What is SPLUMA?

On 1 July 2015, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) came into operation in South Africa. The SPLUMA regulations came into operation on 13 Nov’15.

SPLUMA is national legislation in terms of town and regional planning that outlines the way in which all Municipalities within South Africa must be compliant with in terms of spatial planning and land use management.

What is the aim of SPLUMA?

SPLUMA aims to deliver a uniform system of spatial planning and land use management all over South Africa.

The effect of SPLUMA on Municipalities

All municipalities in South Africa have to be compliant under the SPLUMA Act by October 2020. This means that all Municipalities should have spatial planning and land use management by-laws in place that is in line with the National SPLUMA Act framework that prescribe how land use applications should be dealt with.

What is a SPLUMA certificate?

SPLUMA introduces the requirement of a “SPLUMA certificate”. The aim of this certificate is to ensure that every building on a property has an approved building plan and that the zoning of a property correlates to the current land use of the subject property.

This means that, prior to the registration, transfer or transaction of any property; the National Deeds Office will require a SPLUMA certificate from the Local Authority (Municipality) of where the subject property is located.

A town planner can be appointed in order to assist a seller with the process to apply for a SPLUMA certificate. It is suggested that this application process should be initiated once the property is listed, as it can be a lengthy process. It is worthwhile that a seller seek the assistance of a professional town planner to help with the complex legislation involving the SPLUMA requirements specifically. 

SPLUMA certificate checklist

In order to obtain a SPLUMA certificate, the seller of the property should have the following in place:

  • All funds and rates & taxes connected to the property must be paid up to date.
  • Building plans for all buildings on the property need to be approved.
  • The land use of the property needs to be in line with the zoning regulations.
  • No encroachments of buildings over the property boundaries and building lines.
  • All post-approval conditions of any land use application must be complied with.


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