N West town planning forum to enhance provincial development

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pretoria - The North West Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs says its recently assembled town planning support forum will stimulate development in the province.

The forum is an inter-governmental structure that will function as a hub where planners across the province can share information and exchange best practices.

Departments in the forum include Rural Development and Land Reform; Human Settlements; Public Works Roads and Transport; Water Affairs; the North West Office of the Premier’s planning commission; South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the South African Council for Planners (SACPLA).

The chairperson of the forum, Ditshaba Makhate, who is the Local Government Director for Municipal Development and Planning, said the forum aims to promote and make the benefits of town planning recognised in the North West province.

“Most municipalities in the province still experience poverty and underdevelopment. Some of the municipalities do not have the capacity to implement certain strategies and the Spatial Planning Framework (SDFs) is too vague to link to Land Use Management Systems.

“We are dealing with development issues in a proactive manner by creating an information sharing platform and benchmarking strategies where we, as a department, can equip and capacitate municipalities with the necessary tools and relevant skills to discharge their mandates in accordance with the National and Provincial Spatial Planning and Land Use Bill,” said Makhate.

Makhate said planning legislations over the years have not provided equal and adequate resources to all. He said there was no link between actual land use activities and land use policies.

“As a result, urban areas progress at an immense speed, while rural areas experience little or no progress in terms of development planning. It is high time that town planners are recognised as they play a pivotal role in municipal service delivery.” – SAnews.gov.za