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A review of some of the criteria used in landdemarcation processes

Zaakirah Jeeva
Juanee Cilliers
Trynos Gumbo


In recent years, settlements have sprawled beyond the urban growth boundaries, due to a number of factors, including mobility, technology, and urban  blight. As a result, governments globally have opted to restructure their local administrative boundaries (municipalities) to be more accommodating to  the unplanned growth, while setting a clear limit to the extent to which the urban region could grow. Without a clear administrative boundary, urban  problems such as civil conflict, administrative duplication, political corruption, lack of service delivery, and environmental degradation become more  prevalent. In order to understand the driving forces behind administrative delimitation, this article reviews how local administrative boundaries can be  delineated from a theoretical stance. It further unpacks various criteria to contextualise how boundaries could be demarcated and their resultant  structure. The article reveals that, from a theoretical stance, the method of demarcating administrative urban boundaries is not apparent, since a variety  of factors influence open systems. Consequently, this article provides awareness of the challenges of demarcating local administrative boundaries, with  both administrative and policy implications. Administratively, it sheds light on criteria that can influence boundary demarcation. In terms of policy, it  demonstrates that the demarcation of boundaries is a huge challenge that requires further research and action.  

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eISSN: 2415-0495
print ISSN: 1012-280X