Professor Danie Page, former head of the Department Town and Regional Planning, University of Stellenbosch, launched the first edition of Tydskrif vir Streekbeplanning / Journal for Regional Planning in December 1974. After being editor for 16 years he retired having publishing 12 editions of the journal. Prof. Colin Tod Welch took over as editor and published number 13 in 1981 with the idea to publish on a regular bi-annually basis. The journal’s name was changed to Tydskrif vir Stads- en Streekbepanning / Journal for Town and Regional Planning. The University of Stellenbosch owned the journal which from April 1983 (journal no 15) became the official journal of the South African Institute for Town and Regional Planners (SAITPR / Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Stads- en Streekbeplanners - SAISS) with the name Stads- en Streekbeplanning / Town and Regional Planning. SATPR gave financial support for fourteen years to publish the journal. Professor Tod Welch published 29 editions of the journal in the 16 years as editor. In 1987, the Journal has been accredited by the Department of Higher Education in South Africa.

On 1 July 1996 the South African Institute for Town- and Regional Planners (SAITPR) amalgamated with the Development Planning Association to form a new organisation called the South African Planning Institution (SAPI). The journal was taken away from Stellenbosch and SAPI gave it to the University of the Witwatersrand. The new editor was Prof. Alan Mabin. Only one journal (number 42, June 1997) was published under the name South African Planning Journal in the following three-and-a half years, which was not accredited with the Department of Higher Education.

SAPI realised that things could not continue the way they were, and started to search for a home for the journal. During the first round of negotiations with planning schools, no editor was found. During the next round of negotiations the University of the Orange Free State agreed to take over the project under certain conditions that were determined by contract. Journal number 43 appeared late in November 2000 with prof. Das Steÿn as editor from earlier that year. Since then it appeared on a regular basis under the previous name Stads- en Streekbeplannning / Town and Regional Planning as this was an accredited journal, while adding to the name / Meralo ya Ditoropo le Mabatowa. The journal now publishes articles in Afrikaans or English or any other official language.

The next year SAPI experienced some financial problems at the time when number 44 was supposed to be printed. The journal became, according to the contract with SAPI, the property of the University of the Orange Free State on condition that they supply the editor in terms of the powers and functions granted to them by the Editorial Board of the journal. At first the Department of Urban and Regional Planning financed the journal until it was accepted as part of the universities journals. Since then the university partially sponsored the publication and helped to edited and published the journal. A policy to publish special editions under certain themes with guest editors has been implemented from number 51 in the May 2007 edition of the journal in order to help with the financing and to reach the aim of the minimum of two yearly publications.

In order to get a larger readership for the journal a memorandum of understanding was agreed on between the University of the Free State and the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN). SACPLAN can now for a fee send an electronic copy to all its members. Thus all registered planners and planners in training receives the journal online. A similar agreement was negotiated with the Namibia Institute of Town and Regional Planners (NITRP) in 2015 and the process to sign it is still in progress.