The Spatial Planning & Land Use Management Act, 2013
("SPLUMA"), which is part of a law reform process
designed to align land use planning with specific provisions of the
Constitution, became law in August, 2013.
In September 2013 the National Office of the Department of Rural
Development & Land Reform hosted a special forum in Durban to
unpack the way in which SPLUMA will dovetail with the Planning
& Development Act ("PDA"). Discussions revealed that
under SPLUMA, municipal or 'town' planning has been placed
firmly within the sphere of local government.
The Western Cape Provincial Government, for example, in
agreement with The Department of Rural Development & Land
Reform, has recently advised that each local Municipal Council in
that Province will adopt its own planning by-laws. This approach
flows from the recent decision of Judge Davis in the "Habitat
and Gordon's Bay" judgment in which he held that
legislation which confers on the MEC powers to make decisions on
behalf of municipalities, is unconstitutional. Confirmation of this
approach will be required by the Constitutional Court, but clearly
the Western Cape Provincial Government, and the Department of
Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, have taken the
view that this is inevitable.
If so, the infrastructure and proficiency of the smaller rural
municipalities to deal with these changes must be examined. The MEC
can publish "model" planning by-laws but it is not clear
that all 46 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal that administer
municipal planning will adopt the model, and smaller municipalities
may not have the capacity or expertise to draft or enforce their
own planning by-laws.
Another potential problem area arises with respect to appeals
against planning decisions. In terms of the PDA, an appeal is
available to an aggrieved applicant or any person who has submitted
comments about a planning application. Conversely, SPLUMA envisages
an internal appeal procedure whereby an appeal is submitted to the
executive authority of the municipality as the 'appeal
authority'. This appeal procedure applies both to an affected
party and the municipality itself. The municipality's ability
to appeal to its own executive authority is, at face value, a
somewhat ludicrous notion. Providentially, however, section 51(6)
allows a municipality to resolve that, in the place of its
executive authority, an institution outside of the municipality
should assume the obligations of an appeal authority.
In conclusion, although the implementation of the SPLUMA may
seem to present more problems than it solves, the forum showed that
the three spheres of government are working together and
implementation mechanisms have been put in place to ensure, or
encourage, a smooth transition.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
As a developing country, Nigeria's real estate sector is evolving at a tremendous pace. Governments at all levels are more aware of the role of real estate development on the growth of their respective territories.
In principle, when the parties agree to arbitrate, they shall be
bound by that agreement. It should therefore follow that when a
party initiates arbitration proceedings, the other party - the
respondent – will avail itself of the opportunity to present
its case and participate in the proceedings.
Many standard form contracts contain provisions limiting the overall liability of the contractor, upon which a contractor unfamiliar with UAE law may place mistaken reliance.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).