Councillors get first bite at draft legislation on problem buildings

OCTOBER 21, 2016

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Councillors had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with draft legislation to deal with the headache of problem buildings and spatial planning during a two-day workshop this week.

Ghastly crimes such as rape, prostitution, assault, drug dealing and even murder reportedly take place in some of these dilapidated buildings and in addition they are also associated with the eyesore of filth due to illegal dumping amongst other ills.

This workshop, requested by Councillors from the Human Settlements Portfolio Committee, is the initial stage of public participation during which the broader public will be given an opportunity to give their take on what the end result of the legislation should be.

The Problem Building By-law, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management By-law and the Informal Settlements By-law are just some of the draft legislation that are currently receiving due consideration.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Human Settlements, Cllr Nqaba Banga, said Councillors are duty-bound to ensure that effective legislation and public policy are not just in place to affect proficient service delivery, it also provides a legislative framework for officials to implement.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is also considered the most advanced Eastern Cape Municipality when it comes to the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA), enacted in 2013, with the drafting of the SPLUMA By-law.

As per a Council Resolution passed on 16 July 2016, a single Municipal Planning Tribunal – comprising municipal officials, external participants such as Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Institute of Architects and the Provincial Department of Human Settlements amongst others – will be established.

The strategic objective of SPLUMA is to ensure that the system of spatial planning and land use management promote social and economic inclusion as well as the sustainable and efficient use of land.

The workshop took place on 19 and 20 October.