Centre for Policy Alternatives on 2 November, 2011

The Centre for Policy Alternatives Vs Attorney General (Town and Country Planning Amendment Bill) (SC SD 03/2011)

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In November 2011, CPA challenged the Town and Country Planning Amendment Bill which if enacted would have expanded the scope of the Town and Country Planning Act; expanded the powers of Ministers to regulate private property by defining areas to be “sacred areas”, “conservation areas”, “architectural areas” or “protection areas”; enable acquisition properties falling within such areas and finally, deem all existing urban development areas to be sacred areas. CPA challenged Parliament’s authority to enact a Bill in respect of the subject of land without first obtaining the views of the Provincial Councils. A three judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the objections of the Petitioner and declared that the Bill cannot become law until the views of the Provincial Councils were obtained and the court further held that the Bill could not have been placed on the Order Paper of Parliament before the President had first obtained the views of the Provincial Councils.  The Court declined to examine the other grounds for challenge.  The Bill was subsequently withdrawn from Order Paper.

CPA has raised awareness regarding the merits of the issue with key stakeholders including disseminating information among Provincial Councils.

CPA prepared an advocacy note on the draft Town and Country Planning [Amendment] Bill – The note highlighted the potentially harmful aspects of the Bill, and was shared publicly including with members of the different Provincial Councils who were to vote on the issue.