As Covid-19 continues to impact on the way we do business, the George Municipality Planning and Development has instituted measures to facilitate land use applications electronically.
George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the municipality realised the importance of property development processes to continue to sustain the long-term sustainability of the city but remained committed to protecting its staff and clients. “The Planning office has continued its operations from remote locations throughout the lockdown period and will continue its functions on this basis for as long as it is required. The department continues to develop and improve its systems and processes – not only to address the current Covid-19 implications but also to fine-tune processes overall to reduce the administrative burden and carbon footprint as well as to process applications as quickly as possible,” said Mr Botha.
Due to the potential transmission of the Covid-19 virus through face-to-face contact as well as document and stationary handling, the department has launched an internet-based land use application system to enable the electronic submission and processing of land use applications.
Local town planning consultants, architects and land surveyors have been informed of the new measures and are encouraged to continue to make use thereof also after the Covid-19 lockdown.
The necessary documents and detailed instructions are available in the Documents section on the George Municipality website (http://www.george.gov.za/resource-category/general-documentsnotices?page=1). Applications and documents relating thereto can now be submitted and distributed via email and applicants will receive SMSs on the progress made on their applications.
No on-paper registered mail notices will be delivered to surrounding neighbours during the lockdown period, but the owner is required to put up a site notice on the street boundary of his/her property that must be clearly visible to anyone passing.
Applications that have a broader impact still require to be advertised in the print edition of Die Burger (Southern Cape) and in the print and online editions of the George Herald.
Notices to commenting bodies and state departments will be sent via email.
Neighbours of the land affected by an application who do not have access to email can arrange with the following designated officials to submit comments and objections via WhatsApp or SMS.
Erven ending with an even number: Primrose Nako (email@example.com or 044 801 9416)
All applications will be published on the George Municipality website and notices will contain electronic links for access to relevant documents, but must also be available to the public from the applicant.
Other town planning related matters can be directed via email to the below officials or by phoning 044 801 9477.
Property Transfer Certificates: Marina Welman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zoning Certificates: Lorraine Malangeni (email@example.com)
Illegal Land Use Complaints: Robin Hector (firstname.lastname@example.org)
No face-to-face meetings will be conducted during lockdown, but appointments for online meetings and consultations with relevant officials can be arranged by phoning 044 801 9477. The department is aware that not all citizens have access to the internet and is in the process of securing and equipping an appropriate venue for this purpose.