Le­ga­li­se your con­structi­on works

George Herald - - NEWS -

Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has laun­ched an am­nesty cam­paign to al­low lan­do­w­ners to le­ga­li­se all ex­is­ting il­le­gal con­structi­on works on their pro­per­ty wit­hout paying the ap­pro­pri­a­te hig­her buil­ding plan fees and to up­da­te buil­ding plans re­cords.

The coun­cil has ex­ten­ded the cur­rent am­nesty pe­ri­od for ge­ne­ral buil­ding plans for a furt­her pe­ri­od of 6 mont­hs to 31 De­cem­ber 2017. Ge­ne­ral buil­ding plans ap­pli­ca­ti­ons for in­di­gent hou­se­holds as well as ap­pli­cants in the ru­ral a­re­as as well as in U­ni­on­da­le, Haar­lem and sur­roun­ding a­re­as ha­ve been gi­ven a furt­her ex­ten­si­on for a pe­ri­od of 6 mont­hs, from 1 Ja­nu­a­ry 2018 to 30 Ju­ne 2018.

Ag­gres­si­ve in­for­ma­ti­on cam­paigns ha­ve been laun­ched to rai­se a­wa­re­ness of o­w­ners’ re­spon­si­bi­li­ties and lan­do­w­ners are en­coura­ged to le­ga­li­se any un­la­w­ful struc­tu­res on their plots.

Ni­co Koen, ma­na­ger of buil­ding con­t­rol, says the in­for­ma­ti­on cam­paigns ha­ve ma­de ma­ny lan­do­w­ners a­wa­re of their re­spon­si­bi­li­ties. The buil­ding con­t­rol de­part­ment is o­ver­w­hel­med with in­qui­ries re­gar­ding the sta­tus of lan­do­w­ners’ buil­ding plans in the coun­cil's pos­ses­si­on. Ex­is­ting il­le­gal struc­tu­res that qua­li­fy for am­nesty are sub­mit­ted dai­ly. "The am­nesty cam­paign is a gre­at success and ma­ny lan­do­w­ners are in the pro­cess of le­ga­li­sing all il­le­gal struc­tu­res and/or il­le­gal land use. The buil­ding con­t­rol de­part­ment is ex­pe­rien­cing a no­ti­ce­a­ble in­cre­a­se in the a­mount of buil­ding plans sub­mit­ted," he says.

From 1 Ju­ly 2015 to 6 Sep­tem­ber t­his y­e­ar,

882 am­nesty buil­ding plans ha­ve been sub­mit­ted. Koen says, ho­we­ver, he be­lie­ves that despi­te cam­paigns, me­dia re­ports, ra­dio bro­ad­cas­ts, ad­ver­ti­se­ments, no­ti­fi­ca­ti­ons and much mo­re, ma­ny lan­do­w­ners still fail to le­ga­li­se il­le­gal struc­tu­res and/or il­le­gal land u­ses.

In terms of Secti­on 4 (1) of the Na­ti­o­nal Buil­ding Re­gu­la­ti­ons and Buil­ding S­tan­dards Act, No. 103 of 1977 and ot­her ap­pli­ca­ble le­gis­la­ti­on, it is the re­spon­si­bi­li­ty of the lo­cal aut­ho­ri­ties to en­s­u­re that no one has a buil­ding, either tem­po­ra­ry or per­ma­nent, and re­gard­less of the ma­te­ri­als which is u­sed for its e­recti­on, wit­hout the pri­or writ­ten ap­pro­val of the lo­cal go­vern­ment con­cer­ned.

Lan­do­w­ners are cal­led upon to act within the said Act. Koen says the­re will be strict acti­on af­ter the am­nesty cam­paign. "Lan­do­w­ners who do not o­bey the law ma­ke them­sel­ves guil­ty of an of­fen­se."

Coun­cil ap­pro­ved the ap­point­ment of a drafts­man on a fixed-term con­tract of

12 mont­hs to as­sist in the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of buil­ding plans in all re­si­den­ti­al a­re­as that qua­li­fy for In­di­gent on the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty's da­ta­ba­se. Lan­do­w­ners can vi­sit the buil­ding ma­na­ge­ment de­part­ment if they ha­ve any que­ries a­bout struc­tu­res or buil­ding plans at the Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pal main buil­ding, fourth floor, York Street or call 044 801 9370.

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