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Home » April 2011 » Gauging Urban LandMark's impact over the last five years

Urban LandMark's involvement in the redrafting of South Africa's Land Use Management Bill

Our role in the revision of the 2008 draft

In July 2008, Urban LandMark submitted a letter to parliament detailing key concerns over the Bill's form and suggesting areas for improvement, which included:

  • Clear guidance on each government sphere's responsibilities.
  • A clear legal path to the scrapping of apartheid legislation and the transition of inherited regulatory systems into ones reflecting current political and economic challenges.
  • An efficient and effective relationship between planning law and environmental and other laws.
  • Mechanisms for effecting and equitably fast-tracking identified projects in specific circumstances.

The withdrawal of the draft Bill by the House of Assembly in September 2008 followed a series of hearings before the Portfolio Committee for Land and Agriculture.

Urban LandMark's governance theme co-ordinator, Stephen Berrisford, was one of the presenters to Parliament in the long and difficult lead-up to the revision of the 2008 draft Bill. Our objective in this process was to ensure that new planning laws would have a directly pro-poor impact on urban land markets.

At the LUMB public hearings, Berrisford noted that Urban LandMark's submission particularly focussed on the critical importance of the redress of apartheid spatial injustices, and the development of efficient and sustainable human settlements that were to the benefit of all South Africans.

He also pointed out that the draft Bill, as it stood, added yet another layer of legislation to existing duplicative and discriminatory legislative frameworks.

It was further not clear how the 2008 draft LUMB would relate to provincial Ordinances and the Less Formal Township Establishment Act - especially certain Acts that pertained to land use management, enacted by current provinces and former apartheid-era provinces. Berrisford therefore noted that an intergovernmental process was required, as national legislation could not just override the Acts passed by these provinces.

In addition, the Development Facilitation Act (DFA) introduced innovation and invaluable routes for approvals in both the commercial and developmental sectors; with the DFA being repealed, it would leave serious gaps, especially in some provinces.

Urban LandMark therefore asked for more clarity in the Bill around which sphere would be making which decisions, and also around the scrapping of apartheid-era land development and planning legislation. Due to the multitude of problems evident in the draft LUMB, Urban LandMark felt that it would not meet the needs of poor South Africans in its current form.

Continue reading » Our role in the reformulation of a more effective, legally stronger and more pro-poor LUMB