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Stemme
Plan approvals shambolic

The western world is rightly astonished by the Chinese Government’s ability to build a 1 000-bed hospital in less than two weeks as part of its plan to contain the new corona virus

And Paarlites in particular are awestruck at the speed with which the Chinese can get a major project completed, especially those who constantly battle with Drakenstein Municipality’s Building Department’s red tape to have even the smallest of building plans approved.

The complexity of getting plans approved in Paarl falls no short of archaic, even pre-historic. So the Chinese system seems miraculous!

The amount of bureaucracy and red-tape that has been instituted in Drakenstein municipal building plan approval is laughable and highly frustrating to the person in the street, who merely wants to add a garage or lapa to their existing property.

It literally takes months to have the smallest of plans approved.

Not only does the property owner often suffer financial loss because of this, but developers and builders too, because of planning department inefficiency at Drakenstein.

And it is not only the private sector that suffers from this, but even the municipality’s own developments take months, even years, to receive approval. It sounds like a ship of fools at sea.

To just mention one small example, a few years ago when we were in the midst of a terrible drought and day zero was creeping upon us, the municipality had to wait months to sink it’s own bore-holes, waiting for the necessary permissions!

I hate to think, then, that if the municipality did not regard the drought as urgent enough to have plans passed within 24 hours, what would they consider a crisis situation to speed up remedies?

There can be no doubt these bureaucratic approvals of building plans in our towns need to be re-examined.

Local builder-planner,
Paarl
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