZ and surrounding area is proposed to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account in the planning. Biodiversity would be one of the foremost issues (as described above) and incorporation of the biodiversity corridor into the EMF will ensure that biodiversity impacts will be minimised.