The provincial and local municipal administrations handle land use management in their particular areas. They handle the application procedures, process the applications for rezoning, and handle consent provision, sub-division, title deed restrictions and township establishment applications. They also regulate enforcement of zoning scheme legislation, are responsible for zoning certificate issuing and the investigation of land use complaints.

The town planner acts as representative of the client and handles such applications as mentioned above on behalf of the client. In essence then, the client doesn’t have to personally submit the applications and deal with the municipalities or provincial administrations.

With the expertise that the town planners have and their regular contact with the municipal offices, they are able to help clients save time and money, whilst also helping them to avoid land use management related issues and pitfalls.

The application forms for rezoning, sub-division etc. are obtained from the municipality and you will be required to submit documents in support of your application for approval. A range of fees is payable before final approval can be given.

You will receive an application number, which will become your reference number when enquiring about the progress of the application. You will also need to publish notifications of your intent in the government gazette and local newspapers, as well as notify your neighbours of your intent to, for instance, sub-divide a property, by means of registered letters. Affected parties will have a specific period in which they can lodge objections to the proposed changes in zoning and so forth.

Once the application has been acknowledged as complete, it is circulated amongst the relevant affected parties and the ward committee etc. for comments.

Where someone has lodged an objection, you will get the chance to respond and this also is where the expertise and services of the town planner become exceptionally valuable. The town planner will handle the advocacy process. After dealing with such or having made the necessary changes to the proposal, the application is again considered and the final decision is made. The written final decision is given and should the application be declined, you will have the right to appeal against the decision at the local government or provincial administration.

Note that even if the zoning scheme allows for the particular type of development in the area, there may still be specific restrictions in the property title deed, which must be removed before you can proceed with particular construction project. We strongly recommend getting expert advice and assistance from our town planning consultants regarding land use management aspects anywhere in South Africa if you want to develop a piece of property for another purpose than what the zoning scheme allows for in the particular area.