The KwaZulu-Natal South African Local Government Association (SALGA) facilitated a “municipal think tank” discussion platform that aims to provide collective solutions to challenges within the planning and development fraternity.

Amongst others, the session was aimed at addressing the current challenge of the extension of deadline for SPLUMA compliant land use schemes.

Local municipalities were attended, including representatives from the Emadlangeni Municipality. In terms of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA), municipalities must have compliant land use schemes in place by 1 July 2020, which is a challenge for most KZN municipalities.

In an attempt to assist municipalities with this challenge, the think tank discussion brought together sector departments and stakeholders, whom jointly with municipalities, will be able to craft a solution to this challenge.
SALGA’s Prashina Mohangi outlined the purpose of the day emphasising that discussions would centre around assessing the status quo of single land use schemes in the province to assess the required support and intervention.

Councillor Thembeka Mchunu, a member of the SALGA KZN Economic Development Working Group welcomed all the delegates and assured them of SALGA’s commitment of being at the forefront of supporting municipalities in ensuring that they are able to undertake service delivery.

“The aim of the session is not only to lobby for the extension of the deadline of the SPLUMA land use scheme but also to find solutions to what can be done to ensure that municipalities are able to draft, adopt and implement these schemes making spaces legible” said Mchunu.

SALGA KZN director of operations, Sabelo Gwala, urged delegates to “think out of the box” when engaging in discussion, emphasising that a think tank is a platform that facilitates critical and effective discussions which promotes effective decision making.

Mandisa Zungu from KZN Cogta presented on the Status of Single Land Use Schemes in KZN. “Eleven municipalities have single land use schemes, the remaining 33 are either in the process of development of the single land use scheme or possibly not in the process. The department has been actively assisting municipalities with the preparations, approvals and review of land use schemes and progress is notable.”

She added that the department had written a letter of intent to apply for extension of deadline to the Minister of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. “The department is in the process of collecting supporting information from municipalities in order to formally put through the application for the province. Municipalities are encouraged to come forth with the supporting information that is required to enable the department to apply for the exemption,” she said.

Municipal planners participated actively in the discussions and crafting a way forward. SALGA, KZN COGTA and Department of Rural Development and Land Reform committed to continuously provide support to municipalities in developing Single Land Use Schemes that are SPLUMA compliant.