Social and political Implications of the Law Relating to Systems of Planning Permissions in Zambia
Mwisiya, Mumbuna W
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The reception of English Planning law in Zambia is twofold. First the English Town and Country Planning Legislation was received with such adaptations as the circumstances required. Secondly, the decisions of English Courts and British Ministers have been used as precedents.The innovation of control of subdivision is our own although this principle might have been received from South Africa where similar provisions are found.The history of Planning Legislation commenced with the Town Planning Ordinance 1929 which was passed before Southern Rhodesia passed its own Act. The Southern Rhodesia Town Planning Act hue provisions similar to those in our first Planning Ordinance, It is debatable whether or not this Rhodesian legislation was modelled on our own since South African legislation has similar provisions. The control mechanism of both development and subdivision of land is the provision whereby no sub¬division or development may be undertaken without prior consent of the Minister or the Planning Authority. In case where such prior permission is not obtained than the Minister or the Planning Authority may either serve enforcement notice on the culprit or if the developer has undertaken development or subdivision which can be authorized under the provision of the Act, much development or subdivision may be granted permission when and if the developer makes any application. If a developer is served with an enforcement notice than he may be required to demolish the structure erected or discontinue the use commenced without permission. This is the most effective control of both development and subdivision of land.The area of control is, however, limited to areas along the line of rail. Planning control does not apply to what was formerly known as Native Reserves and Trust Land, It may be pointed out that both the Government and the Mines are excluded from the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act except that where there is an approved development plan in force in any area, then Government must consult the Planning Authority before development is undertaken. Though this is not a legal provision squatter compounds are nut tithin the ambit of the Planning Law, At preaant, however, the Housing (Statutory and Improve¬ment Areas) Act 1974 makes provisions for exempting Statutory and Improvement Areas from the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act.Whether or not planning control is effective is another natter. Control of development is leas effective or non-existent In the squatter compounds. This lack of affective planning control is creating alum conditions in Zambia. The Government is trying to arrest this trend in the following ways- (1)By regrading of the Squatter Compound and the Site and Service Settlements. The Site and Service Settlements will, in future, be known as Statutory Housing Areas. Tenants of plots in such areas will be granted Certificates of Title Facilities offered In other areas formerly known as "White area" and Locations will tie made available to the Statutory Housing Areas. The same will apply to what are now known as Squatter Compounds which when ungraded will be known as Improvement Areas. The only difference is that In these areas the tenants will not be given Certificates of Title but will be issued with Occupancy Licenses which will he for a period of not more than thirty years. However, all facilities such as batter and tarred roads;tapped water, electricity, clinics, schools and community centers will be made available to these areas. (2)The second solution is that of establishing regrouped villages and model villages In rural areas where residential plots, arable land and indeed grazing land will be allocated to such villages. Facilities provided for in Statutory Housing Areas and Improvement. Areas will also be provided to regrouped or model villages. These will be planned villages more or less on the lines of New Towns in Britain. Trading Sites and Industrial Sites will also be provided. There will also be Rural Reconstruction Centres where the Zambian Youth will be given Borne training in some trades although the emphasis will be on agriculture. The purpose here is to make Rural Areas more attractive than they are at present so as to arrest migration into Urban Areas.It is rather disturbing to note that the Registration and Development of Villages Act No. 3D of 1971 has not made provision for the regulation of the establishment of village. It has failed to control the establishment of smaller villages.It has merely provided for the control and registration of villagers in those villages in which they are inhabitants.This Act has also provided for Village Productivity Committees. The purpose here is to encourage the increased production in rural areas with the con¬sequent increases in the people's living standards and arrest migration of the rural population into towns, To this extent this Act has similar purposes with that of Regrouped Villages and Reconstruction Centres.
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