On 19 July 2015, Dr Aninka Claassens from the Centre for Law and Society; Dr Nozizwe Makgalemele of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform; Nomboniso Gasa, senior research associate at the Centre for Law and Society; Siyabulela Manona, a town planner and member of the Alliance for Rural Democracy and Kgosi Mathibela Mokoena engaged in a discussion of SPLUMA with Dumile Mteza on Rights and Recourse.
The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) was promulgated on 01 July 2015 after it was signed into law by President Zuma in August 2013. This law consolidates all the previous planning laws into one law and makes all planning a municipal function. The promulgation of this Act was immediately followed by heated controversy. The National House of Traditional Leaders protested and demanded that Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti suspend the implementation of this Act. Amakhosi argued that they were never “properly consulted,” and furthermore the Act undermines their authority in communal areas by giving planning responsibility to municipalities. This effectively gives municipalities powers over the traditional institution, which they argue is the “rightful owner of the land”.
Responding to the NHOTL, Minister Nkwinti assured Amakhosi that as “the de facto owners of the land” municipalities will have to consult them in planning and development. Further on the department is ready to amend the law to enforce this.
It is against this background that the SPLUMA discussion on Rights and Recourse took place. Here is a link to the discussion.