South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) CEO Neil Gopal says property sector role-players are experiencing significant challenges in some municipalities with regard to building plan application processes and land use/zoning.
These challenges lead to a number of issues impacting on the private sector. Some companies report millions of Rands in losses owing to delays in processing documents.
Sapoa is, therefore, looking into the town planning processes in some of the country’s largest cities, including Tshwane and Johannesburg, and plans to release a comparative analysis in due course. The research is being conducted using surveys and interviews, and will make visible the root causes of town planning and application approval delays.
Gopal notes it is vital to investigate municipalities and cities’ internal processes, since the private sector developers and other stakeholders often put the blame solidly on the municipality which is not always the sole culprit. Meanwhile, Sapoa is also investigating the different development costs in major cities and precincts.
The National Treasury and Sapoa signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016 to collaborate and develop legislation to govern precinct management better, and especially central improvement districts, since these often charge “vastly different, unjustified fees”.