The growth and development of towns in a dual land tenure system in Zambia: a case of Lundazi town

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Kalapula, Marrien
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The University of Zambia
Zambia has experienced rapid urban growth reflected in physical expansion of towns and cities. However, this expansion is mostly characterised by informal urban development. Although there exists a diversity of circumstances and factors that contribute to this situation, this study reveals the existence of a dual land tenure system as the key factor inhibiting the sustainable growth and development of Lundazi town. This is because Zambia has a dual land tenure system consisting of customary tenure and leasehold tenure. The focus of this study, therefore, is to establish how a dual land tenure system impacts the growth and development of Lundazi town and other regional capitals facing similar situations. Qualitative methods were applied in the collection and analysis of data. Interview schedules were used to obtain data from developers in both state and customary areas. About 40 developers were interviewed. Structured interviews were held with 8 key informants involving council officials, the chief and other officials dealing in issues relating to land administration and land use planning in Lundazi and a focus group discussion was held with 10 selected village headmen of Mphamba Chiefdom. Qualitative data was analysed using content analysis while Geo-spatial analysis of maps was done using Geographical Information System which was used to produce maps illustrating findings. Research findings show that the existence of a dual land tenure system has had both negative and positive consequences on the growth and development of Lundazi town although the negatives outweigh the positives. Firstly the fact that the town is surrounded by customary land hinders smooth expansion of Lundazi town. Secondly it has affected the morphology of the Lundazi town as it limits the capacity of the authorities in charge of land use planning in Lundazi to ensure coordinated growth and development of the town and its hinterlands resulting in the haphazard development of the rural-urban fringe areas and the proliferation of informal settlements within the urban boundary. The challenge is that, while Lundazi town is established on state land and administered through the leasehold tenure system, the immediate land surrounding it, towards which it is expected to naturally expand is customary land, administered through customary tenure and the two systems do not overlap. This limits the authorities in charge of urban land management in Lundazi to control development in surrounding areas as they are under the jurisdiction of the traditional authorities. Thus, development in such areas has remained unregulated. Therefore, to address the challenges of informality in urban growth and development of Lundazi Town, the study recommends Integrated Development Planning so that both land held under leasehold and customary tenure system can be planned collectively for future development of the town. The study also recommends the development of a comprehensive Land administration framework that will harmonise the dual land tenure system and integrate them into spatial planning issues. Key Concepts: Urban Growth; Urban Development; Dual Land tenure System; Rural-urban Fringe; Land Use Planning
Land use--Urban--Zambia , Land tenure--Zambia