Answer to a question from a reader

How can I purchase a vacant plot that RDP houses are being built on?

The short answer

Buying municipal land is a long complex process, involving several steps.

The whole question

I would like to purchase a plot that was intended for a park but has been vacant since the RDP houses were built a few years ago. How can I purchase the plot and what is needed to do so? My name has been on the waiting list for a couple of years now. Will I still receive a subsidy for the above-mentioned plot?

The long answer

Buying municipal land is a long complex process, involving several steps. Firstly, it is a question of if the land is considered viable or non-viable by the municipality. Viable means it can be developed, and non-viable means it can’t be, in terms of size, location, etc. Whether it is viable or non-viable land, the municipality may not sell it if it is needed to supply basic services. If it is intended for RDP housing, for example, they are unlikely to sell it. If they are willing to sell it, it may only be sold at market price, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), which includes surveying, advertising, deed of sale and transfer costs. These are the steps that have to be gone through:

  1. Pre-consultation application (standard application form and fee)

  2. Technical investigation: zoning, ownership, drafting of plan

  3. Circulation: consulting departments including transit-oriented development assessment (TOD)

  4. Valuation: market-related purchase price

  5. Advertising: in Cape Argus, Die Burger, notification to sub-council, ward councillor, Provincial and National Treasury

  6. Approval: report to sub-council for comment, report to Council for in principle approval, final approval

  7. Agreement

  8. Survey and land use: suspensive conditions if applicable (“suspensive” means where a contract can be suspended until certain obligations are met)

  9. Registration of Transfer

In all, it is a lengthy expensive process, and if you were able to buy it, there would be no subsidy for the plot.

Answered on Dec. 8, 2020, 2 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.