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Wednesday Jan 22, 2014

'Property developers should contribute to Cape Town costs'

The City of Cape Town is trying to ensure that everyone contributes their fair share to the cost of its infrastructure, and has called for public comment on its development charges policy.

Although developers have been paying levies for engineering services for more than 10 years, these were applied disproportionately, said Taki Amira, chairman of the Good Hope subcouncil.

With the demand for low-income housing, commercial units and industrial projects mounting, the city's economic growth depends on an effective development charges system.

The draft policy noted that in 2009, only five percent of the capital cost of new economic infrastructure was recovered through these charges. 'This is an unviable situation. It threatens the financial sustainability of the city and its ability to provide economic infrastructure in future.'

Without development charges, ratepayers would have to pay higher municipal rates and service charges.

The city said the obligation for developers to pay for even a marginal increase in the burden on municipal infrastructure would encourage them to use existing infrastructure more efficiently and develop in accordance with the city's plans.

According to a report, compiled by Johan Snyman and Henry du Plessis of Transport for Cape Town, the development charges will cover essential and bulk engineering services for roads, storm water, sewer, water and solid waste. A development charge will also be added for public transport.

The charge is calculated to determine the pro rata share of the actual, capital costs of related municipal infrastructure needed to service a particular development.

Cape Argus


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