The Urban Planning Division is a strategic Division within the municipality mandated to "Manage the spatial planning of various land uses i.e. industrial, institutional, Residential and various business". The Division is a sub-directorate within the Directorate (Strategy, Economic Development and Planning) and has two main sub-sections namely: Town Planning and Building Control Section: The Urban Planning Division oversees:
- Town Planning services i.e. provision of zoning information and processing of various land use applications i.e. rezoning applications.
- Building Control - Plan submission, inspection and (dis) approval thereof.
- Development Enforcement – enforcement of town planning scheme rules – prosecution of illegal land uses.
- Maintenance of municipal owned buildings.
The Town Planning is central in developing and promoting an integrated town committed to addressing spatial injustices and guides development towards a vibrant, resilient and sustainable urban & rural areas.
In complying with the newly enacted act, Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 the division managed to embark on the following:
Spatial Planning Land Use Management Act—Amongst other achievements, the municipality is currently implementing SPLUMA as the Land Use Planning By-Law was gazetted in August 2015 and became fully operational as of the date of gazette. Furthermore the Municipality managed to establish the MPT (Municipal Planning Tribunal) as well as the MAT (Municipal Appeal Tribunal) and appointment of Designated Officer to deal with non-complex land use applications i.e. sub-divisions, consolidations and consent uses.
Review of the Sol Plaatje Spatial Development Framework (SDF)—The Municipal Systems Act (2000) in particular Section 26 of the Act as well as Section 20 of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act requires each and every municipality to have a spatial development framework which will spatially outline the IDP priorities for the municipality. The Municipality is currently in the process of reviewing its SDF.Various milestones have been achieved in the financial year 2015/16 i.e. Draft Spatial Development Framework.
Amongst other objectives the Spatial Development Framework will play a vital role in identifying key spatial structural elements for developing the municipality and also promoting integration amongst communities.
Land Use Management—In terms of managing the land use within the vicinity of Sol Plaatje Municipality the wall to wall Land Use Scheme, 2008 is being utilised to regulate the various land uses as well as providing guideline in terms of processing of received development applications (rezoning, consent uses, townships establishments, removal of restrictive conditions of title, sub-divisions, divisions of land, site development plans, building plans and other development planning related applications).
Township Establishment (planning & surveying)—In terms of security of tenure the municipality managed to finalise 5548 Erven in the past (05) years in order to upgrade the Informal Settlements.
Duration for processing land use application by municipality—Depending on the type of application, obtaining a decision may take as long as 12 months. After the application is submitted it is circulated to relevant Council departments for comment. The application is then processed to the Municipal Planning Tribunal.