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Ruling on digs

12 April 2007

The Port Elizabeth High Court has ordered the demolition of an illegal guest house, in a move which could mark the end of illegal buildings, oversized guest houses and uncontrolled provision of student accommodation. The judgment is also seen as a precedent setting move against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's inability to act on unlawful buildings in the city.

An advocate said Judge Johan Froneman's judgment "can only be interpreted as a message to property owners to stick to title deed conditions and building regulations or be forced to demolish property at their own cost". In his ruling, Froneman described the conduct of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality over a period of five years as "a failure to act in accordance with the provisions of the restrictive title conditions relating to property". He also said the municipality had allowed building to be done on the property before building plans were submitted or approved.

Full article in EP Herald

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