CIfA Newsflash 34/2022 | Call for Comments on Spatial and Environmental Plans guiding Development and Land Use in Cape Town

Dear CIfA Members

Call for comments on spatial and environmental plans guiding development and land use in Cape Town

The City of Cape Town is calling on residents, business owners, and all other interested and affected parties to comment on the eight draft integrated district spatial development frameworks (DSDFs) and environmental management frameworks (EMFs); and the draft municipal spatial development framework (MSDF). The DSDFs and EMFs guide spatial development and land use management on a district level; similarly, the MSDF determines the overall spatial vision for the Cape Town metropole.

Read more below:

‘Residents are directly affected by land use, and the nature, form and location of developments in their areas. All of us who live in Cape Town, therefore, have an interest in the content of the district spatial development frameworks (DSDFs) and environmental management frameworks (EMFs) because these planning policies determine what our suburbs will look and feel like ten years from now. The same applies to the MSDF.

‘The eight DSDFs and EMFs and the MSDF also have a direct impact on land owners and developers as these plans inform and guide the City’s decisions when we assess development and land use applications.

‘The latest revised DSDFs, EMFs and MSDF are available for public comment from 6 June until 30 August 2022. I strongly encourage residents and the development fraternity, and all other interested parties, to use this opportunity to contribute to these policy documents. The more people participate, the better the final products will be.

‘Cape Town is a growing city and more and more people are moving here in search of better lives and jobs. New developments – be it for housing, retail or industrial reasons – are needed to provide for the growing population. This growth must be managed in a manner that is equitable, that protects our natural assets and heritage; and uses scarce resources optimally – among which developable land, electricity, and water. Collectively, the land use and development guideline documents also improve our resilience as we are entering a more unpredictable future with pandemics, climate change, and electricity insecurity. Finally, the DSDFs, EMFs and MSDF must also align with and support the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) that was approved by Council,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

The review of the eight DSDFs and EMFs started in mid-2019 with an extensive public participation process which, ultimately, led to over 3 000 comments. Those are included in the drafts that are available for a final round of public input.

The eight districts are:

·       Cape Flats (

·       Helderberg (

·       Blaauwberg (

·       Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Greater Blue Downs (

·       Tygerberg (

·       Table Bay (

·       Northern (

·       Southern (

The district plans are important planning documents:

·       It determines the strategic priorities, spatial elements, and key projects specific to the eight geographical areas

·        Informs decisions about land use

·       Proposes targeted areas in need of restructuring and integration

·       Provides certainty to developers, communities, and City directorates

·       Creates opportunities for development

·       Provides detailed information about the population and property growth, development trends and community needs on a local neighbourhood level

·       Guides and informs land use and environmental decision making

The draft MSDF guides and informs long-term planning and development in Cape Town on a macro or municipal-wide level:

·       The MSDF’s key objectives are to establish a spatial form that will ensure that Cape Town becomes a city that is more equitable, liveable, sustainable, resilient and efficient

·       The MSDF also identifies areas not suited for urban development, areas where development proposals should consider risk factors and areas were development is preferred

‘Together, the district plans and MSDF interpret our overall vision and objectives of a Cape Town that is more equal, equitable, and spatially resilient and efficient. For example, residents’ living standards are very much determined and influenced by the state of our local economy.

‘How we use our land and what we develop on our land can promote economic activity and have an impact on commuter costs. Thus, how and when and how far people need to commute between their homes and work have a profound impact on our city’s efficiencies. The City in 2018 approved transit-oriented development as a policy, meaning, the draft MSDF also needs to align with this priority. It aims to create more mixed-use and intensified land use along transit corridors with the intention to make public transport more efficient and cost-effective, with all the added benefits to residents, commuters, the administration, and our environment,’ said Alderman Andrews.

How to comment:

  • The commenting period closes on 30 August 2022. The public is encouraged to submit comments as early as possible, late comments cannot be considered
  • Online: All of the relevant documents, annexures, maps, and other material are available on the City’s website.

For the MSDF:

For the DSDFs and EMFs:  

  • For additional enquiries, please send an email to, kindly indicate the applicable district in the email heading, for example: DSDF Tygerberg, or MSDF; alternatively, forward district specific comments to the relevant district email addresses listed above.