Planning Legislation in Botswana and the Quest for Inclusive Human Settlements

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Chadzimula Molebatsi
Faustin Kalabamu


This paper explores the extent to which Botswana’s planning legislation supports the country’s quest for inclusive human settlements. Inclusivity features prominently in current policy debates and civic discourses on cities and human settlements. The principal Act that governs urban planning is the Town and Country Planning Act, 2013 which replaced the Town and Country Planning Act, 1977. It is argued in this paper that in its current form, Botswana’s planning legislation is greatly limited in facilitating the realisation of inclusive human settlements. This is explained in terms of the limited participation in decision making accorded the urban inhabitants as well as the entrenched privileging of exchange value over use value in the production of urban space. Botswana’s participation in the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements’ (UN-Habitat) effort towards inclusive cities, and the University of Botswana’s community engagement initiatives are presented as possible avenues through which Botswana’s own models of inclusive human settlements could be formulated.

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