Fixing apartheid’s spaces: New Joburg land use guidelines on the cards


New consolidated guidelines set to detail how houses, businesses and spaza shops in the City of Johannesburg should look are on the cards.

The City issued a notice this week inviting ratepayers to comment on the draft Land Use Scheme as part of the requirements for the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act.

According to the City, there are currently 16 different historic town planning regulatory schemes that create challenges for residents and developers.

These were designed during the apartheid era and are believed to have been crafted to separate and racially discriminate against people.

The proposed consolidated draft regulations were crafted about a year go and will scrap historic schemes adopted in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Member of the mayoral committee (MMC), Funzela Ngobeni, has encouraged residents, property developers and land owners to take part in the development of the regulatory document.

“Emphasis in the old schemes is premised on the separation of land uses, and areas, as opposed to integration and inclusion. The prescriptions in the [different] schemes create inconsistent rules for land development depending on the location in the city.”

“For instance, a spaza shop in Soweto does not require a town planning application, but in Cosmo City, the same use requires a rezoning application, which is a specialised, technical and complex process,” he said.

As an important tool forming the basis for zoning law enforcement in the City, the draft scheme also prescribes the extent to which properties can be developed and stipulates the processes regarding the use of properties.

Ngobeni reiterated that residents and business needed to increase awareness on land use regulations to promote compliance with the law and avert criminal charges relating to non-compliance.

In line with the new administration’s strategic vision, the draft Land Use Scheme aims to:

• Establish new processes for land development that will promote economic development and attract investment;

• Implement the City’s spatial development framework to provide meaningful redress;

• Introduce compatible land use and lawful enforcement with respect to zoning in order to safeguard land development investment and reduce risks to public health and business confidence;

• Make provision for socioeconomic zones with customised rules for development; and

• Ensure that land development preserves natural and heritage resources for future generations.

MMC development planning office stakeholder manager Poppy Louw said consultations would be conducted with residents in different regions early next month.

The dates and venues are as follows:

For Region A, consultation will be held at Midrand Fire Station between 6pm and 9pm on September 4;

For Region B, consultation will be held at Marks Park Sports Club between 6pm and 8pm on September 6;

For Region C; consultation will be held at Roodepoort Civic Centre in Florida Park between 6pm and 9pm on September 4;

For Region D, consultation will be at council chambers in Jabulani Civic Centre between 12pm and 2pm and 6pm and 7.30pm on September 5;

For Region E, consultation will be held at Malboro Community Hall between 12pm and 2pm and 6pm and 7pm on September 6;

For Region F, consultation will be held at Eureka House between 6pm and 9pm on September 7; and

For Region G, consultations will be at Ennerdale Civic Centre between 2pm and 4pm on September 7.

Copies of the draft scheme can be accessed on the City’s website or at all libraries and regional offices until October 13.

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