n Local Government Bulletin - 2012 : the year of planning? : editorial




2012 is fast becoming a watershed in the development of a land-use planning framework for South Africa. Just before the beginning of the year, the devoted the better part of its chapter on human settlements to the need to reform the way in which the three spheres of government conduct spatial planning and development management. Indeed, the importance of an improved legal framework for land-use planning cannot be overstated. Without an effective planning framework, it will be hard to address the apartheid spatial patterns that still dominate the urban scenery. Furthermore, the success of the multi-billion Rand national infrastructure projects, announced by the President in the 2012 State of the Nation address, will depend on an improved planning framework. It will also be hard, if not impossible, to buck the trend of low-cost housing being relegated to the periphery of cities and towns. In addition, government's ability to unlock the social value of land and property by making measured interventions into the property market requires the backing of a changed legal framework. Nor will it be possible to avoid further droughts, coastal erosion and many of the other pernicious effects of climate change without a land-use planning system that mitigates and adapts to climate change. The conservation of our rich biodiversity and tourism potential also requires a better planning framework.


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