Johannesburg Mayor Busts Building Control Crime Syndicate

Over the last few years Johannesburg architects have been outraged by the manner in which the city's development planning and urban management directorate processes Building Approval applications. Most felt that the entire structure was corrupt from top to bottom and completely dysfunctional at all levels but were powerless to act. Building Approvals in this city had become almost impossible to obtain without greasing the palms of several officials and then waiting for years for the paperwork to be processed.

In addition to that, architects in Johannesburg complained of harassment and corruption by building inspectors who sought to profit from the delays.

As architects in South Africa are bound by a professional code of conduct and subject to strict monitoring by a very functional and effective regulatory body ( ) they are unwilling to engage in criminality of any form. Architects who submitted plans in the legal and official manner were frequently told by the plans inspectors that their applications would "sit for a very long time" because they "had not paid the entry fee". The result of this criminal practice has been disastrous to their practices, their clients, the building industry, the economy and the built environment.

Without a quick and efficient building approval process the proposed projects stall and the resulting delays frequently lead to bankruptcies, cancellations of projects, unemployment and the degradation of the urban fabric.

One of Johannesburg's leading architects - who asked to remain anonymous - had this to say about the systems in place; "The City of Johannesburg does not employ a single senior architect in a senior administrative position - there is no City Architect in Johannesburg. Hence all the systems in place are designed by software designers, lawyers and accountants who don't have a clue about what they are dealing with ... We have no representation!"

On the 17th May 2012 Mayor Parks Tau announced that the City had uncovered the scam and would be taking action. You can read the complete story here:

Staff Writer - AA Media Network
Johannesburg, 18 May 2012

Moderated by Online Editor 19 May 2012