Spluma, Zoning and Effective Land Use Management in South Africa

Sea Point, Cape Town

For the first time, South Africa has a single national piece of legislation, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013, that creates an overarching framework for spatial planning, policy and land use management for the entire country, including rural and informal settlements. Spatial plans linked to zoning schemes are at the heart of this planning system. However, zoning as a land use management tool has been intensely criticised as being exclusionary and socially, economically and environmentally unsustainable. Given that the purpose of the new legislation is to create equitable and sustainable development, this paper questions whether zoning is indeed the most suitable land use management tool in South Africa. The paper briefly outlines the requirements of the new act and then evaluates the usefulness of various forms of land use management such as land use zoning, performance zoning, form-based control and discretionary systems in the South African context. Drawing on the strengths of some of the alternative land use management systems, proposals are made for a more suitable land use management system for South Africa that could have applicability in other countries with a similar colonial history.

Source: Urban Forum via Springer Link (subscription required)

Photo Credit: David Stanley


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Urban Forum (Springer)
Year 2015
Author(s) Verna Nel
Other Numbers Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 1-14
ISSN 1015-3802
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