Parktown is, for the most part, full of buildings and structures more than 60 years old. By virtue of their age they are protected by the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999 which states that “No person may alter or demolish any structure or part of a structure which is older than 60 years without a permit issued by the relevant provincial heritage resources authority”. In Gauteng, this authority is the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority of Gauteng (PHRA-G).

When one wishes to alter, demolish or even renovate and restore a protected structure, an application must be submitted to PRHA-G. Please click here for a full list of requirements.

The Joint Plans Committee (JPC), which is an association of Westcliff, Parktown, Forest Town and Parkview Residents’ Associations, as well as the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation, should be your first port of call.

The committee meets fortnightly where building plans and land use applications for the Westcliff, Parktown, Forest Town and Parkview areas are tabled and reviewed. Heritage specialists, town planners and architects sit on the JPC. The JPC focusses on heritage preservation, the continuity of the identity of neighbourhood and acts as a means to assist home owners. The JPC broadly applies heritage criteria as expressed in the Burra Charter when assessing these plans. Each application is however, considered in its own context and on its own individual merits. The JPC also looks at town planning issues like number of dwellings, coverage on the property, floor area ratios etc.

PHRA-G requires that a letter from the Parktown Association (PA) is submitted with any Parktown application and that the application has the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation stamp.

To engage in demolition or alteration to protected structure without the relevant permission from PHRAG constitutes a criminal offence.

Once the JPC has stamped the application and supplied a letter to the applicant and the Permit has been granted by PRHA-G, the application should be submitted to the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

Neighbours’ consent is not always required, but is dependent on the circumstances surrounding a particular application. Generally, where structures are built to the boundary, where second dwellings are being considered or building lines relaxed, the Council may require neighbours’ consent. The JPC advises applicants to obtain neighbours approval regardless of the City’s recommendation to aviod any conflict that could arise later on the process.

Illegal Buildings
Unfortunately there are residents in Parktown who build without having approval from the City Council.

If you are subjected to building by neighbours you can take action:

  • Contact the Joint Plans Committee to report the activity
  • Report to the building inspector at the City Council

If the building work does not have approval by the City Council a notice will be served by the building inspector. The property owner has 30 days to get their plans approved otherwise a demolition order will be issued. We recommend that you follow up with the building inspector in 30 days to check what is happening and to assure him that you still want a satisfactory resolution.

The Joint Plans Committee meets every two weeks. If you would like to make a submission or meet with the Committee to discuss your plans, please call the Chair of the Committee (details are below).

William Gaul – Committee Chairman – Parktown Association
Tel: 011 726 1720