Help Save the Western Cape Heritage Areas

The City of Cape Town’s Spatial Development Framework CTSDF is a long term (-+ 20 year) plan to manage growth and change in Cape Town and ensure sustainability into the future. It aligns the City’s spatial development goals, strategies and policies with a broad range of national and provincial spatial strategies and policies thus providing a solid foundation to shape the CTSDF. This should make the CTSDF sacrosanct; with few amendments, if any, required.

The CTSDF was approved in May 2012 after extensive input from highly regarded specialists and many years of public participation. It was approved in terms of two sets of legislation namely (a) Section 4(6) of the Land Use Planning Ordinance (LUPO) and (b) Section 34 of the Municipal Systems Act. The dual approvals are, in fact, essential as they safeguard the principles of coordinated governance at Provincial and Municipal levels. This ensures that decision making power does not rest with the city alone but includes regional oversight. 

For the following reasons we strongly object to the withdrawal of the approval of the City of Cape Town’s Spatial Development Framework (CTSDF) as a section 4(6) Structure Plan in terms of the Land Use Planning Ordinance (LUPO):

Mayor (Patricia de Lille) gave only one reason for the application to withdraw the approval, namely, that it is unnecessary to have to comply with duplicate procedures in order to amend the Spatial Development Framework. This reason is both implausible and unwarranted. 

The application was motivated on grounds that the CTSDF will be retained as it remains approved in terms of the Municipal Systems Act. However, development proposals that deviate from the CTSDF will be assessed on merit and decisions will be taken by the Council’s recently adopted System of Delegations for planning approvals; and our right of appeal to Province, an essential process in any democracy, will thus also be withdrawn. We strongly object to this.

The applicant (the City) would have us believe that there is no attempt to remove Provincial oversight as the new Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) and the Land Use Planning Act (LUPA) will significantly strengthen the Western Cape Government’s oversight role. These two pieces of legislation have not yet been implemented thus leaving a vacuum for the Mayor and her Council to amend the CTSDF freely in the interim.Information from Council in respect of this legislation is incorrect and misleading. It lacks the transparency to which the public is entitled. Therefore, this application is totally unacceptable. 

If SPLUMA and LUPA were indeed implemented, an independent Planning Tribunal would take planning decisions. Municipal Councillors are, in fact, barred from appointment to the Tribunal. We object strongly to the withdrawal of approval of the Section 4(6) LUPO SDF until SPLUMA and LUPA are implemented and a democratically selected independent Planning Tribunal (with no vested interests) is appointed.

All of the above has been gleaned from a newspaper article and from fragmented responses by the city (often out of context) to questions raised by civic society. The “Have Your Say” notice advertised by the City is utterly meaningless if the detailed application submitted to Province on this very complex issue is withheld from the public. The process is thus totally flawed and, in our opinion, unconstitutional.
For these reasons we must insist that the application be re-advertised so that the public can comment on the actual proposal before Province and that adequate time (90 days) be allowed for comment.
More information:
The City advertised notice titled 'WITHDRAWAL OF THE CAPE TOWN SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK' in which they ask for the public to comment by 8th April 2014:
An explanation of what the Spatial Development Framework is:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you, for visiting The Helderberg Basin Blog