Proposed amendment to the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act, 2014 (Act 3 of 2014) (LUPA)
The Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning yesterday announced a proposed amendment to the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act, 2014 (Act 3 of 2014) (LUPA) to ensure more efficient direct notification of certain land use matters and applications.
Notification of a municipality’s intention to consider certain matters and applications, and public participation in the process, are important aspects of urban land use management. When a municipality intends to consider any of the following applications or matters, it must at least cause a notice to be served on each person whose rights or legitimate expectations will be affected if the matter or application is approved: the determination of a zoning or deemed zoning; a land use application for rezoning or rezoning on its own initiative; a land use application for subdivision or the amendment or cancellation of a subdivision; the closure of a public place; a land use application for consolidation; a land use application for the removal, suspension or amendment of a restrictive condition; and the imposition, amendment or waiver of a condition. This is referred to as direct notification, and is in addition to public notification.
The current wording in LUPA limits the methods that may be used to give direct notification to the following: personal delivery; leaving the notice at the person’s place of residence or business with a person apparently over 16 years; posting the notice by registered or certified mail; serving the notice on the person’s agent or representative; or posting the notice on the property or premises. Using any other methods for direct notification, such as electronic communication methods (e.g. emails), are not currently permitted.
The methods used at present to give direct notification are not efficient and are costly to applicants. Municipal data shows that in some instances, up to 60% of intended recipients do not collect their registered post. The current lockdown regulations also hamper direct notification.
The Draft Western Cape Land Use Planning Amendment Bill, 2020, has the sole objective of deleting the provision that limits the methods of direct notification. The proposed deletion does not relieve municipalities of the obligation to cause direct notification, and merely allows municipalities to make use of other more cost-effective and efficient methods of direct notification. This will ensure that more affected parties are notified, guaranteeing greater consultation.
The Draft Bill provides for the deletion of section 44(2)(b) of LUPA, and was published in Provincial Gazette 8321 on 10 September 2020. Further information and an electronic version of the Draft Bill are available on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp/files/atoms/files/prov-8321-Extra-LUPA_8321-LUPA-2020.pdf . The Minister invites stakeholders and interested parties to submit comments via email to Mr Theo Rebel, Department of the Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 24 September 2020. For enquiries, please contact Mr Theo Rebel on 083 468 7216.
Rudolf van Jaarsveldt
Head of Communication
Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Telephone : 021 483 4051
Mobile : 076 3195 027
Website : www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp