Geographic Information Systems in South African local planning : a case study of Mountain Rise, Pietermaritzburg.
McConnachie, Duncan Patrick.
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in South African local planning. Planning is facing great challenges in contemporary South Africa and one of them is to consider new technologies to enable effective and efficient planning for the future. In meeting the overall aim of the study, a number of goals were set. The first goal was to provide an overview of GIS implementation in local governments from an international perspective. This goal was achieved by reviewing literature on the subject which encompassed the technology's evolution and factors affecting implementation. Practical examples were cited to demonstrate the application of GIS in planning. The second goal was to examine the role of GIS within the South African planning context. An investigation of the relevant legislation provided a context within which GIS could be implemented at the local level. In order to arrive at the second goal, a suitable planning process was derived from a review of applicable planning theory. The third goal was to illustrate practically how GIS could be implemented and integrated into the planning process at the local level. This goal was achieved by carrying out a project within the Pietermaritzburg suburb of Mountain Rise. The results of the case study showed that GIS has a potentially significant role to play in planning at the local level.