The warm Indian Ocean is home to a range of diverse sea creatures. Within sight, from KwaZulu-Natal beaches, you can watch the mole crabs burrow in the golden sands and pods of local bottlenose dolphins breaching the morning waters at sunrise. These waters form part of the 6.5km of coastline along the Sibaya Coastal Precinct and is also home to 750 hectares of protected coastal forest landscape that forms part of the natural eco-system in the area.
In efforts to maintain this natural wonder, 60% of the Sibaya Coastal Precinct will remain undeveloped, along with the possibility of further developing a marine protected area from the Umdloti region to south side of Umhlanga Rocks. The Sibaya Precinct Master Management Association actively oversees the management and conservation of this area.
Within the natural coastal dune forests, the precinct hosts 3.5km of safe, natural walk and hiking trails at present. Taking into consideration the vulnerability of the forest and landscape, no boardwalks are planned, leaving trails as clear and open as possible. A collective effort of on-going clearing of alien vegetation and maintenance of the coastal terrain will assist in creating a secure area with the symbiotic relationship between the forest and ocean.
One of the key areas of conservation located within the greater precinct is the eMdloti Conservancy. Known as the “no take zone”, this stretch of beach located along the South Beach road of eMdloti is a marine protected area where fishing and other human disturbances are banned in efforts to maintain the beach for future generations.
In a direct effort to help ocean conservation, the managing director of Tongaat Hulett Property, Bongani Gumede, states that the implementation of green jobs will have a direct impact on enhancing the quality of life within the eco-system, including the factor of “river source to sea” which entails establishing programmes which focuses on removal of plastic and other waste to improve water system quality that leads into the sea.
Playing a direct role in the maintenance of the beaches within the precinct, The Sibaya Precinct Master Management Association works closely with the municipality to ensure that beaches are kept clean by maintaining a litter free zone.
As the development of a world-class, sought-after neighbourhood continues, the conservation and protection of the natural surroundings remains a top priority.