To the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, South Africa

In Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) has not given property owners a grace period to regularise any illegal property improvements. There is no moratorium on prosecution, if there has been illegal construction, or the illegal use of a building.

The Building Control Officer for the NMBM, has noted that there is no deadline for property owners to rectify any contraventions. This does not clear owners, as the Building Inspectorate will act if they become aware of any unauthorised construction.  If there is a complaint, or the Building Inspector identifies a transgression, a registered notice will be issued. The contravention will be noted and the owner given an opportunity to rectify it. Failing which, the Municipality will take legal action.

To avoid action by the Municipality, owners should engage an Architect Professional to advise on the options to resolve the matter. This may require the preparation and submission of building plans, town planning applications to remove restrictive conditions, or amendments to conditions. If the transgression is of such a nature, demolition may be required.

Property owners are advised to check with the Local Authority, whether the approved building plans reflect all improvements and that the use, is in accordance with the zoning conditions.