Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Participation Within South Africa’s Marine Spatial Planning Regulatory Framework




marine spatial planning, indigenous knowledge, environmental rights, reasonable legislation, indigenous knowledge practitioners


In this article the legislative environment within which South African Marine Spatial Planning legislation (MSP) was developed, will be examined. It aims to establish and support the relevance of indigenous knowledge and the role of indigenous knowledge practitioners in the marine spatial planning process from a legal point of view. It reiterates the state’s positive obligation regarding the development of environmental legislation and considers whether the state has met its obligation within the context of MSP legislation, thereby contributing to the correction of injustices of the past. It finds that South Africa’s MSP legislation falls short of the requirement of reasonableness in environmental legislation to the extent that it does not yet incorporate a requirement for the consideration of indigenous knowledge nor the participation of indigenous knowledge practitioners in MSP decision-making processes. This gap in the legislative framework is regrettable as these practitioners primarily belong to indigenous communities that were subject to marginalisation and exclusion in decision-making in the pre-democratic South African era. The author concludes by recommending amendments that may be made with regard to the MSP instruments to ensure that indigenous knowledge is considered and that indigenous knowledge practitioners participate in the MSP decision-making processes for establishing marine area plans.


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How to Cite

Metuge, Denning. “Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Participation Within South Africa’s Marine Spatial Planning Regulatory Framework”. Southern African Public Law, 20 pages.



Received 2023-09-16
Accepted 2024-01-19
Published 2024-02-29