Growth plan sees hard talks on land

2011-07-15 00:00

THE KZN Provincial Planning Commission has been hard at work on a 20-year growth and development strategy for the province, with the first draft to be presented to Premier Zweli Mkhize next month.

Mayors, deputy mayors, speakers and senior municipal officials were given an outline of the draft at a meeting called by the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nomusa Dube, in Durban yesterday.

Cogta official Frikkie Brooks, who is working with the commission, told the municipal leaders that one of the aspects they need to get right is for integrated development plans of their municipalities to harmonise with each other and with the provincial plan.

Brooks said it has been found that settlement patterns in the province are unsustainable.

Questions are being asked whether the province can sustain 61 municipalities or whether the number should be reduced. There is also the problem that 68% of the population are concentrated in seven municipalities and how planning and development in these municipalities need to be done differently. Another challenge is that 40% of the land in KZN is under the custodianship of the Ingonyama Trust and tough discussions will have to take place on the way forward in unlocking land for development, especially for new urban settlements throughout the province.

Brooks said the province’s growth and development strategy will be reviewed annually and that there will be more thorough consultation. The strategy will have five-year goals leading to a plan for the province in 2021.

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