town planning

The City of Johannesburg’s broad planning for the city is provided through the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), with more detailed spatial planning done through Regional Spatial Development Frameworks (RSDFs). Some suburbs in Johannesburg have even more detailed plans called Precinct Plans. Parkview and Greenside East is in the fortunate position of having an approved Precinct Plan, which was approved by the Council in 2011.

There are a number of statutes regulating land use. The Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme (1979) is the regulatory mechanism for land use per erf, and is a statutory (legal) document prepared in terms of the Transvaal Town Planning and Townships Ordinance (1986). The Deeds system is the fundamental system used for registering properties in South Africa. All properties bought and sold on the open market have title deeds. The removal of certain clauses from title deeds can only be done through the Gauteng Removal of Restrictions Act (Act 3 of 1996), which requires a formal application procedure.The Parkview Precinct Plan was prepared over a number of years and is the result of a consultative process with urban designers, town planners, the Parkview community and Council officials. It seeks to give a framework for the orderly development of the suburb – and in so doing, gives more certainty to home owners and business owners alike.

The Parkview Residents’ Association (PRA) has prepared building guidelines which detail the steps to follow if an owner would like to change the land use rights on their property.

The PRA participates in all applications to Council for land use rights amendments eg townhouses and apartments and business rights in previously single residential properties in Parkview and Greenside East and uses the Precinct Plan as its reference point. If the application fits broadly into the long term vision of the precinct plan, the PRA attempts to negotiate with the applicant to have conditions and restrictions included in the amendment scheme which would protect the rights of neighbours and affected parties into the future.

The PRA would appreciate being approached before any land use amendment applications are submitted and before the property is bought. It would encourage the applicant to test the waters with affected parties as well as engage with them on the long term vision of the suburb – which was prepared after extensive public engagement. This approach often saves much time and money and avoids long protracted applications.


City of Johannesburg (COJ) Development Planning Policies recently or currently being reviewed (2017)

In June 2016, the City of Johannesburg adopted its Spatial Development Framework, 2040

The COJ is currently in a nodal review process which is assessing nodal boundaries as well as the densification of the city.  The Parkview Residents Association (PRA) made initial representations in December 2016 and after a presentation given by the COJ in July 2017, further comments were submitted by the PRA in August 2017.

The COJ nodal review data and analysis used for the presentations is published on an open online map.

Notes on the nodal review map:  

  1. The left hand map shows proposed density (dwelling units per hectare)
  2. The Right hand map shows the proposed node level (1 to 5, with 1 being the highest, 5 being the lowest)
  3. Move the scroll bar left and right to move between the two
  4. Zoom in and out as needed
  5. Click on a cell for details
  6. Use the search bar to find an address or point of interest


The PRA met with the City Transformation department in early October 2017, and was told that the proposed densities for Parkview have been reviewed down to 60 dwelling unit per hectare.  This is not reflected on the online map.

In August 2017 the draft City of Johannesburg Land Use Scheme was advertised for comment.  This scheme attempts to consolidate the many different town planning schemes that currently exist in Johannesburg into one scheme. The PRA submitted comments on the draft in early October 2017.

At the PRA AGM on the 11 October 2017, a presentation summarising these current policies was made.

The PRA would welcome comment from residents and any offers to become involved in these important processes - particularly from practitioners in the fields of urban planning and design as well as any attorneys with an interest in urban policy formulation.