Spatial Justice in the City of Cape Town: Is it achievable?

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Steyn Botha (Director: Tyger Waterfront Office)

Proper planning and land use management are central to the creation of quality of life for the people of a country. In South Africa, land use planning had been shaped to political ideologies to divide land on the basis of race. With the advent of democracy in South Africa, centuries of inequality and discrimination were rectified by the promulgation of the Constitution which most notably attempts to protect the fundamental rights of equality- and property rights in a planning context. The South African Government has since passed legislation aimed to achieve the realization of the rights which the Constitution aimed to protect and to establish more humane and environmentally sustainable living and working environments for South Africans. However, the challenges of urbanisation, transportation and fragmentation in the urban contexts still exist and land use management and land development management remain the least transformed and least developed areas of post-apartheid planning. This research considers the theoretical basis of spatial justice and the role of the law in achieving it. It identifies and critically considers potential legal measures contained in contemporary spatial planning legislation aimed at promoting the realisation of spatial justice, and its effectiveness in doing so. Given the prevalence of different regional and local planning legislation, and bearing in mind the limited scope of the research, the focus of the above legal enquiry is delimited to spatial planning legislation applicable in the City of Cape Town. Read more


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