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The Spatial Development Framework 2040 (City of Johannesburg, 2016) and the SDFs that preceded it use a number of tools to direct urban growth and development. These tools ensure that development occurs in a way that is holistically sustainable, having positive environmental, social and economic effects. According to the SDF, development should be directed in a way that addresses the inequality and inefficiency in the City, transforming it into a more equitable, liveable, resilient, efficient and productive urban form. Additionally, private investment should be directed to match government capital investment, promoting a mutually beneficial multiplier effect.

In 2016, the Spatial Development Framework 2040 for Johannesburg was approved. That document, and the council minutes which adopted it, called for this Nodal Review to be drafted

The nodes that are currently being used in the SDF 2040 are the same as those used in the 2010/11 SDF, various Regional Spatial Development Frameworks (RSDFs) from 2010/11, and subsequent Precinct Plans and Urban Development Frameworks.

While it was initially intended that nodes be reviewed in the SDF 2040, it was decided that a dedicated process should rather take place following the adoption of the SDF, as outlined in the excerpt below.

“This SDF does not include new alterations of any nodes (district, specialist, metropolitan, local or industrial), which remain the same as the most recent boundaries approved by council… The SDF process will be followed by a Nodal Review process, in which nodal boundary changes and additions will be considered. This process will include an urban potential modelling exercise, and public participation on nodal additions and/or amendments.” (City of Johannesburg, 2016, pp. 24-25)

As a general principle and as per the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) (see excerpts in Figure 2 & Figure 3 below) the SDF 2040 remains the overarching land use policy for the City of Johannesburg. Where the provisions of older policies are contrary to the ideals and guidelines of the SDF 2040, the SDF must override those policies. This includes all land use and development control decisions.

Neither the SDF 2040 nor the Nodal Review will override any heritage or environmental policy or legislation, and all applications are subject to infrastructure availability (as per SPLUMA, section 42 – Figure 3).

This Nodal Review will rescind all sub area tables in the RSDFs, and RSDFs should be used for information only (including heritage/environmental policies where relevant). Guidelines in the SDF 2040 and this nodal review will override sub-area tables in the RSDFs.

Guidelines from any Strategic Area Framework (SAF), Urban Development Framework (UDF) or Precinct Plan (PP) approved in 2015 or after will remain in place subject to sections 22 and 42 of SPLUMA outlined in Figure 2 & Figure 3 above. Guidelines from documents preceding 2015 will be replaced by those from the SDF 2040 and this Nodal Review.

Neighbourhood nodes defined in a Council approved spatial policy that has not yet been rescinded shall be classified as “General Urban Zone” as per section 3 of this document. Such a neighbourhood node must have defined boundaries and, when used to make an argument for land use applications, should include a map, and verifiable references to the source document.