Thanks to the persistence of SAPOA and its legal department, the commercial and industrial property sector has won a key battle against illegal land uses in the Northern Province city of Polokwane.
Illegal land uses of concern to property owners include the erection of billboards, posting of placards and parking of trailers.
After almost a year of pursuing different channels of complaint, SAPOA has finally secured a meeting with the Mayor of Polokwane later this week to discuss property owners’ concerns.
And thanks to SAPOA’s lobbying, the first steps have been taken to legally tackle these illegal uses.
The city’s Chief Planner Fanie Muleya confirmed this week that a court order has been granted to impound illegal billboards.
Furthermore, the city will be cleaning up all remaining illegal activities in due course.
SAPOA’s role in driving the solution has been key.
“It was brought to SAPOA’s attention last year that there was a growing problem with illegal land uses in the City of Polokwane,” explains CEO of SAPOA, Neil Gopal.
“SAPOA immediately submitted a formal complaint to the municipality.”
When SAPOA did not receive a response, the matter was directed to the provincial Office of the Public Protector, which investigated and again forwarded the complaint to Polokwane municipal officials, affording them an opportunity to respond.
When SAPOA again received no response, the decision was made to escalate the complaint to the national Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
However, SAPOA decided to make one last effort with the municipality by sending the complaint to the Mayor, which was resulted in the upcoming meeting.
“We look forward to a successful resolution of these issues with the help of the Mayor and municipality,” adds Gopal.