There has been an increase of 4.4 percent in the number of building plans approved in March 2022 compared to March 2021. Of all the regions in the City, the outer west had the highest increase in the number of building plans approved with 27.6 percent of total plans approved, followed by the inner west with 17.8 percent. This was revealed in a recent report released by eThekwini’s Durban EDGE.
The number of residential building plans approved in the outer west more than doubled from 18 in March 2021 to 40 in March 2022. The residential category in the outer west also had the highest value of building plans approved, which is 41 percent of total value of plans approved (R1.6 billion).
The increase in numbers is a clear indication that residential developments are taking place in the outer west and surroundings, which has the potential to further boost economic growth in the City. The recent heavy rainfall has been devastating with many residents dealing with the collapse of walls, buildings, and other structures. To facilitate the rebuilding of the economy, the City’s Development and Planning Unit have waivered the submission of a building plan that is required for rebuilding. This will help assist and facilitate rebuilding after the damage caused by the floods.
This is applied to damaged buildings, provided that the re-build remains unchanged and in accordance with the previously approved building plan. Homeowners need to ensure that the National Building Regulations are adhered to when rebuilding structures. These regulations are in place to ensure certain building standards are met and that the integrity of the structure is sound. Property owners who need to reconstruct walls, buildings, or other structures that were damaged due to the recent inclement weather, are advised as follows by the Building Inspectorate:
Reconstruction and/or remedial works will be permitted if the replacement is like for like and in accordance with the previously approved building plan. One will need to contact the Building Inspector to carry out an assessment prior to any concrete being placed in the foundation trenches or for any wet works.
If in the event the wall, building, or other structure was built without an approved building plan, one will not be permitted to reconstruct the same in its entirety. One will be permitted to carry out remedial works to make the area safe which will remove the element of danger. In this instance, the services of a structural engineer should be sought to prepare a methodology statement on the preferred option for the remedial works. This must be submitted to the Building Inspectorate for consideration for provisional authorisation prior to any work commencing on site.
General maintenance works will be permitted without authorisations from the Building Inspectorate.
A hoarding permit must be submitted to the Building Inspectorate if one needs to store building material on the road reserve.
Buildings that have collapsed partially or totally or buildings that may be in danger of failure must not be used or occupied. Structural damages to roofs, structural cracks in walls/floors, and exposed foundations due to washaways will need to be treated as above. It is advisable to relocate to a friend or relative or the nearest community centre until the building is made safe in line with the National Building Regulations. It is important to communicate with the Building Inspectorate Office for further advice/guidance as required prior to commencing any works on site. The Building Inspectorate will issue provisional authorisation within 48 hours which will allow for emergency remedial works to continue. It is critical that all information required is provided so that there will be no delay in providing the provisional authorisation.