An evaluation of the performance of GIS as a decision support tool in land use management.
This research aims at evaluating the level at which GIS is currently performing as a Decision Support Tool in Land Use Management Systems in KwaZulu Natal. Research was conducted amongst all ofthe district municipalities (in survey format, with a seventy percent response rate), as well as amongst representatives of three local municipalities, and representatives of the only Metropolitan municipality (all in the form of in-depth inten1iews). The results of the research were certainly revealing, and at points, significantly concerning. This research illustrates that despite the fact that the municipal LUMS should be in place, in most instances, the local municipalities have not completed their LUMS, and many districts have not finalised their specific components of the LUMS (namely the Land Use Framework, or LUF). Reasons for the difficulties experienced in developing the municipal LUMS were mainly capacity related, although there were a few additional impediments worth noting. Due to this, it was difficult to successfully evaluate the role that GIS is playing in LUMS as a Decision Support Tool. Despite this difficulty, it was still possible to evaluate the current use of GIS in the development of LUMS, as well as its perceived use in the future. Furthermore, the general perceptions regarding GIS as a Decision Support Tool were open for examination, along with how it will be used as such in LUMS This research confirms that GIS has been used to some extent in the development of the municipal LUMS, and that it will be used extensively in the future, particularly in Decision Support. This research concludes by offering various solutions or recommendations to the problems being experienced by the municipalities. These solutions originate both from points mentioned in the literature review, as well as from the responses to the questionnaires and interviews; and could assist in resolving the noteworthy problems revealed during the research.