Areas and Places

City of Cape Town approves R21bn in building plans since the start of lockdown

The City of Cape Town has approved a further R3.6 billion in building application approvals between the 1st of May and the 15th of July 2021, leading to approximately R21 billion in approvals since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

As previously announced, investments made by the private sector in building approvals between March 2020 and April 2021 would lead to 40 000 or so job opportunities, despite the pandemic. In addition to the major infrastructure projects such as the Amdec Group’s R14 billion Harbour Arch, the R4 billion River Club development and the R3.9 billion V&A Waterfront expansion, the municipality has approved 22 658 building plans to the value of more than R20 billion between March 2020 and the 15th of July 2021, indicating that both local and international investors have continued confidence in doing business in the city.

In addition to the general building plans, these large construction projects are expected to create more than 19 000 jobs during the construction phases with a further 19 000 indirect and induced jobs on completion. 5 000 permanent jobs have been estimated for the hospitality and retail sector.

The City of Cape Town has approved approximately 4 000 building plans since March 2020 in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha of which 1 745 are residential, and 1 176 for additions and alterations to existing buildings. Since the 1st of May 2021, plans for residential and non-residential developments worth nearly R400 million (R397 434 028) in both these areas have been given the go ahead.

Both districts make up half (680) of the total new building plan approvals for the period, also counting among the top two planning districts in Cape Town in terms of the number of building plans approved, indicating a lot of building activity underway or, imminent in the area, all of which are funded by the residents and the private sector.

The Southern area accounted for just over half a billion in approvals while the Cape Flats totaled more than R200 million in building plan approvals between the 1st of May and 15th of July 2021.

According to the City, it has put systems in place to ensure that building plans and development applications submitted see a turnaround time for assessments of about thirty working days (building plans) and ninety days (land use applications), pending statutory and other requirements in terms of the Municipal Planning By-law.

In the short to medium term and considering the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Cape Town has implemented the following economic interventions with its Strategic Business Partners:

An Economic Action Plan equipping businesses with new ways of working. The City has the intention of becoming a remote-working destination and offers many benefits to the digital nomad.

Its Business Support Programme, run through the Business Hub within the City’s Enterprise and Investment (E&I) Department and in partnership with Productivity SA.

The launch of a mobile business hub to take advice and assistance directly to community entrepreneurs. This supplements the work of the Business Hub office located in the Cape Town CBD. Queries deal with business registration, access to finance, permits, assistance with accessing markets, among others.

Its long-term recovery strategy has developed a ten-year capital project pipeline aimed at stability and direction in infrastructure development. This is in line with the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and, the Medium Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) to promote the building of an inclusive, integrated, and vibrant City to manage urban growth in a balanced and responsible manner, while improving access to economic opportunities.