n Journal of Public Administration - What price developmental land-use in South Africa? Paying lip service to law

Volume 41, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Developmental land-use in South Africa depends upon the predictable enforcement of regulations that are meant to conduce to the health, safety and welfare of its citizenry. South Africa has no shortage of municipal regulations in this regard, but its organs of state seem to have neither the will nor the wherewithal to enforce them. This impotence has opened the way for opportunists and slumlords to flaunt basic property rights with impunity. The effect of this is a serious undermining of trust in, and respect for, the law. The State has in many cases abrogated its function as the upholder of the law to a beleaguered citizenry, and an effete judiciary has sometimes connived in this dereliction. The State has also failed to exercise creativity in providing incentives to realize its developmental policy goals, while the sanctions it employs are ignored or circumvented by corrupt officials and politicians due to a lack of oversight. The law in South Africa has had its legitimacy compromised by poorly-conceived legislation and bureaucratic inertia. It is difficult to see how orderly, coherent land-use development can take root in the current environment. What is required is a renewed commitment to the fundamental principles espoused in South Africa's - its Constitution.

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