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CoJ promulgates reviewed municipal planning by-law

9th April 2024

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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The City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ’s) Development Planning Department has promulgated the recently reviewed municipal planning by-law.

The provisions of the reviewed by-law enable the city to simplify procedures and processes for land development applications, mechanisms to provide engineering services and collection of development contributions.

It also gives legal effect to the Land Use Management Scheme and the Spatial Development Framework and outlines law enforcement processes and procedures to be followed going forward.

The CoJ is among the first few municipalities to have started and completed the review process of its first municipal planning by-law, which was drafted and promulgated in 2016, in line with the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act.

The city undertook its first review of the by-law, which was approved by council in October last year, and subsequently promulgated the reviewed by-law on April 3, which is applicable with immediate effect. 

In welcoming this latest promulgation, Development Planning MMC Eunice Mgcina said that, in effect, all land development applications within the CoJ would be now submitted in terms of the revised by-law as of April 3.

However, the city will allow a transition period for the application of the by-law for existing applications, which will end on May 3.

“I am pleased that the public participation process of the reviewed by-law, which began early in 2023, ensured that all stakeholders participated and contributed. And all public participation was conducted through robust public meetings with residents and built environment professionals in all regions across the city,” Mgcina said on April 9.

She added that, among the critical components introduced as part of the reviewed by-law, was the introduction of new sections that made law enforcement easier in dealing with illegal land-uses. This will now include the seizure of items found on site that are believed to have been used to conduct illegal activities and crime.

“The by-law review has also rectified some of the shortcomings identified over the past five years to facilitate efficient application processes,” Mgcina added.

For instance, certain uses such as places of instruction of 100 or fewer learners, can now be enabled by an easier applications process, being labelled as a consent use as opposed to a township establishment, thereby attracting investment owing to ease of doing business.

The review has also eliminated Section 25 (3)(b), which required a new rezoning application when downscaling approved rights.

“We believe these are changes that will enable and facilitate fast application processes and reduce the cost and time of doing business in the city,” Mgcina explained.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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