Town Planning


NB Our website is updated when the City makes documents available, so please check regularly for the links to the information you will find useful, such as the Word document : How to access the City Planning Dept. Reports which is attached at the bottom of this page. Another  recent addition is a PDF on the Municipal Planning Tribunal.


Cape Town residents concerned about “development at all costs” approach- Mayor dismisses accusations.

This image and article is reprinted from 'Groundup' and the full version may be viewed at this link:
21 February 2017

From across Cape Town residents expressed concern at a meeting last week that the City, particularly Mayor Patricia de Lille, is taking a “development at all costs” approach with little regard for public sentiment and sometimes the City’s own policies.

But the mayor has dismissed most of their accusations as “lies”, adding “bring on the evidence”. In an emailed response to questions, she uses this phrase, or variations of it, six times in response to eight questions.

The meeting on 15 February, organised by the Development Action Group (DAG), emerged out of research by the organisation’s Ryan Fester, who interviewed communities about 18 controversial development proposals ranging from the Cape Flats to the Atlantic seaboard, including the Two Rivers Urban Park, the R1bn retail and housing development in Bo-Kaap (see artist's impression above) and housing development proposals in the Philippi Horticultural Area.


How do you feel about Cell Phone Masts in your area? Always a difficult issue as we want communication, but not huge Towers next door to us.

Current Town Planning Application 68 Molteno Rd

Local residents objections to this one in Firdale avenue were ignored as it is on Commercial property.
To read or download the City's Cellular Telecommunication Infrastructure Policy see the PDF at the bottom of this page 
Do you want to know what Zoning your property has been given? At the bottom of this page is a list of useful websites, and the 4th one down is called: "How to use PBDM Zoning Map viewer". Click on the link to go to the City's Zoning map.
Unhappy with Development projects in the City Bowl and heritage area?
This Facebook Page started by Mark Jackson contains the views of people in their Personal capacity only unless otherwise stated: 
Mark Jackson also promotes this Facebook Page:
What can residents do about developments or alterations to adjacent properties:
Planning Departures have to be advertised to directly affected neighbours, usually those on either side of the applicant and the 3 across the street. This may vary depending on the particulars of the properties involved. (e.g. is it in a Heritage Protection Zone?)

Neighbours have the right of access to the application file at the Planning Dept, Media City, Foreshore and are entitled to send concerns and objections to them at:
CONTACT NUMBER: 021 400 6444

ADDRESS: Media City Building, 2nd Floor, cnr Adderley Street and Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town, 8001 

You can complain to the City about contraventions of land use using the PDF form which you can download from the link at the bottom of this page:
The Municipal Planning Tribunal
All previous planning processes for objections and appeals have been abolished and replaced with
a single Municipal Planning Tribunal subsequent to changes in 2013 in national legislation governing
town planning. Cape Town is one of the of the few municipalities to be ready and to have implemented
this tribunal.
A few pointers:
All new planning applications fall under either of two types:
- Minor applications, which can be decided upon by planning officials under delegation.
- Major applications, such as removal of title deed restrictive conditions, major rezoning, penalties,
etc., which will go to the tribunal.
The tribunal has had 16 sessions (as of Match 2016), beginning on the 1st of October last year. It
sits once a month for each of the four districts. That which comprises the City Bowl sits on the first
Tuesday of each month from 10 am onwards in the Goodwood Municipal Centre.
Each tribunal consists of 5 members, the chair (Mr. Dave Daniels, the sole permanent member) and
4 assessors - two City officials and 2 professionals (architects, town planners, etc) in private practice.
These assessors are drawn from a pool of 21 comprising 12 City officials and 9 professionals. The
pool stands for 5 years, renewable only once for a further 5 years.
Who can take matters to the tribunal?:
- Either or both applicants and objectors;
- ’Interveners’: these are anyone who feels he or she has a reason to object - not necessarily someone
from the same area as the matter to be considered. A City Bowl resident could object, for example,
to a project that will affect a park in the Southern Suburbs. This is new.
All applications objected to will be referred automatically to the tribunal.
It is important that anyone wanting to make a submission to the tribunal notifies it of that intention and
asks for the opportunity to make oral representation on this or that application.
Submissions to the tribunal can be sent in advance. Whilst the applicable Act makes no mention of
the presence of a lawyer, there is nothing prohibiting objectors from being assisted by one.
Each side of an application has 10 minutes to make an oral representation, as in the past.
The tribunal does not make site visits but there is nothing to stop a tribunal member to do so in his
or her personal capacity.
Note that applications are not discussed in caucus prior to hearings; that tribunal members are required
to confirm in writing that (1) they have read the documents submitted in advance of a hearing and
(2) that they have not been approached by a party to an application or discussed it with any other
party prior to the hearing.
The tribunal’s schedule is available on the City’s website (look for ”Documents...”) one week prior to
each hearing.
Concerns have been raised as City officials will be part of the decision, as well as to how neutral
outside practitioners can be when everyone knows everyone and applications will have been dealt
with, in most cases, by colleagues. Only time will tell...
Finally: if you are not happy with a planning tribunal decision, the appeal authority is the mayor, to
whom you can refer the matter for review.
Note: This process applies only to applications submitted to the City from the 1st of July 2015.
All applications submitted before that date will follow the previous process. It is estimated that there
were ± 1.000 of such pending applications as of March 2016.
April 2016. (The above will be updated as experience in the workings of the tribunal is gained.)
NB a copy of this information may be downloaded from the PDF at the very bottom of this page.
Contact the Municipal Planning Tribunal via:
Secretary René Petersen
021 400 1997
086 588 5744
Below are documents of interest relating to Town Planning:
The first set contains the amendments to the Municipal Planning By-Law. Note to use the scroll bar on the right hand sideto see the full set of documents which you can click on to read or download.

Municipal Planning by-Law

Title Deeds Restrictive conditions

New CT Zoning Scheme

NB use the scroll bar on the panel above to see the full list of documents

Heritage protection zones and information

NB use the scroll bar on the panel above to see the full list of documents
The grading for Cape Town's heritage resources (buildings) are available on The City of Cape Town GIS viewer at the following link on their website:
Pse look to the right on the layer menu and select THEMES, HERITAGE, LOCAL HERITAGE RESOURCES
Other useful CoCT Website links for more information
We regret that the City has altered their website and all the old links to documents no longer work.
The headings below should be entered into the search block on the City website 
which will then show the relevant material.

Public participation in amendments to Planning By-Law

Cellular Telecommunication Infrastructure Policy (But see the PDF at the bottom of this page)

Densification Policy

How to use PBDM Zoning Map viewer

Land Use Enforcement Policy for the Planning and Building Development Management Department - approved on 04 November 2008

Outdoor Advertising and Signage Policy

Outdoor Advertising and Signage Policy By-Law Dec 2001

Outdoor Advertising and Signage Policy By-Law amendment 2013

CIBRA Cape Town,
Jun 25, 2015, 10:17 AM
CIBRA Cape Town,
Jul 11, 2016, 10:58 AM
CIBRA Cape Town,
Jul 19, 2016, 9:39 PM