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Thursday Feb 07, 2013

Cape Town hopes increase property fines for building violations

Cape Town's municipal courts have fined more than 270 property owners for contravening the city's land use and building regulations, an issue the city hopes to address by adopting a new planning by-law in the next few months.

The cases, from July 1 to December 31 last year, involve property owners who contravened the city's building and zoning regulations without approved plans, or who deviated from approved plans.

Gareth Bloor, mayoral committee (Mayco) member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, said: "The new planning by-law is being drafted and should be ready by April.

"It addresses these kinds of issues and will provide a comprehensive approach."

He said that the by-law would not be used to "go out and get people".

"We want to look at how we can get people to comply with these regulations.

"Those who were fined at the municipal courts were given many warnings."

Last year the city decided to name and shame property owners who contravened the building regulations and to also to impose bigger fines on affluent residents.

Belinda Walker, former Mayco member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, said there had been a lot more cases of building violations than at the same time the previous year.

"In some cases it is simply ignorance, but where there are cases in affluent areas such as Bishopscourt and Camps Bay, there is no excuse."

Property owners were fined betweenR200 and R6 000 for wrongfully and unlawfully performing building works without approved plans and using land zoned as single residential for business purposes.

In Grassy Park, a property owner was fined R1 500 for unlawfully performing building works without approved plans. The owner of a home in Tamboerskloof was fined R2 500 for the same offence.

In Schaapkraal, the owner of a farm was fined R5 000 for wrongfully using land zoned for residential purpose as business. A property owner in Strand was fined R2 000, or six months' imprisonment, for wrongfully and unlawfully performing building works without approved plans.

An Eastridge property owner was fined R1 500, suspended for three years. A property owner in Bishops court was fined R2 500 for wrongfully and unlawfully performing building works without approved plans.

Cape Argus

 
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