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South Africa to roll out online building application system

South Africa’s City of Joburg (CoJ) is set to take construction approvals system online in bid to optimise the process of securing construction approvals and permits.

CoJ Building Development Management operational manager Laban Naidoo announced the reports and said that the city has acquired the system and identified a local service provider that would implement and monitor the system.

This resulted in system inefficiencies that were counterproductive to economic growth, led to business and development migration to other cities and contributed to a loss of investor and development confidence.

“We are now moving away from manual processes to a streamlined, efficient online solution since we realized that manual processing of construction permits took longer and was more complex than online systems. This forms part of CoJ’s plan to bolster economic growth in the city and the country,” said Laban Naidoo.

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Online building application system

The system is expected to become operational within the next 9 to 12 months and will occur in two phases, a pilot phase with specific architects and developers and, thereafter, the final implementation phase.

Once operational, building entities, such as architects and developers, will be able to register a profile and submit building applications online. The system will involve pre-scrutinized, invoiced, evaluated and commented on from all the required departments within a certain timeline.

The system will additionally host a dialogue chatbot to allow applicants to interact with the processors of their application. The online system is not a new practice, Naidoo indicated that it has been tried and tested, and used in other developing countries such as Kenya and Afghanistan.

“The system is expected to drastically reduce times and costs of application, for example, negating the need for travel and printing, and of going through each department manually for approval,” said Laban Naidoo.


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