It is estimated that municipalities across the country lose up to R39 billion per year in revenue as a result of illegal building.
Now whether or not one cares about losses in municipal revenue, it’s clear that illegal building causes problems from everyone. In Durban, illegal building has been described as reaching epidemic proportions. When we refer to illegal building, we mean construction projects that go ahead without proper permission from the city council. These are often designed and built to specifications that are outside of the municipally mandated limits. There are legal limitations on the height to which a building can be built. The amount of space on any given stand that can be used for construction is also stipulated in the by-laws. Even the space between the perimeter wall and the structure is subject to municipal regulation.
These laws exist for good reasons and are in the public interest. However, they are being widely ignored. The neighbours of these buildings, as well as the city environment in general, suffer as a result.
It’s all so unnecessary because it is easy to comply with the by-laws and still ensure that a building project meets all the developers’ or homeowners’ goals. Certainly there is a cost involved, both in terms of money and time, when permits and other paperwork are needed. However these costs are not really significant considering the overall price tag on a construction project.
When developers and homeowners take on the services of a good firm of architects, they can rest assured that all the necessary permits and legal limitations will be taken care of. Firstly we are fully aware of the by-laws and will ensure that the project fits within their parameters before we even start. All drawings and design decisions will take them into account. Secondly, we will make sure that the paperwork is sorted out so that our clients don’t need to.
By going through the process, developers and homeowners can avoid problems and disruptions further down the line.
It’s easy to keep within the law and still execute a successful, cost-effective building project.
Contact us for advice on city ordinances in relation to your project.