INTRODUCTION – Xai-Xai IDP
which, if preserved and maintained, will in turn benefit the local population and national treasury on a long-term basis.
Sustainable development implemented in environmentally less sensitive, physically and functionally appropriate areas and sites for agriculture, fishery and especially tourism, including residential zones and the relevant infrastructure.
A belt of high coastal dunes stretching all along the coast and interrupted only by a very narrow Limpopo river mouth, should be entirely protected. The degree of protection can vary for different sections, particularly for the areas under development and those intended for future development.
Apart from a strong commitment of biodiversity protection of the coastal dunes belt, it is also necessary to propose an appropriate area and management framework for the needed economic development. It is obvious that tourism development and the relevant infrastructure construction will bring alterations to particular segments of the coastal dunes environment. The task of this ICAM and the projects that will follow, is to propose and implement a concept of sustainable tourism development, in order to minimise negative impacts on immediate site and avoid negative impacts upon the environment in the majority of the Xai - Xai district coastal areas. However, the development of mentioned activities, particularly tourism, if properly managed, is expected to bring significant improvement to the state of the environment in the already degraded areas (the coastal dunes vegetation, beach rock depletion).”
In the same document tourism and housing development is defined as follows:
“Within a 67 km long coastline of the Xai - Xai district, tourism, residential and relevant infrastructure (roads) development should be confined and concentrated at the places where this activity already exists, namely, in the area between Xai - Xai and Chongoene Beach. Any development of tourism accommodation capacities outside of this area should be prevented in order to protect the remaining uninhabited and unspoiled environment of coastal dunes. In such a way, the alteration of natural environment is confined to a relatively small section of coastal dunes (9 km in length or about 13% of the district’s coastline). Besides, the advantages of concentrating the future tourism and residential development along this segment of the coastal strip, are, among others, the following:
Within the whole coastal strip, only two lagoons offer protected beaches which are most suitable for bathing and practising other marine activities;
The existing tourist centre in Xai - Xai Beach and a hotel in the Chongoene Beach will facilitate the development and operation of the nearby future tourist sites;
Some of the existing infrastructure facilities at the site (road, gasoline station, boat landing facility) will help start the new tourism development; and
Concentration of tourist capacities in this section of the coastal strip will allow the rational construction of an adequate infrastructure (water supply network, liquid waste treatment and disposal, energy supply, feeder roads, boat landing and mooring facility, etc.).
Development of settlements within the coastal dunes area, should be restricted except within the segment of Xai - Xai to Chongoene Beach. The most appropriate area for this purpose are the interior dunes including the area behind the coastal dunes where a chain of small villages already exists.”
Tourism development Strategy for Xai – Xai to Chongoene Beach Tourist Resort is proposed as follows:
“Being part of the coastal dunes protected area of Xai-Xai to Chongoene Beach, the proposed tourist resort should be developed respecting as much as possible natural and landscape aesthetic values, particularly the dunes indigenous vegetation and morphology.
Following this principle, the least harmful to the dunes environment and most suitable for the development of tourist accommodation structures, are small valleys on the seaward side of