The following account is a summary of the ongoing deliberations in Parliament. These deliberations are essential for the SPLUMB to fulfill the requirements of the public consultation process, one of the criteria the Bill has to meet before it can be signed into law by the President. This summary is reproduced courtesy of the PMG.
The Committee went through the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill (the Bill) on a clause-by-clause basis, with the State Law Advisors, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and Members raising and debating proposals for amendment.
In relation to the definitions, Members questioned whether “national interest” and “provincial interest” should be defined, but accepted the views of the State Law Advisor (SLA) that this would unduly limit them. The definition of “region” was clarified, and it was explained that it related to the preparation of a regional spatial development framework. The definition of “engineering services” was also explained as being limited to land use management. It was pointed out that “land use scheme” did not need to be defined since it was used only in Chapter 5, where it was put in context. The DRDLR proposed a new definition of “development rights”, a new definition of “integrated development plan” that would refer to Chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act, and the deletion of definitions of “rezone”, “inclusionary housing” and “erf”. In relation to clause 2, it was noted that substantial comment was raised during the public hearings, on the relationship between the national law and provincial law. DRDLR now proposed that the relationship between them be clarified by inserting a new clause 2(2) to state that no legislation that had not been repealed by the Bill may prescribe an alternative or parallel mechanism, institution or system that would be inconsistent with the Bill. Although a new subclause 2(3) was also proposed, Members pointed out that it was unnecessary, and the DRDLR conceded that point. A Member queried the import of clause 7, and the SLA pointed out that the principle set out in clause 7 was also reinforced by clause 57. A person would only get compensation when the value of his or her land had been diminished to the extent that the land could no longer be used for the purpose originally intended. It was explained that clause 8 deliberately did not state the norms and standards, since they were not fixed items.
DRDRL proposed insertion of a new clause 10(6) stating that provincial legislation that had the effect of regulating land use, land use management and land development within a province must promote the development of local government capacity, to enable municipalities to perform their municipal planning functions. This was accepted by the Committee. The words “mineral resources” were to be added to clause 12(1)(n). New wording was proposed for clause 12(2)(a), and clause 12(5) would be deleted as it added no value to the Bill. Clauses 18(3)(a) and (b) were to be deleted. In clause 19, after debate, it was eventually decided that the words “be consistent with” (environment legislation) be replaced with “comply with”. In clause 21, “and applicable norms and standards” would be added. Clauses 22(2)(a) and (b) would be combined in new wording for clause 22(2). New wording was proposed for clause 23(2), in response to the Committee’s request that traditional councils must participate in schemes or spatial development frameworks that affected their area. In clause 25, the reference to “regulations” was replaced with “regulatory procedures and conditions” since municipalities enacted provisions that were variously referred to as by-laws and regulations, and clause 25(1) would be re-worked so that it read better, and included the words “and applicable norms and standards”. A new clause 28(2)(iv) would be added, to noted that changes to land use schemes must be authorised by a Municipal Council. A Member proposed that documentation should be made available not only at regional, but also public offices, for ease of access, in relation to clause 31(2).