Developers versus Ratepayers? : contravening land use, zoning and development controls in Berea, Durban.
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Land use has been and continues to be a subject of conflict, conquest, and expropriation. The demand for urban space for residential occupation has resulted in the creation of high-rise structures proliferating in number and height in recent years. The aim of this study is to determine the level of compliance with, and enforcement of existing development controls within the Berea and the impact development at 317 Currie Road has on the surrounding community. The empirical data obtained from qualitative research suggested that various inconsistencies exist within the eThekwini Municipality and development control measures have rarely been enforced at 317 Currie Road. Serengeti Rise has violated several by-laws and regulations in the construction of their project and the ratepayers of the locality bear the brunt of these violations. This study revealed that the developer had not complied with the system of land use regulations in the Municipality. Also, there was weak enforcement of the statutory laws that govern the city to curtail the excesses of the developers and respond to the land use and zoning violations raised by residents. Based on the controversies, arguable concessions, and lack of transparency by the Municipality and developer, findings suggest that the Municipality has been inconsistent in enforcing stringent by-laws. The city appears to be privileging the interest of the private sector developer by approving amendments and implementing planning policies that are detrimental to the ratepayers of the Berea community.