Western Cape Government continues to cut red tape to stimulate economic growth as Minister Bredell approves exemption for all Western Cape municipalities from certain provisions of the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act, 2014 (Act 3 of 2014)
Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, on Thursday 27 October 2022, granted an exemption to all municipalities in the Western Cape from certain provisions of the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act. The aim of the exemption is to encourage the integration of the public participation processes in the various laws that govern new developments.
“This is another action step of the Western Cape Government to cut red tape, creating an environment for the private sector to grow our economy and create jobs,” Bredell said.
“Developers must obtain written approvals from various authorities in terms of a range of laws regulating aspects of planning, environmental impact, heritage resources and water usage to name a few. Each of these laws require detailed application processes to be followed and each law includes requirements for public participation. Processing these applications sequentially not only takes very long, but often leads to the same interested and affected parties and communities being consulted numerous times on the same development proposal. Whilst acknowledging that the different laws require different information and involve different relevant considerations when the public is consulted, the integration of these processes is important to reduce the overall regulatory burden and red tape associated with the development process.”
“The construction, property and fixed capital sectors are important contributors to the Western Cape economy and currently the development process is just too slow for this part of our economy to flourish, Bredell said.
Recent studies have shown that developers who must obtain such a range of development approvals could easily wait up to six years before construction can commence. To address this challenge, the Premier established the Fixed Capital & Property Development Work Group (FC&PD) which identified several initiatives to reduce the overall regulatory burden of development applications. Integrating the various processes more effectively is one of the activities of the FC&PD.
“Ultimately the laws governing these sectors need to be streamlined for more effective integration, but, because amending laws takes so long, I have made use of the exemption mechanism provided for in the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act to grant the exemptions in the interim until such time as the laws have been amended formally. In doing this, developers and municipalities are enabled to process some of these applications in parallel and save a lot of valuable time,” Bredell said.
Details of the exemption have been circulated to all municipalities, planning consultants and other interested and affected parties in the Western Cape. The circular DEA&DP 0011/2022 which includes Provincial Gazette notice P.N. 120/2022 is also available from email@example.com.
According to a recent report by Statistics South Africa, the value of building plans passed in the province totaled R24.29bn for the period between January and August 2022. This represents a year-on-year growth rate of 25.2%.