The Eastern Cape Provincial Spatial Development Framework

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, hereinafter referred to as ‘CoGTA,’ embarked on a process to review, refine and adopt a new Eastern Cape Provincial Spatial Development Framework (ECPSDF). The existing 2010 PSDF was used as a point of departure for this review. A sub objective was to establish appropriate institutional mechanisms to promote spatial and land use management at Provincial and Municipal levels including Traditional Councils. The review process adopted a developmental agenda that focused on a people centred approach to planning. The Eastern Cape Province forms part of a developing state with limited resources, implying that there is a need to achieve co-ordinated public-sector investment to avoid inefficient and scattered development. This means that prioritisation of public investment according to an agreed development philosophy and a spatial development framework, is of utmost importance, to ensure sustainable economic development opportunities. Further, there is growing acknowledgement that implementation of the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP), Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, Provincial Economic Development Strategy, Eastern Cape Infrastructure Master Plan and Provincial Strategic Framework requires spatial co-ordination with linkages to the Provinces’ District and Local Municipality Integrated Development Plans and Spatial Development Frameworks. Formulation and review of the PSDF has been undertaken with stakeholder inputs from all District, Local, and Metropolitan municipalities within the Province. Other stakeholders engaged included, but was not limited to, the Eastern Cape Socio-economic Consultative Council (ECSECC), OTP and Provincial Treasury various sector departments (including Agriculture and Rural Development, Transport, Water Affairs, Public Works and Economic Development and Environment Affairs. This process was also supported by regular input been provided by a Project Steering Committee (PSC). The PSC was chaired by EC CoGTA and attended by the Office of the Premier, Provincial treasury and the appointed consortium. The key challenges identified by CoGTA included spatial development challenges in the Province e.g.

  • In/outward migration;
  • mushrooming of settlement;
  • Informalism;
  • climate change impact on land use changes and;
  • Urban and rural competition for space.

The PSDF aims to create a credible and implementable Spatial Development Framework for the Eastern Cape. This has been approached by focusing on the following key informants which are envisaged as key enablers of development:

  1. Without a credible governance (planning) system in place we will never realise our true potential:
  2. Water is Life
  3. Finance and Debt
  4. Small Town Regeneration
  5. Spatial Planning
  6. Local Economic Development: –
  7. Climate Change: –
  8. Environmental: –
  9. Bridging the gap between rich and poor: –
  10. Implementation: –

From a Spatial Development Philosophy Perspective and line with a shift in thinking to a long-term approach we need to take cognisance of where the rest of the world is heading and what are the trends facing us.

In doing so, the PSDP considered what the Eastern Cape will look like in the 2050 horizon.

The future spatial vision developed for the reviewed PSDF read as follows:   The Spatial Development Framework (SDF) is a culmination of the above-mentioned various frameworks which aim to give the province a clear spatial trajectory. The SDF plan clearly identifies the Strategic Investment areas which require intervention as matter of priority. It is evident that focus is placed along priority corridors and the promotion of the N2 Toll Highway into the province is of paramount concern. The spatial trajectory of the province is clear in that it aims to promote the linkages between local municipalities, district municipalities and neighbouring provincial municipalities.