A. DEALING WITH CONSTRUCTION PERMITS
Goal: To reduce the number of days required to obtain construction permit from 448 days to 120 days.
Operational Reforms carried out by the Building Inspectorate Section Department of Works City of Harare
i. Streamlined Procedures
• A checklist of requirements for acceptance of building plans is now available at all District offices and plan entry points in Harare.
• Revised workflow processes for all departments to minimize bottle necks and adopted Standard operating Procedures (SOP) for transparency.
• Decentralized plan approval process to eight (8) administrative zones in Harare (acceptance receipting and collecting of plans)
• A number of Stakeholder and Publicity Workshops have also been held in Harare and publicity material exhibited at both the ZITF in Bulawayo and Harare Agricultural Shows.
• To reduce delays on construction projects all bookings for stage inspections have to be completed in less than 48hrs from the various decentralized zones.
ii. One Stop Shop for Plan Approval
• Replace the old systems where one copy of a plan was circulated to City of Harare departments and external entities. Representatives of departments and external entities now come together in one sitting to consider and approve plans simultaneously.
• Increased sitting from once a week to twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) has increased efficiencies in plan processing.
• Experimental runs of the One Stop Shop Plan Approval Process out in Jan, Feb& March of 2016 have indicated that approval times of under 14 working days are achievable by implementing the reforms outline above
• Approval of all plans submitted have improved from an average of 34% in 2016 to 43% to date
• Procured hardware (eight new computers) for the Building Inspectorate for processing plan approval whilst software is being developed.
• Electronic archiving of plans records data yet to be implemented
iii. Capacity Building
• Trained Building Inspectors and Technical Officers at District Offices on the One Stop Shop Plan Approval
iv. Public Awareness
• To raise public awareness of these reforms the following communications strategy has been adopted:-
- So far 4 radio shows have been aired on Star FM attended by members of the Thematic Working Group on Construction Permits.
- Committee member have been allocated a slot on the Ward Based Councilors Feedback Meetings held fortnightly in Low and High Density Suburbs of Harare
B. LEGISLATIVE REFORMS
I. Amendment of Model Building By-Laws
• The Model Building (Amendment) By – Law was gazetted on 1st April 2016 is now operational
• Reduced the time taken to review applications of building plans from 35 days to 14 days.
II. Review of Regional Town and Country Planning Act
• Principles and layman’s Draft Bill submitted to the Attorney General’s Office for drafting of Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the following provisions;
- Section 26(3) : Change of use / special consent application publicity period to be reduced from 30 days to 14 days
- Section 40: proposed a 30 days period for consultations on applications for subdivisions and consolidation of private land.
Currently there is no time frame with consultations sometimes taking more than 90 days