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City clamps down on illegal construction Print E-mail
03 October 2017
Construction

The Building Development Management (BDM) directorate within the Department of Development Planning is determined to clamp down on illegal building in the City of Johannesburg.

The department recently resolved that all construction sites will soon be compelled to install unique, City-issued construction notice board with their respective approval’s reference number.

According to BDM Director Patt Mazibuko, the notice board is one of the department’s initiatives to monitor construction and development in Johannesburg.

Mazibuko added that inadequate checks and balances make it easy for developers to bypass building regulations and commence with development without municipal approval.

“One of our main objectives is for all approved sites to be easily identifiable. This will further enable the City to enforce the law accordingly where illegal and un-flagged construction sites are identified,” she said.

The City’s building inspectors in all the seven regions collectively issue an average of between 200-300 contravention notices on a monthly basis. Some of the reported cases are repeat offences by property owners or developers, who continuously refuse to comply with the City’s bylaws and regulations.

The construction signage will contain:
1. The BAS (Building Applications System) reference number which is aligned to the building plans application, building inspector’s signature and contact details, as well as those of the assistant director(s) who allocated the construction site; and
2. Details of the property owner or developer, the name of the builder, and the name of the registered architect, engineer with valid professional practice number(s), respectively.

Applicants will be required to pay for a refundable amount for the construction notice boards upon the submission of their building plans at the Metro Link in Braamfontein. No application will be approved without this payment. Refund is subject to terms and conditions.

Construction sites found to not have their signage up, or even those who have not erected it in a visible position, will be penalised.

The Department is finalising its strategy to procure a service provider for the notice boards, which will also don the City’s iconic logo.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Cllr Funzela Ngobeni welcomed the initiative, saying legal fees for cases of illegal building cost the City at least R1.3-million per year.

In most cases, Cllr Ngobeni added, the City could, at most, recoup a quarter of that money.

“It then goes without saying that non-compliance by a few directly hampers on service delivery for most of our residents, because funds that could be used for beneficial projects or programmes are being channeled towards litigation costs,” he added.

MMC Ngobeni further urged to residents, property owners and developers to refrain from lawlessness, appealing to them to comply with the City’s bylaws and regulations.

“This initiative will go a long way in bringing back order, particularly in the construction sector. For too long have contraventions been left to spill over this way. We, as a City, can no longer allow things to continue this way,” said MMC Ngobeni.

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Last Updated on 03 October 2017