Land use management, spatial planning and the land market in small towns


Kitchin, F (2008), “Land use management, spatial planning and the land market in small towns” (with Wendy Ovens), in ASSAF (Academy of Science of South Africa), Local Economic Development in Small Towns, Housing Delivery and Impact on the Environment, Pretoria – p53 – 59



Research conducted by Urban LandMark has shown that land management in South Africa is inefficient, exclusionary and unsustainable, with negative impacts on the poor and the state. All spheres of government need to better understand the fiscal implications of the costs associated with land development for the poor. Research also demonstrates that access to well-located state-owned land benefits the city and the poor. It may not be necessary to invest large amounts to reap substantial benefits in terms of integration of the poor into the city. Economic interventions are often more successful at lower costs. However, integration is complex and does not always lead to social inclusion. It is necessary for local government to act to reduce the vulnerability of the poor when they seek access to urban areas.

Several towns and their municipalities have been examined to assess the extent to which land use policies and practices enable municipalities to provide the poor with access to well-located land in a sustainable manner to integrate them effectively into the daily workings of the town. This considered planning and urban land management and the way the market works in several smaller urban centres, namely Pietermaritzburg/Msunduzi, Rustenburg, Sasolburg/Metsimaholo, Lusikisiki/Ingquza Hill, Ulundi and Dullstroom/Emakhazeni. Since the re-demarcation of municipal boundaries in 2000, the administrative area of municipalities has been extended so that it is important to consider both the town and its hinterland when discussing land use management in municipalities.


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