A court ruling that saw millions of litres of vitally needed fresh water from the Umfolozi River pour into the sea instead of into the St Lucia Estuary has been reversed, thus paving the way for the restoration of the estuary and Lake St Lucia itself.
The St Lucia wetlands were inscribed as South Africa’s first natural World Heritage Site. The iSimangaliso Wetland Authority had created a channel that linking the uMfolozi River with the st Lucia Estuary, thus sending millions of litres of much-needed fresh water into the St Lucia system. A court injunction following legal action by the a local sugar co-operative and two farmers, whose land was being flooded by backed-up water from the uMfolozi, saw the channel closed, thus posing a very real threat to the future of St Lucia system which is suffering the effects of the crippling drought affecting the region. The iSimangaliso Wetland Authority challenged this closure and won their case, thus enabling them to open the channel once more. The Authority has, however, kept the door open to the sugar co-operative to create a workable solution to the problem. For more see: