Land-use management and home-based township businesses: the case of Mhluzi, Steve Tshwete

Skhosana, Nomfundo
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Township economies play an important role within low-income human settlements, through providing supplemented or primary income from offering valuable goods and services to the community. Land use schemes and their regulations are fundamental in the operation of these township economies as they offer the guiding regulations of what is permissible and not. This study seeks to assess the adequacy and relevance of the Steve Tshwete Land Use Scheme, 2019 in regulating home-based township economies in Mhluzi, Middelburg. The study is interested in finding out the extent to in which implementation of the post-SPLUMA land use scheme presents limitations or supports the growth of township economies as it may constrain the legality of the operating businesses. Home-based business owners are part of the participants in the study, along with their neighbours. The two groups were interviewed to gain an understanding of the current impact of the land use scheme. Employees from the localmunicipality are participants of the study to provide insight on the formulation of the land use scheme. The data is collected by conducting interviews, assessing the land use scheme and observing the economic activity in Mhluzi Middelburg. Some of the main findings in the study included the lack of knowledge of the land use scheme andthe inflexibility of some of the regulations contained within the scheme. The main argument of the study is that land use management regulations have the power to become either supportive or unsupportive towards the operation and success of township economies. It is therefore important for the municipality to ensure that theseregulations reflect the needs and current landscape of Mhluzi to ensure that the land use scheme yields not only their intended outcomes but further yields a community with sustainable businesses and economy.
A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Urban Studies to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, 2022