The City of Cape Town appears to be the only municipality in South Africa to remain available for receiving/assessing building plan applications and land use/development applications during lockdown.
It is committed to supporting the construction and building sector during this difficult period, says mayoral committee member Marian Nieuwoudt.
“Since March 27 (until the start of the Easter weekend) we have created 298 land use cases, of which 200 have been finalised. In terms of building plan applications, 720 cases were created, of which 703 have been approved during this period – a total of 903 approved applications, representing an approval rate of 88.8%.
“It is our intention to ensure applications be processed for approval and be ready to begin as soon as the lockdown period has ended,” she says. If applications are compliant with the Development Management Scheme, especially building plans, she says they are likely to be rapidly processed and finalised.
More complex and intricate applications take longer to process. “As regulator, our role is to assess each application according to the principles of due diligence. We urge developers who are ready to discuss their applications with us to contact the department and request an appointment. These will be facilitated via alternative methods – no physical appointments are permitted during the lockdown.”
Nieuwoudt emphasises, however, an application is formally considered only once documents and payment are received. “The department is always exploring ways to further innovate its processing systems and services and plans to work closely with other sector players, especially those with a role in the assessment of applications, to find ways to enhance and better align processes, ultimately more rapidly serving the industry.
“We believe development is everyone’s business. It is, therefore, imperative the entire fraternity collaborates to encourage a thriving construction and development industry in Cape Town, something which to which, moving forward, a growth coalition can steer.”