Spatial description of leased rural state land inconsistent with the cadastre : its capture and maintenance on an alphanumeric and spatial database.
Leasing of state land under control of the Department of Land Affairs takes place, due to historical reasons, in a manner that is unconformable with the cadastre. The Department (and the State) is obliged to manage its assets efficiently and promote land reform. How can such leases be described spatially, and captured on a land information system? The author argues that it is indeed possible to develop a method, system or convention of spatial description for leased areas unconformable with the cadastre by relating it to the cadastre and capture and maintain data on such areas on a spatially and text-based database. In order to identify relevant best practices, available technology, a review was carried out on methodologies from other countries within the fields of land administration and land information systems, focussing on parcel-based cadastral systems. Fieldwork consisted firstly of interviews with officials and specialists in these fields for more information on the management of leases in the Department and available technology. A full set of active leases (52) from a District Office was acquired for analysis on current spatial descriptions. In a second visit some of these leased areas were surveyed by GPS to construct maps to aid with the development of a convention. Based on this work, the author developed a methodology/convention for indexing and spatial description of unconformable leases, with the current South African cadastre and embedded 21-character land parcel identifier as basis. It was demonstrated that basic technology could be used in the field, supported by an advanced land information system. The value of the convention lies in the fact that it relates the unconformable leases back to the formal cadastre within a land information system. Administration of leases will be more effective. Also that it could be applied to other spheres of land reform and non-parcel based geocoding of centroids indicating occupational or communal rights on land.