It is common that peace and harmony among communities, and even neighbours, is a key contributor to prosperity in almost all aspects of human existence. It is against this background that one of the key objectives of urban planning is to zone human activities in a way that will achieve social harmony and economic prosperity.

Land and buildings are zoned with consideration for the purpose which they will be used. Buildings for dwelling are placed in residential area, while buildings for industrial purposes are placed in industrial areas.

The Ekurhuleni Town Planning Scheme provides for four types of residential land use categories, with different rights of use and limitations. Among other non-residential land use categories are business and industrial.

A key right for an owner of a land or building in a residential-zoned area is that it should be used for a dwelling house or dwelling purposes only. Other additional purposes of use may be added only with the permission of the City. Those additional use may be for child care facility, place of public worship, hairdresser, guest house, etc., in case of a Residential 1 category. Residential 2 category may be used for the abovementioned purposes, but in addition, may also be used for a tavern or spaza shop. A spaza shop needs to meet requirements that it should be part of the dwelling house and not exceed 20m².

Therefore, for residents to be in line with the City’s town planning scheme, they have to request a consent for use a building beyond what it is zoned for, such as operating a hairdresser, spaza shop or tavern in residential-zoned building. In case of a tavern, the regulations and licensing for liquor selling will be applicable.

In case where the use of a building is totally different from a particular zone category, such as panel-beating or other forms of businesses, an application for rezoning of the building would be required. Rezoning means that the building might no longer be for residential purposes, depending on the extent of changes, and might be either for business, industrial or any other proposed use.
Land development applications such as consent use or rezoning may be submitted at the City Planning Department at the City’s customer care centres with required documents and applicable fees.

Log on www.ekurhuleni.gov.za for more details and forms, or use My Ekurhuleni App.