Original Research

Considering flood risk in spatial development planning: A land use conflict analysis approach

Dirk P. Cilliers
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | a537 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v11i1.537 | © 2019 Dirk P. Cilliers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2017 | Published: 10 April 2019

About the author(s)

Dirk P. Cilliers, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Flooding is the predominant natural hazard observed in Africa, and it often leads to damage to property and losses in human lives. To ensure that the detrimental effects of flooding are kept to a minimum, flood-prone areas should best be left undeveloped. Spatial development planning is a tool that can assist disaster risk managers in ensuring the aforementioned. This article proposes the use of a land use conflict analysis approach through which flood risk can be considered in spatial development planning in a proactive manner, specifically contributing to the flood risk management effort. A land use conflict analysis approach, relying on a variety of spatial analysis techniques, was used to identify areas that were both suitable for residential development and free from flood risk in the Batlhaping Ba-Ga-Phuduhucwana tribal area in South Africa. It was found that only 8% of the study area met these criteria. A comparison between the identified 8% and the existing spatial development plan for the study area revealed that some of the areas portrayed as suitable for development in the current spatial development plan are in fact flood risk areas. The article illustrates the value that a land use conflict analysis approach might have for flood risk management when integrated with spatial development planning.


flooding; land use conflict analysis; suitability analysis; flood-prone area; disaster management; spatial development planning; South Africa


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