City Planning Department warns residents about “building plans” scammers

The City Planning Department warns residents about a growing trend of scammers who are promising speedy approval processes of building plans in exchange for money.

In relation to that, the City Planning department also warns people to stop, carrying out illegal building activities that continue to hinder progressive infrastructure development in the City of Ekurhuleni.

This stern warning was disseminated during an awareness campaign which was held at the Alberton Customer Care Centre (CCC) on the 18th of May.

The Building Control Senior manager in the City Planning department, Baby-girl Chuene said: “We are here today to do an awareness campaign, the reason for this, is because as the City we are having issues with illegal building activities happening around Alberton area, another reason is that we were made aware of scammers who are promising residents speedy approval of building plans, obviously expecting money for it, and they end up doing things wrong, because they promise approval even on proposals which are not approvable. The 3rd one will be that people need to know again that when they want to build they need to appoint professionals, who are registered with professional bodies; you don’t just appoint anyone who is not registered, because there are dire implications in regards to that.

“You might appoint somebody who is not certified for the job, pay money and then end up not being able to submit you plan for approval, it will cost you money to go back and re-appoint someone professional to do a proper plan, so it’s better to do the right thing in the beginning. Some people get their plans approved but they don’t call in for building inspections, and that is a problem because faults cannot be identified at an early stage.

“Some do call in for inspections but they don’t apply for occupancy certificates and there’s no additional cost for it, this document is very important because if there’s any issues with the structure you have built, you need to submit it in order for the issue to be resolved, in case your structure burns up collapses, most insurance companies need the occupancy certificate, to pay you as a home owner.

“So basically, with the programme today we are encouraging and educating people to come to the municipality to be advised before they start building anything, so that they will be sure when they are building that they are doing the right thing. They will be given their authorisation documents.

The City of Ekurhuleni’s residents came to enquire and one of the residents, Rwambu Kwinda, disclosed, saying: “I came here to ask about the process that I need to follow if I want to build a house or a business structure, so I was clearly helped on what processes I should follow and where to send my proposals,” she concluded.

Matampane Raymond Mokwena

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