The Tronox Judgment

The Demise And Resurrection Of The Provincial Townships Appeal Board Provincial Powers (with specific regard to Gauteng) had resolved not to extend the term of office of the Gauteng Townships Appeal Board (which came to an end in June 2016). This, notwithstanding the fact that a number of undecided Townships Board Appeals and related matters remained pending at the time. In the interim, the Constitutional Court has passed judgement with regard to the so-called Tronox KZN Sands matter which has a direct bearing on matters which may generally be described as “transitional arrangements” relevant to the coming into effect of new legislation such as the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013 (SPLUMA). In this regard refer to Tronox KZN Sands (Pty) Ltd v KwaZulu-Natal Planning and Development Appeal Tribunal and Others [2016] ZACC 2. In short, the Tronox Judgment pronounces on the principle that matters pertaining to land development (generally speaking) remain the sole province of the affected municipality and, as a result, a provincial body (such as a Provincial Appeal Tribunal or Townships Appeal Board or similar) has no place in the new constitutional dispensation, with particular reference to the period post the coming into effect of SPLUMA in July 2015. To quote from the High Court Judgment, the Honourable Lopes J confirmed that a provincial body “… cannot entail appellate oversight of zoning and subdivisions decisions”. However, the same judgment also confirms that land development applications submitted to the relevant authorities in terms of legislation, other than SPLUMA (including provincial ordinances or similar) prior to the coming into effect of SPLUMA in July 2015 must,...

THE SPLUMA SPLASH: SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS

Certain colleagues from other professions will probably take a measure of wry satisfaction to learn that, as predicted, the coming into effect of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013 (SPLUMA) on 1 July 2015 was bound to result in various problems for the property development industry. The latest glitch is in the form of wailing discontent from various conveyancers responsible for attempting to register subdivisions, consolidations and township establishment matters in the various Deeds Registries. Apparently, various such matters are being rejected out of hand by the Deeds Office officials, ostensibly as a result of non-compliance with, inter alia, Section 53, of SPLUMA. For ease of reference the wording of Section 53, is quoted below: “Commencement of registration of ownership 53. The registration of any property resulting from a land development application may not be performed unless the municipality certifies that all the requirements and conditions for the approval have been complied with”. Whilst the chosen wording of Section 53 is not so specific as to be considered to only apply to the provisions of SPLUMA, one school of thought suggests that, since the coming into effect of SPLUMA in July 2015, the Deeds Registry is duty-bound to insist on a certificate from the relevant municipality with regard to the registration of any property (as result of subdivision, consolidation, township establishment, etc.). In other words, on the part of the Deeds Registry, it is required that the responsible municipality must make reference to Section 53 of SPLUMA in the certificates, albeit that the matter under consideration may have been submitted and determined in terms of prior...