Building development and land use management are the responsibility of municipalities in South Africa. The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority through its Development Management Department regulates building development and land use management to create an effective and efficient built urban environment in Cape Town.

Combining the functions of development management, urban integration, housing, environment and transport, all of which are ‘commentary’ departments in terms of development, TDA ensures a holistic approach to the built and natural urban fabric.

Building Development Management

Building Development Management, through the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, ensures that all buildings in Cape Town comply with approved building plans to ensure a safe and healthy built environment for all.

Almost any building activity within the area of the City of Cape Town requires building plan approval. This includes the construction of all new buildings, alterations or extensions to existing buildings, the demolition of existing buildings, or even changing the use of existing buildings without physically altering them. Building Development Management is the control or regulation of building activities within the City of Cape Town.

The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, Act 103 of 1977 is the primary law that local authorities must comply with in managing building development in their respective areas.

Land Use Management

Guided by legislation such as the Municipal Planning By-law, the Development Management Scheme, and SPLUMA, Land Use Management ensures that all land in Cape Town is used only according to its permitted use and zoning rights, along with their accompanying restrictions.

Land Use Management ensures that planning and development within the City of Cape Town takes place in an orderly and structured way to create a safe, healthy and sustainable built environment. Where land is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, this must find the right balance between meeting the needs of the community and protecting our natural and built heritage environment.

Development Management relies on the City of Cape Town’s Municipal Planning By-Law, 2015 and its associated Development Management Scheme to perform these duties.