Accessing Bulk Land

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Incremental settlement is an initiative of Afesis-corplan

MLS Contents


The following series of documents provide information on accessing bulk land on which incremental settlement - or Managed Land Settlement - can take place.


Get public land


Get private land


Improve planning


Improve whole settlement development process


A summary of the content of each of these papers is provided below:



This report focuses on who keeps what information in relation to land and how this information can be accessed by the public.

The report does not go into why people would want the information. Possible examples of why a community would want this information are:

Confirming that information held by government on personal property is correct Confirming if information given by government on potential pieces of land for future development is correct by conducting independent investigations (e.g. on ownership, sale prices, and geological conditions, etc.) Suggesting alternative portions of land to ones being suggested by government for relocation of informal settlements

The report starts by defining what constitutes public and private land and outlines the new four tier land tenure system proposed in the Green Paper on Land Reform formulated in 2011. The vision for land in South Africa is also spelt out in the Green Paper. The report goes on to discuss the system of public land management in the country and then highlights the various entities that play a role in creating, maintaining and disseminating information on public land databases in South Africa. Lastly, it outlines how the public can attempt to access these databases through both formal and informal systems of request. It concludes by raising a number of pertinent issues around public land databases and suggests a number of recommendations as to how the public can better access these databases.



This report looks at what is involved in Municipal planning. Municipal planning is first located within the broader legislative framework. Various aspects of municipal planning are then divided into those relating to forward planning and those relating to Land Use Management. The report ends with a checklist you can use to determine how you can participate in the municipal planning process.

Planning is the process of setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals. Spatial planning requires a step by step approach in order to ensure a balanced environment and ensure that a potentially chaotic human settlement situation is rationally and effectively handled to create an optimal outcome.

Planning is in fact done at 3 levels - national, provincial and municipal.

National planning is the responsibility of the Office of the Presidency and encompasses strategies and policies for the country as a whole. It therefore makes proposals at a broad and strategic level. Provincial planning is province specific and is based on the policies and principles formulated at the national level. Each province can plan for the unique circumstances of its area. Municipal planning is the most detailed level of planning as it deals with all planning aspects at a district and local municipal level.

Communities (civil society organisations and individuals) should become involved in the planning process in order to ensure that their input is taken into consideration in the formulation of plans. In addition, once plans have been formulated, communities should monitor and keep track of the implementation processes to ensure that planning is undertaken according to approved plans.

All planning is governed by legislation and a list of relevant pieces of legislation is included in the report. The planning process can be divided into 2 broad categories:

Spatial (forward) planning - medium to long term Land use management - short term

There is a hierarchy of plans including long term, medium term, annual and project specific plans and the report provides details of various types of plans falling within these categories. Opportunities for community involvement and input into these plans are provided.

The report concludes with a checklist on how to navigate the planning maze.




The report is divided into three parts which deal with the question of whether the Spatial Development Framework process has been an effective planning instrument in ensuring that the planning outcomes such as that of providing land for subsidized housing has been realized.

The first part of the report gives the theoretical background to the system of Municipal Planning in South Africa and explores its roots which were based on the New Public Management system of government favoured in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s by proponents in Britain and the United States. It also explores the relationship between the shifts in government policy from the more socialist friendly Reconstruction and Development Programme to the neo-liberal Growth Employment and Redistribution policy which caused a fracture in the ANC with its alliance partners. These changes as well as the transformation that the country was undergoing had a profound effect on the system of planning in South Africa.

The second part of the report examines two examples where the Spatial Development Framework planning processes were undertaken and documents these as case studies based on the experiences of selected individuals who were involved in these processes. The case studies selected were in the Great Kei Local Municipality where a Local Spatial Development Framework was undertaken for the Kei Mouth area and in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality where the upgrading of the massive informal area of Duncan Village was chosen. The case studies were based on interviews and interactions with focus groups and the experiences of selected individuals who were involved in these planning processes at the respective Municipalities.

The third part of the report consolidates the theory with the experiences of communities involved in these planning processes and develops a set of recommendations towards ensuring that civil society and other organizations learn from the lessons of the community experiences in the planning processes and the outcomes of accessing land for the development of low income and subsidized housing for the poor.




his report provides an overview of housing delivery in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in the context of Strategic Planning, Housing Programmes and Projects and key challenges being faced.

The report provides a summary of the challenges / issues / problems identified in the Human Settlement Development Programme and project cycle and proceeds to make recommendations on possible solutions for each.

The recommendations are prioritised and categorised and more detail is provided on these prioritised recommendations. .

The report concludes by highlighting opportunities for communities to participate in the Human Settlement project cycle delivery process.




This document provides a brief discussion on the steps to be followed in the acquisition of land to assist with understanding the land acquisition process specifically for public-funded/co-funded settlement development purposes.


The report provides a brief overview of the processes available (or utilized) to achieve land acquisition and transfer in South Africa. It has a section dealing with formal land transfer processes of a primary nature, which results in the issuing for the first time of an individual household title deed registered in the relevant Registrar of Deeds office. The report also describes secondary land transfers that take place when the first owner of an erf decides to sell their property on (this includes informal land rights transfers).


Common land acquisition challenges and possible solutions to challenges are also provided and the report concludes with a set of short-term and longer term action recommendations on what Civil Society can do to respond to suggested solutions.



Expropriation is the process by which the State divests the owner of private property of his ownership rights in order to put the expropriated property to use in the public interest or for a public purpose. The erstwhile owner is paid compensation which amount is calculated by using various formulas. It is mostly the issue of quantum in respect of compensation that is litigated as opposed to the expropriation itself.

The paper starts by looking at what expropriation legislation governs the process of expropriation.

The second part then looks at the case study involving Erf 16 Bryntirion (Pty) Ltd versus the Minister of Public Works which was heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa (914/10) [2011] ZASCA 246 (1 December 2011). This case sets out the legal process that will ensue upon an aggrieved landowner opposing the actual purpose of an expropriation as opposed to the compensation.

The third part touches on various debates within expropriation literature and discussions including for example, who can expropriate, for what purposes and how compensation is determined.

The final section then makes some recommendations for how expropriation can be used to improve low income housing settlement development processes.


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