Draft Climate Change Plan
Key Climate Hazards
The figure below shows projected changes in annual average temperatures, highlighting increasing temperatures throughout the district for the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. By 2050, the district is projected to be affected by higher annual average temperatures, which will adversely affect water and food security. Evaporation rates will also likely increase and agricultural outputs may reduce.
Increasing rainfall variability
The figure below shows projected shifts in annual average rainfall throughout the district between 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Annual average rainfall amounts vary across the district. There is uncertainty regarding projected future rainfall.
Increasing storms and flooding events
The figure below shows projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout the district over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Increases in the number of rainfall days are likely to result in an increase in intense storms, and flooding events across the district.
The current delineation of biomes is depicted in the figure below, with the predicted shift in biomes shown in the following figure based on a high-risk scenario. The biomes have varying sensitivities to the projected impacts of climate change which are further exacerbated by issues such as the fragmentation of natural areas and unsustainable water usage rates.
Climate Change Vulnerability
A climate change vulnerability assessment is a way of identifying and prioritising impacts from climate change. The IPCC defines vulnerability as:
"Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change"
Summary of Climate Change Response Plan
A vulnerability assessment lets you identify these adverse impacts of climate change that are most important to your area. The climate change vulnerability assessment process that is used in this toolkit identified the following indicators in the table below.
Adaptive Capacity Comment
|Agriculture||Change in grain (maize, wheat & barley) production||Yes||There are existing maize plantations in the following areas:|
There is commercial farming and subsistence farming.
|High||Contributes to the economy.|
Reduces poverty levels.
|Low||Scarcity of resources.|
Less access to market.
Afri-Forum and Agri-Forum as well as the Department of Agriculture and LED unit within the Zululand District Municipality.
|Agriculture||Increased areas for commercial plantations||Yes||Commercial and subsistence farming in eDumbe and Vryheid||High||Rodvelt|
|Low||No research or policy in place that we are aware of.|
No community capacity.
Impala Water association
|Biodiversity and Environment||Increased impacts on environment due to land-use change||Yes||Ulundi, Nongoma, Vryheid and Pongola encounter invasion of agricultural land into settlements and dongas, de-urbanisation, etc.|
Illegal developments and informal settlements in Vryheid.
Pongola - grassland invaded by alien invasive species.
Ulundi - forestry has been replaced by human settlement.
eDumbe - grassland has been replaced by alien species.
Vryheid - Thala Game Reserve threatened by overgrazing.
|High||Forests are being cleared for human settlements||Low||Settlement plans,|
SDF's, IDPs, and
traditional leadership, Ingonyama Trust, Cogta, DARD and municipal planning units.
Alien Invasive project by EDTEA
|Human Health||Increased malnutrition and hunger as a result of food insecurity||Yes||Recent droughts have impacted on food security.||High||The District has 18.4% malnutrition fatality cases rate||Low||Community Services provides subsistence (co-op) farmers with seeds.|
More effort is required to get underground water from springs and boreholes.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Loss of industrial and labour productivity||Yes||Industrial activities include: Sand mining, coal mining, blast mining, and a sugar mill in Pongola||High||Mining is a significant contributor to the economy and a significant employer.||Low||Lack of policies and enforcement by the municipalities to respond to mining impacts.|
No institutional support.
Impacts of severe weather on damaged topsoil. No vegetation also results in communities being exposed to higher temperatures.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased impacts on traditional and informal dwellings||Yes||Mud houses and informal settlements. |
|High||Exposure to fire and storm damage.|
Lightning results in loss of life.
Buildings on floodlines.
Windy areas impact on informal and traditional dwellings.
|Low||Human Settlements Department,|
Town Planning Department.
Awareness in rural areas is needed.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased isolation of rural communities||Yes||Communities in deep rural areas lack infrastructure e.g. access roads, electricity, clean water etc.||High||Mostly rural||Low||Existing policies but lack of capacity to implement.|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased migration to urban and peri-urban areas||Yes||Migration to Ulundi, Johannesburg, Durban.||High||No job opportunities in rural areas. There is a lack of infrastructure as well.||Low||Agriculture sector requires improvements.|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased risk of wildfires||Yes||Fires have been experienced||High||Across the District. Lack of awareness.||Low||Policies are existing but there is a lack of capacity to implement.|
|Water||Less water available for irrigation and drinking||Yes||There were drought incidences in 2015/16 in the following Local Municipalities: Abaqulusi, Ulundi, Nongoma, Pongola and Edumbe.||High||2015/16|
Abaqulusi was affected the most.
|Low||Provision of relief through water tankers.|
The District has systems and plans in place, but these are inadequate especially for the creation of new dams.
Financial resources are also a challenge
The CSIR Greenbook has also developed and refined a vulnerability assessment framework by collating relevant data into composite vulnerability indicators. Four local municipality level vulnerability indices were computed and are shown spatially below.
Social inequalities are the factors that affect the susceptibility and coping mechanisms of communities and households. Indicators for social vulnerability attempt to consider the sensitivity, response and recovery from the impacts of natural hazards. The CSIR Green Book has developed a socio-economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the Socio-Economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Environmental vulnerability describes the vulnerability and risk to the natural environment and the impacts on the ecological infrastructure of which surrounding settlements are dependent. The environmental risk of an area includes ecosystems, habitats, physical and biological processes (reproduction, diversity, energy ﬂows, etc). The CSIR Green Book has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the environmental vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Physical vulnerability describes the physical fabric and connectedness of settlements (buildings and infrastructure) and focuses mainly on the conditions that exist before a hazard occurs and the expected level of resulting loss. The CSIR Green Book has developed a physical vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the physical vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Economic vulnerability describes the potential risks posed by hazards on economic assets and processes. Potential hazards can include job losses, increased poverty and interruptions in business activities. The CSIR Green Book has developed an economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
- CSIR. 2019. ‘Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change’. Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change. 2019. www.greenbook.co.za.
- Le Roux, A, E van Huyssteen, K Arnold, and C Ludick. 2019. ‘The Vulnerabilities of South Africa’s Settlements’. Green Book. 2019. https://pta-gis-2-web1.csir.co.za/portal/apps/GBCascade/index.html?appid=280ff54e54c145a5a765f736ac5e68f8.
SANParks. 2011a. ‘CCAB - Current Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/484
SANParks. 2011b. ‘CCAB - High Risk Scenarios - Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/486.