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Friday, 2 May 2014

CCT MEDIA RELEASE: Offenders to pay R722 650 in fines for development contraventions

Comment by Chris Willemse (CBRRA Chair):

Off the record, I trust that the GHSC councillors see the perversity Garreth Bloor trumpeting a total of less than 40 cases per month at an average sanction of less than R1550 each across the entire metropole - the City could do more in Camps Bay alone. 
I'm sure that the developers are terrified by the (remote) prospect of a R500 to R20000 fine when doing a R30m project! And once the fine is paid, the City will kindly help get the plans regularised - and if the SC's don't play ball, well, the DA have set up the Appeals Committee to assist the rogue developers against the pesky local politicians…. So sad for the law-abiding ratepayers; but tough - that's politics and just get used to it! Funds are needed.
And the real problem lies with the dodgy planning decisions in the first place. Nothing is done about their complicity in the woeful state of planning in the City. 
Sorry, nothing top celebrate here….


CITY OF CAPE TOWN

2 MAY 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

Offenders to pay R722 650 in fines for development contraventions

Based on the findings of the municipal courts, the City of Cape Town is making progress with convictions related to illegal building work and land use transgressions. A total of 471 court cases were concluded, which resulted in fines worth R722 650 being issued to individuals from January to December 2013. The City is calling on property owners, neighbours and developers to share in the responsibility of ensuring that small and large developments are compliant with the necessary regulations to avoid penalties. Read more below:

Statistics of convictions related to building work and land use cases show that the Planning and Building Development Management Department's efforts to clamp down on contraventions are paying off.

The City is exploring the possibility of criminalising certain offences, including signage offences, for criminal record purposes.

Last year, between January and December, 471 court cases were concluded. Fines totalling R722 650 were issued to individuals who contravened the National Building Regulations (NBR) and the Land Use Planning Ordinance (LUPO).

Fines issued ranged from R500 to R20 000 - the cost of which is at the court's discretion. The enforcement processes in terms of the NBR and LUPO may be activated in the event of any unauthorised activities.

Of the 471 cases concluded, approximately 71,3% of them were for contravening Section 4(1) of the NBR related to 'wrongfully and unlawfully performed building works without approved plans'.

Furthermore, about 27,3% of the cases resulted from contravening Section 39 (2)(a) of the LUPO.

February 2013 saw the highest number of matters concluded, with 66 cases and fines totalling R93 000.

'The number of concluded cases is proof that the municipal courts are recognising the importance of ensuring that transgressors face penalties for building and land use contraventions. The City is making progress with convictions, which sends a stern warning to transgressors. Over the years, municipal courts have started to take the City's plight more seriously, which has led to more convictions. If property owners do not comply with notices issued when they contravene the NBR and the LUPO, their cases will be heard in the municipal court and they will be convicted,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Garreth Bloor.

The City encourages building work and land use applications, but this must be done within the confines of the law, which not only protects property owners but also respects the rights of neighbours and the broader community.

'The City is making headway with clamping down on building and land use infringements and we are exploring the possibility of criminalising certain offences for criminal record purposes. While we are looking at ways to reduce red tape in order to fast-track development, it is important that when construction does take place, it adheres to the NBR. There must always be a balance between development and compliance.

'Furthermore, land needs to be used for its zoned purposes and comply with LUPO. There are processes available for rezoning applications. Overall, we need property owners, neighbours and developers to work with us and share the responsibility of creating environments that are compliant, safe and conducive for all,' said Councillor Bloor.


Note to editors: an audio clip is available for download: https://soundcloud.com/ct-media/040514_bloor_building-plans

End

Issued by: Integrated Strategic Communication and Branding Department, City of Cape Town





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