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Compiling a land audit in large rural areas: Results from the methodology applied in the non-urban areas of the Matzikama municipal area

Garth Stephenson
Ronnie Donaldson
Danie du Plessis
Adriaan van Niekerk


To compile a comprehensive land audit in large, mainly rural-based municipalities such as the Matzikama Municipality in the Western Cape warrants an alternative methodology than that conventionally done through exhaustive property visits. This study attempts to showcase such an alternative methodology to compile the land audit for the municipality. The end result of the audit was a geographical information system (GIS) database that contains a wide variety of information required for spatial planning and land use management purposes. Each of these elements required a unique data-collection methodology that included spatial data collection; aerial photography and satellite image pre-processing; mapping of property boundaries; defining area of interest; determining land ownership through property valuation rolls; establishing the status of access roads and routes; mapping current land uses, and overlaying land use control measures in order to infer land uses and deriving potential land use zoning. The methodology applied succeeded in successfully linking land parcels as follows: valuation data: 3 731 out of 4 176 (89.3%) were linked; state land audit: 378 out of 4 176 (9.1%) were linked, and deeds data: 1 680 out of 4 176 (40.2%) were linked. The study found that creating and updating land audits require advanced skills in GIS and it is recommended that municipalities employ suitably qualified officials in this regard. Working with outdated planning scheme legislation/ policy can become a time-consuming and costly exercise for municipalities.

Keywords: Land audit, GIS, zoning, remote sensing, Matzikama