ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF CAPACITY BUILDING AND STATUTORY COMPLIANCE. The establishment of the Municipal Planning Tribunal: A Case Study of Lesedi Local Municipality

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Submission Summary
This paper suggests that capacitation of under-resourced local government for statutory compliance is dependent on innovative practices and committed public officials. This paper explores key attributes that led to the successful establishment of the Municipal Planning Tribunal despite the unfavorable conditions in the Lesedi Local Municipality. It explores the practices of officials responsible for capacity building and technical support in the municipality. The introduction of SPLUMA as a means of ensuring consistency and uniformity in land development application procedures and the decision-making processes with local government as the responsible authorities as custodians of their municipal jurisdictions has unmasked, in some instances, the capacity constraints within our local government sphere. The need for municipalities to be SPLUMA complaint is mandatory in light of this, measures that need to be taken call for us to go above and beyond the surface level capacity building efforts and checklist statutory compliance. The following process is one such example of the measures that had to be taken to ensure Lesedi LM has a fully functioning MPT to undertake the procedures, functions and responsibilities that are needed to take decisions of land development applications of the municipality. The Act and its regulations were used as a base to solicit membership for the MPT. All the legislative processes were followed (advertisement, call for nominations etc) however the process could not be executed further due to competing priorities in the municipality. The Senior Management Team and Council could no resolve to set aside funds for remuneration of professionals to serve in its MPT. This led to further and unwarranted delays in the establishment the MPT in the municipality. Innovative means and practices had be explored to strategically support and guide the municipality to pursue a more suitable and sustainable approach. The municipality, together with MISA, OoP and DALRRD took the decision to source membership for MPT officials and administrative functions of the MPT internally amongst the above-mentioned government organisations. This saw the MPT comprising primarily of the municipal officials and chaired by a person in the employ of National Government. This is due to the human capacity constraints in the town planning department of the municipality where the membership or chairing of the MPT would see a duplication in the AO functions or even instances where one would be compiling and deciding on applications by heading both the AO and MPT functions. Once the MPT membership was set, the administration functions had to be highly supported by OoP (now COGTA GP) and MISA as no administrative capacity was available at the municipality. All the officials who make up the MPT and its admin function were then trained through the combined efforts of MISA, OoP and DALRRD. Training was provided on the functions, responsibility and procedures of the MPT. A “mock” hearing was held to provide a practical training aspect were members were exposed to the processes and legislation that will be utilized in as part of the functioning of the MPT. The paper concludes that local government can comply with SPLUMA and its accompanying regulations through the exploration and adoption of sustainable and suitable approaches. Approaches are however dependent on efforts that are innovative and go beyond the call of duty. Authors: Lebohang Radebe- Radebe Professional Town Planner Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) Gauteng & Rethabile Witkoei Professional Town Planner Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development (DALRRD) Gauteng. Keywords: Municipal Planning Tribunal, Innovation, Training & Development, Capacity Building, MISA
Submission ID :
ISO470
Submission Type
Submission Track
3: Smartness and development. Al-Souq: innovating for performance and management
Professional Town Planner
,
DALRRD
Professional Town Planner
,
Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent
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