Efficacy of the Spatial and Land Use Management Act in the promotion of spatial justice in an urban land reform context

Swanepoel, Sonja (2020-03)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The spatial legacy of colonialism and apartheid is clearly still intact. Problems of poverty and marginalisation are especially prevalent in informal settlements in South Africa, which showcase the immense spatial disparity so in need of redress. Due to a lack of intergovernmental cooperation as well as insufficient investment in housing and infrastructure, the inherent inequalities in urban areas are being reproduced. Other issues relate to a lack of inclusion, specifically as it relates to participation in decision-making. Although all racially-based land measures were already repealed in 1991 and even though apartheid had officially ended by 1994, bringing about major changes in policy and legislation, with a new corresponding focus on the protection of human rights, specific attention was not given to the deep-rooted problems related to spatial patterns. For these reasons it is necessary to evaluate whether existing policies and statutes aimed at promoting urban spatial transformation and spatial justice are effective. In this regard, the focus shifts to the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 (“SPLUMA”), a planning framework Act. The main research question is accordingly whether SPLUMA, in its current form, is able to promote spatial justice in an urban land reform context, specifically in informal settlements, with reference to sections 25(5) and 25(6) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the “Constitution”), pertaining to the promotion of access to land and improving tenure security, respectively. In this study it was found that SPLUMA does indeed, although to a very limited extent, promote spatial justice in the context of the particular constitutional imperatives contained in sections 25(5) and 25(6) of the Constitution. Essentially, SPLUMA is a planning tool and not inherently aimed at promoting land reform. Yet, because of the very specific touching points between SPLUMA and sections 25(5) and 25(6) of the Constitution, with some adjustment and with more emphasis on particular tools in SPLUMA, the efficacy of SPLUMA in its endeavour to promote spatial justice can and must be improved.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die nalatenskap van kolonialisme en apartheid is nog duidelik sigbaar in informele nedersettings in Suid-Afrika. Probleme verwant aan armoede en marginalisering is ʼn alomteenwoordige verskynsel wat die geweldige ruimtelike ongelykheid in die land beklemtoon. As gevolg van ʼn gebrek aan inter-regeringsamewerking sowel as onvoldoende investering in behuising en infrastruktuur, word die inherente ongelykhede in stedelike gebiede voortgesit. Ander kwessies hier van belang hou verband met ʼn gebrek aan insluiting van inwoners van informele nedersettings, veral met die oog op deelname aan besluitneming. Alhoewel alle rasgebaseerde maatreëls reeds in 1991 herroep is en selfs al is apartheid amptelik teen 1994 afgeskaf, met die gepaardgaande veranderinge in beleid en wetgewing en ʼn nuwe fokus op die beskerming van menseregte, is daar nie spesifiek aandag geskenk aan die diepgewortelde probleme wat te doen het met ruimtelike patrone nie. Hieruit spruit die behoefte om ondersoek in te stel of bestaande beleid en wetgewing wat daarop gemik is om stedelike transformasie en ruimtelike geregtigheid te bevorder, doeltreffend is. Die fokus skuif dus na die Wet op Ruimtelike Beplanning en Grondbestuur 16 van 2013 (“SPLUMA”, die “Wet”), ʼn beplanningsraamwerkwet. Die navorsingsvraag is dus of die Wet, in die huidige vorm, ruimtelike geregtigheid kan bevorder in ʼn stedelike grondhervormingskonteks, spesifiek in informele nedersettings, met verwysing na artikels 25(5) en 25(6) van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika (die “Grondwet”), wat verband hou met die bevordering van, onderskeidelik, toegang tot grond en verbetering van verblyfreg. In hierdie studie is bevind dat SPLUMA inderdaad, hoewel tot ʼn baie beperkte mate, ruimtelike geregtigheid bevorder in die konteks van die bepaalde grondwetlike imperatiewe vervat in artikels 25(5) en 25(6) van Grondwet. In wese is die Wet ʼn beplanningsinstrument en is dit daarom nie inherent daarop gemik om grondhervorming te bevorder nie. Vanweë die baie spesifieke raakpunte tussen die Wet en artikel 25(5) en (6) van die Grondwet, met ʼn mate van aanpassing en met meer klem op spesifieke instrumente in die Wet, kan en moet die Wet se doeltreffendheid in die bevordering van ruimtelike geregtigheid verbeter word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108420
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