South Africa’s coastal resources offer important opportunities for contributing to the much-needed uplifting and transformation of society and the economy. Government, in partnership with the private sector and civil society, has developed a new policy for managing the coast that aims to promote sustainable coastal development through integrated coastal management. This policy introduces a new approach to coastal management in South Africa. Rooted in extensive public participation, research, and analysis, the policy outlines a vision for the coast, as well as principles, goals, and objectives for coastal management. It also presents a plan of action for implementing the policy. This article provides a brief introduction to the policy formulation and adoption process as well as key elements of the policy. It also highlights the significance of the policy formulation process and its findings for South Africa and coastal management, and for public policy making more generally.