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07/12/2016: Development Planning: 100 days later 
A quest to fast-track service delivery in the first 100 days of the new administration has yielded positive results for the City of Johannesburg’s Development Planning Department.
Days into his position as the Member of the Mayoral Committee for the department, Cllr Funzi Ngobeni, challenged staff members to increase output between the months September and November.

By doing so, the department met its targets in reducing the time taken to process applications, conduct inspections, enforce compliance, as well as carry out, implement and develop projects aimed at improving the lives of residents.

This approach additionally speaks to the economic growth objective of the City, as listed in the Executive Mayor’s 10-point plan.

The processing of applications made for Building Plans, Site Development Plans and Building Line relaxations increased from an average of 80% to 90% within 28 days. A backlog of 198 applications, caused by the system’s downtime, was cleared by 17 September.

Promulgations, that used to take 28 days to process, 85% are now being processed in 21 days.

This approach has further informed the processing of other application types, including, among others, consent uses and rezoning.

In an effort to safeguard the law, the department was able to conduct inspections on all complaints within 10 days. Of the 45 complaints submitted where applicants were stalling on compliance, 13 were finalised, while the rest will be finalised by the end of 2016.

Six court orders were executed to errant property owners, forcing them to comply with the City’s town planning schemes.

A further 160 properties were penalised with a multiplier of 4 on their rates and taxes account for contravening the National Building Regulations and continuing with their illegal building work.

Identified hotspots to be targeted include the Inner-City, Cyrildene, Orange Grove, Turffontein, Windsor East, Oakland Park, Westdene, Mondeor, Fordsburg and Mayfair.

In a bid to inform the public of its services, the department organised open days (outreach programmes) in November to assist residents to resolve their land use, building and addresses concerns.

The department, in addressing the needs of the poor – as listed in the 10-point plan – has sought to resolve the problem of street names in informal townships. This was, and is still, being carried out through the allocation, verification and, where necessary, correction of street names; giving residents the opportunity to become home owners when they are issued with title deeds.

MMC Ngobeni reassures that the department will maintain this fast-track approach beyond his first 100 days, in order to provide residents with quality, efficient services.

An in-house review of Standard Operating Procedures in Building Development Management was conducted, while training for staff will be carried out before the end of the financial year.

Ngobeni further urged residents to adhere to the law and play their part.
“It is our duty to strive towards upholding the standard of the vision of the City.

“The Development Planning Department plays a key role in the definition of the city’s development trajectory and the attainment thereof,” Ngobeni said.

Development projects in need of intervention have received, and are still receiving attention from the MMC in order for them to be implemented.

These projects include Patterson Park (part of the Corridors of Freedom initiative), Orlando Transit Orientated Development programme, the Alexandra Renewal Programme, and the Hillbrow Tower Precinct.

Due to be finalised in the 2017/2018 financial year is the Nodal boundary review, which is currently out for public comment until 16 December 2016. This policy seeks to define parts of the city that are intended for intensive growth and investment.

Also underway in terms of policy development is inclusionary housing, through a partnership with the South African Property Owners Association, to address the challenge of housing in the City in the 2017/2018 financial.

Issued on behalf of Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning, Councillor Funzi Ngobeni.

Virgil James
City of Johannesburg
082 467 9415

For further queries, please contact:
Ms Poppy Louw (details below)

City of Joburg – Development Planning