‘House is legal, shack not’ says municipality

Questions have been raised about this house and shack that were erected in Fochville.
Questions have been raised about this house and shack that were erected in Fochville.

Fochville residents have raised questions about the legality of a small house and a shack that have been built in their neighbourhood.
On 28 December, they complained about the dwellings on a vacant lot in Wattle Street next to Losberg Avenue.
They argued that the structures do not fit in with the rest of the area and questioned whether the municipality had
approved them.
Although this kind of structure is not common in formal areas where more expensive dwellings are located, the lines between what is considered decent formal and informal housing are becoming blurred.
Last week, for instance, a particularly well-designed double-storey shack in Khayelitsha was longlisted for the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of British Architects International Prize.
According to HuffPost, the clever design uses affordable materials like corrugated iron sheeting, steel windows, plywood and hollow-core bricks to create a modern, minimalist structure, complete with balcony, living area, kitchen and bedrooms.
In the meantime, there is also an international movement towards the use of alternative ‘green’ and cheap building
materials like rammed earth, recycled plastic, straw bales and recycled shipping containers for formal housing.
The Herald asked the Merafong City Local Municipality about its building regulations, and whether different regulations are applicable to different towns.
‘The national building regulations and the Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act 103 of 1977) are applicable to Merafong
City’s whole area of jurisdiction.
All building plans are considered in terms of this Act and any stipulations of the Land Use Scheme applicable in
the area. There is no limitation on the size of a dwelling house in either the national building regulations or the Fochville land use management document.
Neither is the said property included in an estate where the homeowners’ association determines the aesthetic value
of a house,’ a municipal spokesperson clarified.
‘The building plan for the said house has been approved and, in terms of Clause 14.9 of the Fochville land use
management document, permission was granted for the construction of the informal structure during the construction phase. A statutory notice has been issued to inform the owner to remove the informal structure on completion of the house,’ the spokesperson said.


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