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The City of Cape Town encourages all building owners to ensure that they have a copy of their approved building plans. Having these plans readily available will prove to be very helpful when wanting to make extensions, additions or alterations to a building or when the opportunity to sell arises.

As the authority responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy built environment for all residents and visitors in Cape Town, the City holds approved building plans for existing buildings in the city. Property owners or architects that have the necessary power of attorney may obtain copies of these plans from the City before preparing a building plan submission on any previously approved building plans.

Owners need to ensure that the property is in the same condition as reflected on the approved building plan.Image credit: Wikipedia

Owners need to ensure that the property is in the same condition as reflected on the approved building plan.Image credit: Wikipedia

It is also customary for property owners to have their building plans available when selling their home. In the case of owners wanting to sell a building, they need to ensure that the property is in the same condition as reflected on the existing approved building plan.

In cases where unauthorised alterations have been made, owners are encouraged to submit the necessary plans to regularise the unauthorised alteration before the sale and transfer of ownership takes place.

In some instances, an owner may be liable to pay an administrative penalty for unauthorised building work. Building plans also form an important part of various processes which include the insurance of properties.

“The City’s Development Management Department offers a decentralised service delivery system to ensure that our services are available closer to communities. All building owners are therefore able to obtain hard copies of their building plans at our various district planning offices across the city.

“Customers simply have to complete the plans request form which is available on the City’s website, pay the search fee and obtain the plan at the nearest district office. Each building owner has a business partner number which can be found on their municipal account. Please remember that this number is an essential requirement when requesting a copy of your plan,’’ says mayoral committee member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

It’s important to note that there are certain instances where the City may not have a copy of a previously approved building plan on record. If for any reason plans of a particular property are not available, it is the responsibility of the registered owner to have the as-built structures measured and drawn up.

In terms of submitting building plans and land use applications for approval residents, architects and developers can do so by submitting applications via the Development Application Management System (DAMS), which conveniently allows for the electronic submission, processing and tracking of building plans and land use applications via e-Services on the City of Cape Town website.

“We are also currently in the process of enhancing the DAMS which allows customers to obtain their building plans online. The City is moving towards online submission via e-Services as the only mechanism for the submission of building plans and land use applications, therefore we encourage anyone intending to submit planning applications in the future to register for the department’s services on e-Services,” adds Alderman Nieuwoudt.