The South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) is the statutory Council established in terms of the Planning Profession Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002), hereinafter referred to as the Act by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. It is established with the sole purpose of regulating the Planning Profession following the terms and conditions of the Act.
The functions of the Council are to: regulate the planning profession so as to promote and protect the interests of the public in relation to planning; register persons in terms of this Act; institute and enforce disciplinary action against registered persons contravening the provisions of this Act; support the functioning of disciplinary and appeal structures established under this Act; and, ensure and promote a high standard of education and training in the planning sector. The powers and duties of the SACPLAN are contained in Section 8 of the Act where detailed responsibilities in carrying out the above functions are listed. Key amongst these is to administer the registration of planners thereby determining the criteria and the process including registration fees as well as certification terms and conditions; identification of certain areas of planning work to be reserved for registered persons; accreditation of planning schools’ programmes as way of ensuring high standard of education and training and is also linked to who qualifies to be registered; Continuous Professional Development including Recognition of Prior Learning and examinations;
SACPLAN is governed by rules and regulations in its respective areas of operation. SACPLAN, in fulfilling its legal mandate, engages with various organisations and institutions including, inter alia, the South African planning education institutions; the South African Association of Professional Planners (SAACPP); the South African Planning Institute (SAPI); the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG); the South African Local Government Association (SALGA); the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE).
SACPLAN also enters into partnerships with other relevant voluntary associations who have interests in promoting the objectives and interests of the planning profession. The purpose of this is to ensure that organisations operating in the planning sector are constituency-based with a proven membership that articulates a clear mandate when dealing with the SACPLAN.