The City of Cape Town has approved building plans to the value of more than R17.2 billion between March 2020 to April 2021 with the Khayelitsha district among the top two planning districts in the city in terms of the number of building plans approved.
This indicates that building activity is already ongoing and imminent for the area, all of which are funded by residents and the private sector.
During Covid-19, the City’s Development Management Department implemented various solutions to ensure business continues as normal during the national lockdown period and beyond.
Ensuring that building plans and development applications can be submitted by the public, the City strove to keep the turnaround time for assessments to approximately thirty working days for building plans and ninety days for land use applications, pending statutory and other requirements in terms of the Municipal Planning By-Law.
The City says a promising trend is the number of building plans that the private sector has submitted for building work in the Khayelitsha planning district during this period which were either submitted by residents or private companies. A total number of 3 078 building plans were approved of which 1 065 are residential in nature and 941 plans for additions and alterations to existing buildings. The estimated value of the building work is R1.6 billion.
Statistics from the City’s Development Management Department for the period between the 27th of March 2020 to 22nd of April 2021 include:
- The department approved 18 070 building plans with an estimated value of R17.2 billion across all planning districts in Cape Town, covering a floor area of 2 266 212m2.
- Most of these building plans are residential in nature (3 493) and for additions and alterations to existing buildings (9 442).
- The department finalised 6 066 land use applications across all planning districts.
The number of building plans approved in each planning district are as follows:
- Northern: 3 425
- Khayelitsha: 3 078
- Tygerberg: 2 587
- Southern: 2 237
- Blaauwberg: 1 980
- Helderberg: 1 772
- Cape Flats: 1 606
- Table Bay: 1 385
“The City must find a balance between urbanising Cape Town and meeting the demand for well-located housing, while at the same time protecting the unique qualities and natural environment that make our city a sought-after destination” commented Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.
“It is important to mention that the City is compelled to assess all development and building plan applications in terms of the Municipal Planning By-law (MPBL); the City’s Development Management Scheme (DMS) or zoning scheme which determines the land use for every site or land parcel that falls within the City of Cape Town’s municipal boundaries; and the National Building Regulations”.
As such, the City’s Development Management Department controls and regulates the construction of new buildings and developments, the alteration, extension, or conversion of existing buildings, changes in the use of existing buildings and sites, and the demolition of existing buildings or structures.
Municipalities are responsible for managing land use on sites that fall within their boundaries. Land use management is intended to ensure that the right development takes place at the right place, and at the right time, and that it happens in a desirable and sustainable way, to ensure that land use supports economic growth and creates employment opportunities, to create a safe, healthy, and sustainable built environment, to find the right balance between meeting communities’ needs, and protecting our natural and built heritage environment; and to work wisely with the available land.
The City is compelled by law to notify interested and affected parties of applications that may have an impact on adjacent property owners and residents when an application goes over and above the existing land rights in terms of the DMS. These interested and affected parties have the right to oppose, object to, and comment on development applications, and to appeal final decisions.
The approval of development applications usually takes longer when a submission is objected to, or opposed and rightly so, as the decisions have a wide impact.
“The City’s Development Management Department is executing its duties with urgency and intent, and we are guided by the MPBL, the DMS, and the applicable policies that have been approved by Council over the past decade” concluded Nieuwoudt.