Joburg developments not halted by suspension of building control officer

Joburg’s MMC for Development Planning, Reuben Masango, has reassured developers that applications are still being processed and that construction has not been brought to a halt because of the suspension of the building control officer.

Council has also not, despite having met specifically for this reason, yet appointed an acting building control officer.

The suspended officer is facing allegations of misconduct that include, among others, irregularities in the issuing of notices to developers, resulting in developments taking place without approved plans creating a law-enforcement burden for the City, and loss of revenue.

The African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) objected to the appointment of an acting building control officer at a special City council sitting on 8 May, leaving the City without a building control officer.

But Masango said the department is still receiving building applications.

“The approval period for any building plan that goes through the normal application assessment process in the City takes an estimated 28 days,” he said. “The 28 days since the suspension of the [building control officer] have not yet lapsed, so stakeholders can rest assured that development in the City of Johannesburg has not been brought to a standstill.”

The department continues to process all building applications on their own merit as discussions around the appointment of an acting officer between the members of council take place, Masango said.

The ANC is objecting to this appointment because they said, the proper processes have not been followed to do so.

The EFF, however, believes there are allegations surrounding the person that was chosen to act, saying they prefer another candidate. They said they also opposed it because the only structure that could appoint the officer was council and not the executive.

Masango believes that while these discussions have proved to be challenging, the department remains cognisant of the role of a building control officer and its significance to the construction industry.

“And [the department] will do what is required to find an amicable solution to this matter.”

Meanwhile, investigations into allegations brought against the officer continue and are expected to be finalised within a few weeks.

ALSO READ: Mashaba: ANC preventing debate on suspended Building Control Officer 

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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