Examining the feasibility of introducing environmental surcharges to finance local coastal management initiatives in South Africa : a case study in Plettenberg Bay

Mollatt, David G. R. (2004) Examining the feasibility of introducing environmental surcharges to finance local coastal management initiatives in South Africa : a case study in Plettenberg Bay. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The management of coastal resources in South Africa has come under review as a result of the degradation of environmental resources along the coast. The challenge being faced by resource managers is to achieve economic growth while sustaining South Africa’s coastal resource base (Nobel, 2000). The South African government (RSA, 2000) has developed a coastal management strategy to meet this challenge: The strategy involves the inclusion of all stakeholders in the formation of policy regarding the management of coastal resources, in a more integrated approach to coastal management. To effectively achieve this stakeholder inclusion, it has become necessary to decentralize the political, administrative and fiscal authority to conduct coastal management functions. With regard to the need for fiscal decentralisation this thesis considers the possibility of implementing localised environmental surcharges to finance coastal management initiatives. The ability of the White Paper for Sustainable Coastal Development (RSA, 2000) to provide theformal institutional structure necessary for the introduction of environmental surcharges is firstconsidered. It is shown that the decentralised management strategy has the potential to create a management style that is transparent and accountability orientated. In addition to this the style is capable of adapting to dynamic local coastal conditions and is therefore an appropriate direction in which to steer coastal management in South Africa. The effectiveness of coastal co-management as an informal institutional arrangement is then examined. Provided that local Coastal Management Fora are created to include all relevant stakeholders and that a source of long term financing is secured co-management has the potential to create the conditions necessary for effective coastal management. With regard to a source of long term financing, local environmental surcharges to finance coastal management initiatives are considered. The public’s willingness to contribute to such a surcharge is analysed in the context of Plettenberg Bay by probing their willingness to pay (WTP) for a Bay Management Plan. A survey instrument is developed to measure the public’s WTP. The design of the instrument is based on the Contingent Valuation (CV) method that is used to analyse the nonmarket benefits that environmental resources (such as Plettenberg Bay) provide the public. It is found that the resident population is willing to pay R15 per month toward a Bay Management Plan whilst domestic and foreign tourists respectively are willing to pay R6 and R22 daily. The aggregation of these WTP estimates yields a total passive use value of between R15 397 900 – R20330 500 annually. This nuclear value of the Bay should be included in the formation of local coastal management policy and provides guidance for the introduction of a local environmental surcharge. A budget for a Bay Management Plan is proposed and a progressive surcharge based on municipal property value is set. To finance the local residents’ share of the budget, a monthly surcharge of R1 would be required of the average valued property. To calculate the domestic and foreign tourist contribution to the budget a schedule of accommodation offering property will be required. However, to finance the entire budget a residential surcharge of approximately R10 would be required of the average valued property. This figure is well below the average resident population WTP of R15, highlighting the fact that an environmental surcharge in Plettenberg Bay is indeed feasible. The difference in reported WTP and the contribution required to finance the Bay Management Plan also highlights that there is scope for experimentation in the introduction of such a surcharge.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Environmental surcharges, Coastal management, South Africa, Tourism, Taxation
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Commerce > Economics and Economic History
ID Code:2820
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:21 May 2012 09:14
Last Modified:21 May 2012 09:14
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