The shortage of skilled personnel and the urgent need to streamline building approval and land use processes were some of the pressing issues discussed today at a forum of property developers held in the Civic Centre in Cape Town.
Initiated by the City of Cape Town, the forum also looked at the capacity of the City's engineering services, the integration of various legal processes, the standardisation of regulations, the payment of development contributions, advertising and notification processes, as well as liaison with other spheres of government.
Since the initial meeting in June, a steering committee, comprised of property developers, had met to discuss main issues of concern.
At today's meeting, the committee outlined the purpose, structure and membership of the Cape Town Property Developers Forum.
Delegates agreed that the main purpose of the Forum is to interact with the City Council with regard to help streamline and integrate existing processes, practices, policies and systems, in order to deal with issues hampering development in Cape Town.
Its aim is not to duplicate existing bodies in the industry, nor is it a platform for addressing specific cases, but should rather focus on generic issues.
As an example, the complexities of the land use and environment legal framework made it imperative for the developers and the City to work together to improve their liaison with the relevant provincial authorities.
"The property industry has a desire to grow the local economy in a positive way by working together with local government on long-term solutions," said Willie van der Westhuizen of Kine Homes.
"We want to thank the developers for their positive approach and active participation in the process. We welcome the forum as a mechanism for dialogue in seeking solutions," said Cllr Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee Member for Planning and Environment.
In his presentation Piet van Zyl, Executive Director for Strategic Planning, proposed the establishment of inter-departmental City task teams to engage with the Steering Committee on the key issues.
Six task team sessions will be held over the next three months to address concerns that were raised.
"Absa is pleased to be involved in this process which is addressing obstacles that might hamper development in the City," says Glen Davis of ABSA.
The next Forum event is scheduled for 9 November 2007, which is also linked to National Planning Day.
For more information, interested parties can contact Grace Stead on e-mail: email@example.com
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 2201
CLLR MARIAN NIEUWOUDT
MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT
TEL: 021 400 1307
CELL: 084 224 0023
PIET VAN ZYL
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 2186
CELL: 084 264 2226