Sunday Times

Dou­ble red card for city plan­ners

- South Africa News · Cape Town · World Bank · Manchester City Football Club · World Bank Group

A very small no­tice with huge im­pact: Cape Town is praised for be­ing SA’s fastest city in terms of is­su­ing per­mits for con­struc­tion, among other things (Hits & Misses, Septem­ber 23).

The World Bank Group “study” has ob­vi­ously not looked at the rea­sons for this re­mark­ably “pos­i­tive feat”.

The rea­sons for an 88-day turn­around in­clude: a coun­cil with greed for money, un­der­qual­i­fied and in­ad­e­quate staff in the (build­ings) plan­ning de­part­ment, po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence in the pass­ing of (large) build­ing plans, con­tempt for the neg­a­tive ef­fects of pass­ing build­ing plans with­out en­vi­ron­men­tal-im­pact stud­ies and lack of plan­ning for as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments when pass­ing plans for large build­ing projects.

Had the World Bank looked into just a few rea­sons be­hind this re­mark­ably short pe­riod for is­su­ing per­mits, Cape Town would have re­ceived a dou­ble red card.

Cit­i­zens are reel­ing un­der the in­ad­e­quate plan­ning of the past decade while the city col­lects mil­lions in fees from pass­ing hun­dreds of plans for mega-sized struc­tures.

These are just some of the real is­sues and rea­sons be­hind this “ease of do­ing busi­ness” study. It won’t pull the wool over our eyes!

Peter Smu­lik, Cape Town

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa