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Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013 (SPLUMA)

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1. What is SPLUMA?


The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) is a national law that was passed by Parliament in 2013. The law gives the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) the power to pass Regulations in terms of SPLUMA to provide additional detail on how the law should be implemented. The final version of these Regulations (Regulations in terms of SPLUMA GG 38594 GN R239) was published on 23 March 2015. The law came into effect on 1 July 2015.


2. Why are SPLUMA and its Regulations important?


SPLUMA aims to develop a new framework to govern planning permissions and approvals, sets parameters for new developments (such as subdivisions, rezoning and sectional title openings) and provides for a range of lawful land uses in South Africa. SPLUMA is a framework law, which means that the law provides broad principles for a set of provincial laws (which is called Bylaws) that will regulate planning.

The law is important because the repeal of many apartheid era laws has left our planning laws fragmented, complicated and inconsistent. For this reason, section 3 of SPLUMA states that the law endeavors to develop a ‘uniform, effective and comprehensive system’ of planning that ‘promotes social and economic inclusion’.


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