In Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

SPLUMA is a national regulation, which affects those applying for land use amendments, or selling a property. The act which came into effect in 2015, was established to provide a uniform system for planning and land use throughout South Africa. All local authorities must implement their own SPLUMA by-laws, as the National Deeds office requires a SPLUMA Certificate from the local authority, before a property transaction can be concluded. In the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the by-laws are being finalised by the legal department and only then, will the specific requirements be available. 

What is a SPLUMA certificate? – The purpose of the certificate is to ensure that the use of the property coincides with the zoning and to determine that all the buildings on the property are in accordance with the most recently approved building plans.

How does SPLUMA affect the home owner? – When selling a property, a SPLUMA certificate is required from the local authority to certify that the improvements and additions to the property, have been approved, in accordance with building regulations and local by-laws. Note, plans still have to be submitted to the Building Inspectorate for approved, through the existing process.

What is required for a SPLUMA certificate? – Subject to the finalisation of the by-laws, the following may be required:

  • In accordance with the POPI Act, the owner would need to submit a request in writing and provide a copy of their ID. If requested on behalf of the owner, a signed affidavit and copy of the owners ID would be required.
  • The seller may be required to submit an affidavit, signed under oath, to the local authority, stating that the relevant plans reflect all improvements to the property.
  • Approved building plans for all buildings and improvements to the property, may need to be provided by the seller.
  • All rates, taxes and services costs for the property, are to be paid up.
  • The property is to be used as zoned, e.g., if zoned RES1, to be a single dwelling.
  • The seller may need to ensure that buildings and other improvements don’t encroach over the building lines, or property boundaries. A land surveyor may need to be appointed to confirm the actual positions of the boundaries.

Once the by-laws are finalised, property owners in Nelson Mandela Bay who are considering selling, should request a copy of the approved building plans from the municipality, to ensure that all changes and improvements are correctly recorded. If not, an architectural professional should be appointed to prepare and submit building plans. Then apply for a SPLUMA certificate.

In Nelson Mandela Bay the requirements for a SPLUMA certificate will only be known, once the Municipality has finalised the by-laws.