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Capetonians Encouraged To Comment On Proposed Amendments To Municipal Planning By-law


Capetonians Encouraged To Comment On Proposed Amendments To Municipal Planning By-law

Category Home Owners

The public participation period about the proposed amendments to the Municipal Planning By-law is now heading into its second week. Residents are encouraged to attend the information sessions as some of the amendments may have far-reaching consequences. Read more below:

The Municipal Planning By-law (MPBL) regulates developments and land use in Cape Town. The City is proposing a number of amendments to the by-law as part of its annual review process; and to give effect to the policies and strategies that have been adopted by the City Council over the past few years.

Some of these amendments pertain to emergency housing, the installation of minor freestanding cell masts, a third dwelling as an additional use right, and short-term letting from flats, among others.

It is therefore important that as many interested parties as possible, from residents to rate payers' associations and body corporates, submit their comments on the City's proposed amendments by 1 April 2019.

'We will host another three information sessions in Fish Hoek, Goodwood, and Strand next week. Officials will give a presentation about the impact and consequences of the proposed amendments and those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions. I know this topic sounds complicated and that some people would rather avoid it. This is exactly why I'm urging residents to please make an effort to attend these sessions so that officials can explain what we're proposing,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

The City has already hosted three information sessions in Milnerton, Kraaifontein, and at the Civic Centre earlier this week.

The next three information sessions will take place as follows: 

- 12 March 2019 from 19:00 to 21:00 at the Fish Hoek municipal offices, Central Circle off Recreation Road, Fish Hoek 

- 13 March 2019 from 19:00 to 21:00 at the Subcouncil chamber on the corner of Voortrekker Road and Molteno Street, Goodwood
- 14 March 2019 from 19:00 to 21:00 at the Subcouncil chamber on the corner of Fagan Street and Main Road, Strand

'The outcome at the first three information sessions was below expectation, but I want to thank those who made the effort to attend. I want to remind residents who own property in Cape Town that some of the proposed amendments may have an impact on property rights, as well as on future developments and land uses. To put it simply, the amendments will have an impact on what our cities and suburbs will look like a few years on. Thus, all of us who live and work in Cape Town have an interest in the outcome of this process, regardless of whether you're a property owner or not,' said Alderman Nieuwoudt.

The full set of proposed amendments and the guideline document with more information are available at the 24 subcouncil offices and on the City's website at

Residents are advised to take note of the following proposed amendments:

- Amendments to the emergency housing provisions will enable the City to provide temporary housing on land that may not be zoned for such purpose for a period of six months without needing to undertake a public participation process beforehand. The proposed amendment will allow for families that are left homeless due to emergencies such as fires and floods to be temporary relocated to an alternative site in a timeous manner. 

- To insert provisions that will control the height and permeation, among others, of standard boundary walls. 

- The City is proposing an additional level to measure height. Height is a contentious issue on sites and in areas with steep slopes and most complaints relate to the impact of height on neighbouring views, privacy, and sunlight. The intention is to, in the end, produce a ground level map that will cover all sites and land in Cape Town so that there is certainty in terms of the allowed height for each and every site / property across the city. 

- A new provision that allows for short-term letting from a house or flat for a period not exceeding 30 consecutive days. This is in response to the increase in short-term letting via online platforms such as AirBnB. 

- Amendments are proposed to allow for the installation of minor freestanding cell masts: properties zoned as Community Use such as churches, schools, clinics and hospitals; Utilities; Transport 1 and Transport 2; Public Open Space; as well as Agriculture be allowed to install minor freestanding cell masts (of less than 12 m in height) or minor rooftop masts (of less than 1,5 m in height) as of right. This means that these minor freestanding masts and minor rooftop masts can be installed at or on these sites without prior land use approval from the City or adjacent land owners. Building plan approvals may still be required.
- A minor rooftop cell mast of less than 1,5 m in height is allowed as a consent use for properties zoned as Single Residential 1 and Single Residential 2; as well as for properties zoned as General Residential 1 - 6. This means that the owner of the property must still apply to the City for permission to install this structure. 

- The proposal to remove the existing third dwelling overlay zone and add a third dwelling as an additional use right for properties zoned as Single Residential. A third dwelling as of right means that the property owner is allowed to add a third dwelling on the property without prior approval from the City, subject to the normal development rules of the property, the approval of a building plan, and confirmation from the City that there is water, sanitation, and electricity available for the third dwelling. 

- An amendment to the Small and Micro Enterprise Overlay Zone that will provide certain business rights, among which the right to operate an office, guesthouse, business, or restaurant from properties adjacent to scheduled public transport services such as the MyCiTi bus service and passenger rail services. 

- An amendment that will allow the City to also use email to correspond with those who comment or object to development applications. 

- An amendment that proposes that objections and appeals in terms of the by-law be submitted on a standardised form to ensure that the City is provided with the relevant and required information. Objectors and appellants will still be able to submit additional and supporting documents together with the form. 

- An amendment that states that no more than one staff quarters is permitted on a land unit without the City's consent. This is to allow the City to consider the legitimacy of domestic staff quarters and the impact it may have on neighbours.

Comments, input or recommendations in respect of the proposed amendments can be submitted by: 

- Email to 

- By visiting

Author City of Cape Town
Published 13 Mar 2019 / Views -
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