The Johannesburg City Council has approved a draft policy to introduce the development of green, low energy consuming buildings.
The Green Building Policy is part of the City’s efforts to achieve low to net zero carbon performance for all new buildings in Johannesburg by 2030 while achieving a total net zero performance compliance standard by 2050.
This policy will guide the development of green, low energy consuming buildings within the City powered by cleaner and renewable energy sources.
It is aimed at promoting resource efficiency and set mandatory and voluntary high-performance standards for all new buildings within Johannesburg’s built environment, on a pathway towards a low carbon future in line with the City’s carbon neutrality goals within the buildings and energy sector by 2050.
Although the City of Johannesburg has continuously been improving service delivery in key sectors, including energy, waste management, water and sanitation, as well as public transport, the challenges are exacerbated by rapid urbanisation and population growth, in a city that is still struggling with the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.
The urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, together with increasing non-renewable resource scarcity, is therefore driving the change to a more sustainable built environment.
The draft policy stems from a partnership with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), with key deliverables of the New Building Efficiency programme – a programme aimed to support cities to go above and beyond current building energy performance plans, through the accelerated implementation of low to net zero carbon actions within the built environment.
The adoption of the policy will benefit, to name a few, plans examiners, inspectors, designers, developers, property owners, occupants and energy consultants who wish to submit building applications to the City.
The City Council also managed to pass the draft Development Contributions Policy, which seeks to simplify and integrate the Development Contributions process, with the intention to speed up the rate of development, by providing greater clarity around an existing capital funding instrument, for the timely provision of essential bulk infrastructure required to service the needs of new developments.
The purpose of the proposed new policy is to simplify and integrate the Development Contributions process and charges for the provision of engineering services to meet the demands of new developments.
The draft policy is further intended to speed up the rate of development by providing greater clarity around an existing capital funding instruments that allow for the timely provision of essential bulk infrastructure required to service the needs of new developments.
Engineering services are services consistent with the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA), namely: water, sanitation, electricity, municipal roads, stormwater and transport.
Development Contributions are a once off charge levied by a municipality on the landowner, as a condition for approving land development application. They are levied to cover the costs incurred by the municipality when installing new infrastructure or upgrading an existing infrastructure.
As part of innovation and promoting the ease of doing business in the City of Johannesburg, the draft policy is developed with a progressive calculator for calculating development contributions. The calculator will be readily available to the public on the City’s Development Planning e-service platform.
The City currently has a fragmented way in which it determines and calculates engineering service contributions for engineering services. Each of the City’s municipal entities responsible for the provision of engineering services have their own internal policy and approach to determine engineering service contributions and figures, which are often not simple to understand with varied approaches and complex technical input mechanism.
This lack of a uniform approach in the determination and calculation of development contributions unfortunately resulted in general confusion and concern raised by the City’s development partners and potential investors.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning, Councillor Lawrence Khoza, welcomed the approval of two key draft policies that are set to improve and transform development in the City.
Councillor Khoza said: “The public participation process is important in that it gives members of the public a voice to raise their concerns throughout the policy formulation process. I encourage residents and stakeholders to use this opportunity to engage with the City on how best we can implement our policies.”
Once available, details of the public participation process of the draft policies will be shared with members of the public.