The Sol Plaatje Municipality has warned residents not to go ahead with alterations or additions to their properties without the necessary plans being approved.
THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has warned residents not to go ahead with alterations or additions to their properties without the necessary plans being approved.
Reacting to allegations from city residents regarding municipal officials refusing to approve building plans, municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie yesterday also cautioned locals against unscrupulous people charging to draw up plans and promising to get the necessary municipal approval.
A city resident said yesterday that said she obtained the services of a local person to draw up the plans for the R150 000 alterations and additions to her home in Makapane Street in Vergenoeg.
“We paid him for the plans but he kept ducking and diving and coming up with different excuses about the progress of the plans.”
She added that the family had in the meantime started with the renovations. “While we were busy an inspector from the municipality came to inspect and told us that we had to stop building because we didn’t have an approved plan.
“We had to move out and find alternative accommodation because there wasn’t a roof on the house and it was dangerous to stay there.”
She said that despite numerous attempts, she was unable to get hold of the person who had drawn up the plan and taken it to the municipality for approval, so she went to the civic centre herself.
“After going there on three occasions, I was eventually told that the person who is responsible for putting a stamp on the plans, indicating that it has been approved, has not been paid for two months so he is refusing to do it.”
The Building Control Section said in response that the local authority was not part of the agreement between the draughtsman and property owner.
“As such we cannot comment on the agreement between the two parties (owner and draughtsman),” Matsie said.
“No owner of a property can commence with any building works on the property without written consent/approval of the building plan by the municipality. We applaud the building inspector for stopping illegal building works on site. The only time any property owner can commence with building works is post approval of the building plans by the municipality.”
Matsie also cautioned residents to ensure that the person they appoint to draw up their plans is reputable and is registered with a professional body like the South African Council for the Architectural Profession, which is the regulator for the architectural profession in South Africa. “Their contact details are 011 479 5000.”
The normal submission fee for a building plan is R17 per metre square and a SANS10400 form needs to be filled in by the draughtsman prior to submission of a building plan,” Matsie stated.
The public was also warned to not commence with any building works or additions to their building prior to obtaining approval from the municipality.
“If they do, they might be liable for a fine, which varies from the type of illegal structure erected.”
Currently the fine is R82 per square metre.
According to Matsie, the maximum period to process a building plan is 60 days in terms of the National Building Regulations Act 103 of 197.
“The consideration of completeness and complexity of the submission is taken into consideration when processing the building plans and often draughtsmen tend to submit building plans without the necessary documentation, for example, a fire plan. Moreover, the National Building Regulations Act 103 of 1977 is very clear and states that the municipality must approve alterations and additions to any co-existing structure. This enables the valuers of the municipality to be able to charge adequate rates and taxes.”
In terms of the criteria considered when approving plans, Matsie pointed out that the National Building Regulations Act 103 of 1977 and other relevant built environment legislation are used to take an informed decision when evaluating building plans.