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​​​​Land Use Management​
Development Planning - Land U​se Management​

Building Line Relaxation

Click here for Land Use Forms

What is Land Use Management?

Land Use Management is the system of legal requirements and regulations that apply to land in order to achieve desirable and harmonious development of the built environment.

Every property in the city has a set of regulations to control development. These regulations are determined by the zoning of the property. Property zoning is set out in the applicable Town Planning Scheme, which determines such aspects as possible land use, floor area, coverage, building lines, parking provisions etc.

There are presently different Town Planning Schemes for different areas of the city. It is important to establish which scheme applies to which area, as the specific requirements of the schemes differ.

In addition to the zoning regulations, development is also controlled by conditions of title. These conditions are set out in the Title Deed of each property, and can restrict the way in which a property may be developed.

Other pieces of legislation that regulate development include the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (Act 103 of 1977), the Public Health Bylaws and various other Municipal Bylaws.

​How do I establish what development is permitted on my property?

The zoning regulations as well as the correct property description, and details of the size, orientation etc can be obtained from the GIS information counter on the 8th floor of the "A" block of the Metro Centre, 158 Loveday Street, Braamfontein.

Details of restrictions set out in the Title Deed can be established by obtaining a copy of the Title Deed from the Deeds Office, or from the Bank or Financial Institution that holds the mortgage bond.

Building Control can provide information regarding the National Building Regulations and the Regional People's Centres any information on municipal Bylaws.

Can I change the zoning regulations and/or remove restrictive conditions of title?

If a proposed property development requires a change of the zoning regulations or amendment of the title conditions, this is possible; but requires an application and a formal procedure. There are numerous different kinds of applications, many of which are technically and legally complex. It is therefore advisable to consult a professional town planning consultant or other professional such as a land surveyor or a lawyer.

Some development proposals may not require a rezoning or removal of restrictive conditions but nevertheless need the Council's permission. These are known as Consent Applications and are usually less complex, but need to be legally and technically correct.

Proposals to develop agricultural land portions or small holdings require more than changes in zoning and removal of restrictive conditions. These are, effectively, proposals to establish townships, which require professional expertise.

Forms for the various types of applications are available from the Registration Section of Land Use Management, situated on the 8th floor of the "A" block of the Metro Centre, 158 Loveday Street, Braamfontein. 

What is the development policy for a specific locality?

All proposals to change the permitted use and development of land will be evaluated by the Council on the basis of a number of considerations.

The most important of these is the Council's development policy, which is known as the Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF). This document provides a guideline as to what land use and development change will be acceptable. The document has been drawn up with the involvement of the various communities. Generally, if a proposal is in accordance with the RSDF it is likely to be supported. If it is not in line with the RSDF the Land Use Management Department is unlikely to recommend the proposal for approval.

The city is divided into 11 regions and each region has a RSDF document. Information regarding these policies can be obtained from the Land Use Management Department as well as from the Development Planning and Facilitation Directorate.

How much does it cost to make an application?

Not only is there the cost of preparing the application (advertising, plans documents, professional fees etc) but there is also an application fee payable to the Council. The following are the application fees payable to the Council for the various forms of land-use application:
Price List

In addition, if a development a​pplication is approved, it may involve the payment of monetary contributions to the Council for additional services such as sewers, electricity and water supply road improvements etc.

How long does it take for a land use application to be processed?

Depending on the type of application, obtaining a decision may take as long as 12 months. After the application is submitted it is circulated to relevant Council departments and agencies for comment.

The application is then processed by a planning officer who makes a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved or not. If the official's recommendation opposes the application and where interested parties have lodged objections, a Tribunal Hearing is scheduled and the applicant, objectors and Council officials are given the opportunity to argue the case. If any party is dissatisfied with the Tribunal's decision, they may appeal to the Provincial authority (currently known as the Townships Board), thereby delaying the process further.

Contact Information for Land Use Management's Planners on Duty

Area A (Midrand area)


7th floor Metro Centre
Area B (Sandton Area)407-62447th floor Metro Centre
Area C (Randburg Area)407-61407th floor Metro Centre
Area D (Johannesburg Area) 
407-61407th floor Metro Centre
Area E (Roodepoort Area)407-69015th floor Metro Centre
Area F (Soweto Area)407-69015th floor Metro Centre

The planner on duty can give you further information regarding your specific land use query and is available on weekdays from 8h00 to 13h00.