City of Cape Town imposes record R1m penalty on property developer

Source: Google Maps.

The City of Cape Town has imposed a record R1 million penalty for unauthorised building work in the form of a 22-unit apartment block.

The two-storey building, which encroaches on neighbouring properties, is in Sunkist, part of the Oakdale suburb of Belville. The site is currently zoned for Single Residential 1 (SR1) which permits only a single residence and related buildings covering not more than 50% of the site.

According to the City, despite its order to stop construction in September 2022, the property developer continued to build and tenant the unauthorized apartment block.

Following a letter of demand by the City’s lawyers in December 2022, the property developer agreed to ensure the vacating of all tenants with zero action taken on his part by March 2023.

The City of Cape Town approached the High Court for relief in May 2023, obtaining an order in October 2023, declaring the building and its occupation unlawful. The property developer was ordered to apply for a penalty determination, and to comply with all lawful development processes for the site.

The Municipal Planning Tribunal handed down the R1 million admin penalty with the property developer’s appeal considered by the Planning Appeals Advisory Panel.

With the appeal dismissal outcome issued on the 27th of May 2024, the property developer has 20 calendar days to pay the penalty as per the High Court order obtained by the City. The developer must also comply with all lawful processes regarding the unauthorised building under the City’s Development Management Scheme. Should the criteria to regularise the building work not be met, this may result in the City approaching the court for a demolition order.

Download the full outcome appeal report here.