TOTAL OR PARTIAL DEMOLITION OF ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION: SCA CAUSES CONFUSION
BSB International Link CC v Readam South Africa (Pty) Limited
Recently in Lester v Ndlambe Municipality and another, the Supreme Court of Appeal held that a court hearing an application in terms of section 21 of the Building Regulations and Building Standards Act had no discretion but to order demolition of a building constructed without the required building approval, ie it could not order partial demolition but was compelled to order total demolition. This was so, the court emphasized, because the law could not and did not countenance an ongoing illegality which was also a criminal offence, and to do so would subvert the doctrine of legality and undermine the rule of law. In April 2016, however, the SCA seemed to say something different.
ZONING: DOES ‘INFORMAL HOUSING’ CONSTITUTE ‘DWELLING HOUSES’?
Educated Risk Investments 165 (Pty) Ltd v Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (308/2015)  ZASCA 67 (20 May 2016)
The interests of a township developer and those of a local authority who uses a neighbouring (undeveloped) township for informal settlements, can be at odds, specifically in a society harshly divided along income lines. The Supreme Court of Appeal was asked to determine whether the informal housing constituted ‘dwelling houses’ as was prescribed by the relevant zoning scheme. It was also asked to address the question whether the local authority was obliged to comply with all the conditions of approval of the township or the sub-divisional conditions before permitting people to live there.