The City of Johannesburg’s Building Development Management (BDM) directorate, within the Department of Development Planning, will soon introduce city-issued notice boards that will have to be displayed at all construction sites within the city.
This is one initiative to clamp down on illegal construction in the city.
BDM director Patt Mazibuko says inadequate checks and balances make it easy for developers to bypass the building regulations and start with development without municipal approval.
“One of our main objectives is for all approved sites to be easily identifiable. This will further enable the city to enforce the law where illegal and unflagged construction sites are identified,” she says.
The city’s building inspectors in all seven regions collectively issue between 200 and 300 contravention notices a month. Some of the reported cases are repeat offences by property owners or developers.
Development Planning MMC Funzela Ngobeni says legal fees for cases of illegal building cost the city at least R1.3-million a year, with the city generally able to recoup only a quarter of that money.
“It then goes without saying that noncompliance by a few directly hampers on service delivery for most of our residents, because funds that could be used for beneficial projects or programmes are being channelled towards litigation costs,” he adds.
The notice boards will contain the Building Applications System reference number which is aligned to the building plans application, the building inspector’s signature and contact details, as well as those of the assistant director who allocated the construction site.
The notice boards will also include details of the property owner or developer, the name of the builder and the names of the registered architect and engineer with their professional practice numbers.
Applicants will be required to make a refundable payment for the notice boards upon the submission of their building plans at the Metro Link in Braamfontein.
Construction sites found to not have the notice boards up, or those who have not erected it in a visible position, will be penalised.
The department is finalising its strategy to procure a service provider for the notice boards, which will carry the city’s logo.