The City of Johannesburg’s broad planning for the city is provided through the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), with more detailed spatial planning done through Regional Spatial Development Frameworks (RSDFs). Some suburbs in Johannesburg have even more detailed plans called Precinct Plans. Parkview and Greenside East is in the fortunate position of having an approved Precinct Plan, which was approved by the Council in 2011.
There are a number of statutes regulating land use. The Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme (1979) is the regulatory mechanism for land use per erf, and is a statutory (legal) document prepared in terms of the Transvaal Town Planning and Townships Ordinance (1986). The Deeds system is the fundamental system used for registering properties in South Africa. All properties bought and sold on the open market have title deeds. The removal of certain clauses from title deeds can only be done through the Gauteng Removal of Restrictions Act (Act 3 of 1996), which requires a formal application procedure.The Parkview Precinct Plan was prepared over a number of years and is the result of a consultative process with urban designers, town planners, the Parkview community and Council officials. It seeks to give a framework for the orderly development of the suburb – and in so doing, gives more certainty to home owners and business owners alike.
The Parkview Residents’ Association (PRA) has prepared building guidelines which detail the steps to follow if an owner would like to change the land use rights on their property.
The PRA participates in all applications to Council for land use rights amendments eg townhouses and apartments and business rights in previously single residential properties in Parkview and Greenside East and uses the Precinct Plan as its reference point. If the application fits broadly into the long term vision of the precinct plan, the PRA attempts to negotiate with the applicant to have conditions and restrictions included in the amendment scheme which would protect the rights of neighbours and affected parties into the future.
The PRA would appreciate being approached before any land use amendment applications are submitted and before the property is bought. It would encourage the applicant to test the waters with affected parties as well as engage with them on the long term vision of the suburb – which was prepared after extensive public engagement. This approach often saves much time and money and avoids long protracted applications.
City of Johannesburg (COJ) Development Planning Policies recently or currently being reviewed (2016 - 2018)
In June 2016, the City of Johannesburg adopted its Spatial Development Framework, 2040.
The COJ is currently in a nodal review process which is assessing nodal boundaries as well as the densification of the city. Though the direction of this work represents a significant departure from current planning practice for much of the City, with significant ramifications still be to be worked out at a practical level, the PRA believes that the policies are in line with global best practice, and have admirable long-term goals.
The Parkview Residents Association (PRA) made initial representations in December 2016 and after a presentation given by the COJ in July 2017, further comments were submitted by the PRA in August 2017.
The PRA met with the City Transformation department in early October 2017 to further engage on the Nodal Review.
The City of Joburg is also attempting to consolidate the many town planning schemes that currently exist in Johannesburg into one scheme, and in August 2017 the draft City of Johannesburg Land Use Scheme was advertised for comment. The PRA submitted comments on the draft in early October 2017.
At the PRA AGM on the 11 October 2017, the Committee reported on work being done by the City Council on the policy that guides the City’s planning role and responsibilities and a presentation summarising these current policies was made.
In February 2018, notice was given of two draft policies circulated for public comment before 30 April 2018.
The April letter to the residents of Parkview and Greenside East gives some background on the motivation and approach of the City of Joburg. A very brief summary of each policy has been prepared. Residents and business owners are invited to make comment to the PRA (firstname.lastname@example.org) – who will consolidate the comments and after consultation with a specialist town planner –make submissions on these two policies to the City Transformation and Spatial Planning Department of the City of Joburg.
Residents and business owners are also able to submit comments directly to the relevant department as per the notice.
The PRA would also welcome any offers to become involved in these important processes - particularly from practitioners in the fields of urban planning and design as well as any attorneys with an interest in urban policy formulation.