The City of Johannesburg's streamlined decision-making processes had improved turnaround times, effectively making it easier for property developers to do business in Johannesburg, Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau told delegates at the 50th annual convention of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday June 22.
“Within the new Spatial Development Policy we are looking at how best to improve turnaround times and operational efficiency. In addressing issues around land use policy and the ability to make quality decisions in a timeous manner, we have streamlined, among other things, our decision-making processes and have minimised waiting times for rezoning to just five months; consent land use to two-and-a-half months and immediacy for the first assessment of building plans.
"Clearance figures are now available within 30 days if there are any outstanding calculations and within 24 hours if there are no outstanding calculations,” said Mayor Tau.
He also said the City had launched a pilot study of land value capture in Dunkeld that focuses on tax incremental financing as a means of facilitating urban development and densification of infrastructure to increase the City’s ability to absorb urban development.
The Mayor said the aim was to create a compact polycentric metropolitan underpinned by equality, justice, resilience, sustainability and urban efficiency,
Commenting on the "valuable contributions" made by property owners to Johannesburg's economy, Mayor Tau said projected revenue for the 2016I2017 financial year was R8.2-billion as a result of property rates increases at an average of 6.5% over the next five-year period.
Mayor Tau said Johannesburg’s rapid rate of urbanisation had seen the population grow by 120 000 people a year. He added that Johannesburg was a city of contrasts and contradictions that saw only 12% of the estimated commercial property sector, valued at an estimated R1.3-trillion, under black ownership.