Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Western Cape lapsed use rights for landowners almost reinstated

The process to reinstate the lapsed use rights of landowners in the province under the Western Cape Land Use Planning Ordinance [LUPO, 15 of 1985, Section 14(2)] has today passed two milestones.

The Standing Committee on Community Development of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and this legislature has passed the Land Use Planning Ordinance Amendment Bill unopposed. The bill restores the lapsed rights, and extends it to 30 June 2011.

The committee has received 92 submissions in response to the Bill and 5 presentations were made as part of its public participation and consultation process. The majority supported the Bill.

The Bill will be submitted to Premier Lynne Brown for assent and then be promulgated to become an Act in the provincial gazette.

LUPO regulates land use planning in the province at local authority level.

Since the commenced of LUPO on 1 July 1986, the core principle of Section 14(2) was that use rights in question would have lapsed on 30 June 2001. The 15-year transitional period was lengthened to a grace period of 21 years by a number of Amendment Acts to expire on 30 June 2007.

This was to be extended with a further six months, but the then Premier only assented to the relevant Amendment Act on 2 July 2007 - two days after the rights had lapsed. It was then published in the Provincial Gazette on 5 July 2007 as if it was in force.

The local authorities and the industry were not aware of the lapsing of the use rights, and applications of various types have been submitted for consideration, and in some instances considered, as if the time period prescribed in Section 14(2) had not lapsed.

*The reinstatement will bring back certainty, stability and clear direction for local government and the industry,* says provincial Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Pierre Uys.

Cobus Grobler (media officer) 073 133 7299
Minister Uys 082 4555 144

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