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City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality: Planning Circular: 1/2021/LUDM

Posted on August 1 2021 by Gert Minnaar in City of Johannesburg, NEWS

Guidelines Regarding Circulation & Following up of Comments (Clearances) from MOE’s
and State Departments

The purpose of this circular is to provide guidelines to applicants on the steps to be followed
when comments have been circulated to various Municipal Owned Entities (MOEs) and State
Departments as part of the Post Approval process of various applications attended to by Land
Use Development Management Unit (LUDM) of Development Planning Department of the City
of Johannesburg.

This circular is effective from 01 August 2021 or as approved from the date to be
determined by the Director Land Use Management.


  1. Legal Administration circulates the Approval Letter / Conditions of Approval Letter to the
    MOEs (Johannesburg Roads Agency, Johannesburg Water, Johannesburg City Power,
    CoJ Environment Department, Valuations Department, JPC, PikitUp, etc.) in order to
    obtain their requirements as part of them supporting a clearances certificate as part of
    the condition of approval of the application, (mostly for subdivisions, divisions and
    townships applications).
  2. Depending on the nature of the approval /clearance sought, circulation may be
    necessary when the unique development has an impact on Electricity (City Power or
    Eskom), Water & Sewer (Joburg Water), Roads & Stormwater (JRA ), Transportation
    (Provincial Department of Transport or Transnet or PRASA), Environment compliance
    (CoJ Environment or GDARD), Condition on the land (Department of Minerals &
  3. Depending on the comment sought, the MOE’s or State Departments will issue a
    memorandum to Legal Admin confirming that their requirements have been met,
    indicating further details that need to be complied with as part of them supporting the
    approval. In this regard, the MOE’s have also given confirmation that they will also issue
    a copy of the clearance memo directly to the applicants as part of addressing delays in
    this process. It is important to note that MOE’s will only start the process of the
    clearance once we have received an official memo from Legal Admin to facilitate such.
    We can then process and liaise further with the client when that has been
  4. To expedite the process of obtaining of the comments, the circulation memorandum
    issued to Legal Admin (under 3 above) by respective MoE’s or State Departments will
    also be shared electronically via email with the applicant / township owner to follow up
    with the MOEs or State Department concerned on a direct basis if there are further
    requirement to the applicant / township owner.
  5. The speed at which all the conditions of the MOEs or State Department concerned can
    be complied with, is solely the prerogative of the applicant / township owner depending
    on how soon they could comply with the conditions noted in 3 above. Legal Admin
    cannot at this critical stage dictate terms on the parties because in doing so would be
    tantamount to dictating terms for the parties and acting beyond its core mandate –
    implement decision based on the comments / clearance / recommendations received.
  6. To note that any comment / clearance (under 3 above) that is more than 5 years needs
    to be refreshed or confirmed by all the MOEs that the situation on the ground is still as is
    or is still the same. This is to ensure that we do not implement any conditions that may
    have changed over the years from an engineering point based on all the MOEs
    requirement. In this regard those comments / clearances that are more than 5 years, it
    falls upon the applicant who is the leading the process of complying with the conditions,
    to approach the MOEs directly to confirm whether there is no material change and the
    initially issued clearance still stands or not.

It is recommended that applicants must escalate all complaints regarding delays with
their clearance comments to the respective MOEs or State Department Unit Head

LUDM only plays a facilitative role and does not have any power to compel any of the
MOEs or State Departments to submit their comments in general. Legal Admin’s primary
core function is to facilitate the process and implement the conditions as per the MOEs &
State Department. Frequent follow ups will be made as much as possible to the MOEs
and State Department but that is as far as Legal Admin can do until eventually
comments have been received to implement the approvals and recommendations.


It is imperative that when is warranted for the applicant to apply for exemption from
procedural processes in terms of the bylaws that is done on time and is fully motivated in
the form of a standard application submitted to LandUseApplications@joburg.org.za for
consideration. This is usually in relation to extension of time and is available to assist the
applicant and the property owner with some flexibility on the expiry periods for
applications in terms of the provisions of the Municipal Planning By-Laws.