from the coast 500 m inwards. The areas most suitable for intensive tourism development is the existing Xai-Xai Beach through infill development and the area east of Chongoene. Restricted tourism can be allowed between Xai-Xai Beach and Chongoene Beach. The best areas are along the 2km to the stretch to the east of Xai-Xai Beach. The protected areas form lateral bands which links to the back areas that are higher than 60 m. Extensive areas for services are located to the back of the tourism areas. Space for the extension of villages has been identified next to the main roads.
The development concept is a multi-nodal structure that has its main focus on Xai-Xai Beach. The development pattern consists of discreet pockets of development, each with its own character, which forms a focus for tourism development. This creates diversity and addresses the variety of needs in the area. The specific development of each area has been determined by its carrying capacity. The edges of the development cells have been identified and the cells are separated by green open space. The green open space is protected from encroachment by the definition of the development edges and is left for sustainable use. The development cells are linked with a back set vehicular road, a coastal mixed road and pedestrian routes. In this way the beach area is retained for recreational activities and conflicts between different modes of traffic are eliminated. In total there are six distinct tourism development areas along the beachfront, a sports area and two pockets for local villages set back and linked to the main movement system.
There are two existing local areas, Macamwine and Chinunguine, accommodating approximately 3,000 inhabitants. The existing areas should be upgraded following the principle of cross-subsidisation whereby tourism developments pay for the costs of bulk services making them more affordable for local residents. Facilities should also be placed in a way that they can be used by both residents and tourists. This will make them affordable for local residents and will ensure their sustainable use.
The natural areas should be protected at all costs and a programme to rehabilitate the areas where the natural vegetation has been destroyed should be implemented.
The development controls consist of building controls and architectural considerations. These are meant as guidelines for the development and evaluation of development’s suitability. Although being only guidelines, discrepancies should be evaluated with circumspection. The objectives of the building codes and guidelines are not to make all the houses in the area uniform, but primary to protect the public and common interests, as well as to avoid possible conflicts between the concession owners.
The road proposals were developed in conjunction with the spatial planning framework and relate to the developable areas along the coastal dunes. These proposals aim to balance the ecological impact of roads and access with the need to order the development pressure in the area.
The topography of the coastal dunes is not very suitable to development, as many of the slopes are too steep for building and roads will have to cut through the dunes. The exposed dune sand is unstable and prone to wind erosion. The implication for roads planning is that design standards must be restricted to fit the horizontal and vertical alignments to the natural constraints. Routes should follow contours as far as possible and where slopes are required, the route must follow natural slopes of acceptable gradients. The natural vegetation must be retained as far as possible during construction of roads and slopes resulting from cut and fill operations revegetated.
The movement system connects all development pockets and it creates a linkage between the two major development nodes: Xai-Xai Beach and Chongoene Beach. It consists of a road placed at approximately one to two kilometres inland from the beach. This is closer than previously anticipated in the Xai-Xai District ICAM Strategy report.
A mixed road, accommodating both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, has been proposed next to the beachfront based on the existing road linking Xai-Xai Beach with Chongoene Beach. This road is placed behind the foredunes and at the foot of the next dunes. This road will only be accessible for cars in areas where it is protected by the foredunes. In other areas it becomes a pedestrian promenade and emergency transport route. It will be used for temporary access to properties to the east until the construction of the back set road is finalised.
It is important to remain focussed on the purpose of development of the Xai-Xai coastal area, namely to provide a safe secure and healthy environment where development of the tourist industry can proceed. In this regard, a high standard of services for water, sewerage and waste disposal is essential. These must meet and be seen to meet international standards without any deviation. Tourism requires expensive investment by developers and they will only be attracted by a safe secure environment.