SPLUMA Certificate in South Africa

SPLUMA Certificate in South Africa

What is the purpose of SPLUMA?


⏩ The purpose of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) is to empower municipalities to regulate land use in their jurisdiction and ensure that properties are being used in accordance with zoning laws and approved building plans.

⏩ SPLUMA also aims to ensure that there are no encroachments on the property and that any development charges or engineering services due on the property have been paid. This legislation allows municipalities to create by-laws to enforce these requirements and promote consistency in land development.


SPLUMA Principles Explained


πŸ”Ά One of the main consequences of the SPLUMA Act is that a certificate must be obtained from the local authority before a property transfer can be legally completed. This certificate verifies that the property is in compliance with land use and development provisions.

πŸ”Ά In Mbombela, for example, the office of the Deeds Registrar issued a directive in 2016 requiring a SPLUMA certificate before any transfer can take place, in accordance with section 70 of the municipality’s SPLUMA by-laws.

πŸ”Ά However, not all municipalities have specific requirements for a SPLUMA certificate when transferring property. Some municipalities may require a similar certificate that verifies compliance with land development provisions, but this may not be explicitly mentioned in their by-laws.

πŸ”Ά The SPLUMA certificate is necessary to confirm that the provisions in the land development authorization have been followed for transfers in new developments.


What is a SPLUMA certificate and why do you need one if you are selling your home?


βœ”οΈ A SPLUMA certificate is issued by your local municipality and confirms that any improvements or additions made to the property have been approved in accordance with local bylaws.

βœ”οΈ This means that if you have made any changes to your property without obtaining the necessary building approval, you will not be able to receive a SPLUMA certificate and will therefore not be able to sell the property. This could be bad news for those who have attempted to make unapproved changes to their homes.

βœ”οΈ In order to obtain a SPLUMA certificate and be able to sell your property, all building work must be approved by the local authority.

βœ”οΈ The introduction of the SPLUMA certificate is intended to ensure that the zoning of a property matches its land use and that all buildings on the premises are in accordance with approved building plans.


In order to obtain a SPLUMA certificate from the local municipality, a seller should have the following in place:

βœ… An affidavit signed by the seller and filed at the municipality, stating that the property’s plans are in order, accurate, and have been filed with the local municipality

βœ… All rates, taxes, and other funds related to the property must be up to date

βœ… Approved building plans for all buildings on the property, including any swimming pools or lapas, must be submitted

βœ… If the building plans are not compliant, the seller may need to appoint an architect or draughtsman to prepare new plans for submission to the municipality

βœ… The property must be used in accordance with the municipal zoning laws

βœ… There must be no encroachments over the building lines or property boundaries

The process of obtaining a SPLUMA certificate can take several months, so it is important to start the process as soon as the property is listed for sale.


Can I apply for a SPLUMA certificate now in case I later decide to sell my property?


βœ… On July 1, 2015, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) was introduced in South Africa.

βœ… This legislation aims to develop and regulate planning authorizations and promote consistency in land development within a municipality’s jurisdiction.

βœ… SPLUMA makes municipalities responsible for creating by-laws to ensure that properties are compliant with town planning and land use provisions.

βœ… Section 53 of SPLUMA states that “the registration of any property resulting from a land development application may not be performed unless the municipality certifies that all the requirements and conditions for the approval have been complied with.” This has led to confusion over whether a SPLUMA certificate is required for all property transfers.

In reality, only some property transfers require a SPLUMA certificate. These are transfers of:

🏠 Any new erf’s title deed in a new township

🏠 Any new subdivided erf’s certificate of registered title

🏠 Any new certificate of consolidated title resulting from the consolidation of two or more erfs

For these types of property transfers, a SPLUMA certificate must be obtained from the municipality in order to register a new title deed or transfer the property.

The specific requirements for obtaining a SPLUMA certificate are set out in each municipality’s by-laws.

Note: The content above provides general information. Specific requirements and procedures may vary. Always consult directly with a qualified town planner for the most up-to-date information if you are looking for advice regarding your specific situation.

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