Thursday, 27 July 2017


THE Harare City Council (HCC) has hiked residential and commercial building inspection fees by 100 percent.

City fathers said the increase in charges was needed to cover administrative costs of inspecting plans and buildings, as well as to enforce compliance.

Last hiked in 2013, the new fees, overwhelmingly approved by the city fathers at Town House, were jointly prepared by HCC’s finance and environment committees.
According to HCC by-laws, there are seven critical stages of inspection for all construction work.

Building work on development sites must be inspected at the commencement of building work after excavation, and prior to the placement of any footings; prior to pouring any in-situ reinforced concrete building element; prior to the covering of any framework for any floor, wall, roof or other building element; prior to covering waterproofing in any wet areas; prior to covering any storm water drainage connections as well as after the building work has been completed; and prior to any occupation certificate being issued in relation to the building.

For high density areas, the cost of inspection at each stage will jump from $5 to $10, a 100 percent increase.

The charge for a site visit by city inspection officials rose 100 percent to $35 per stage, meaning those in high density areas will now fork out at least $315 for the seven stages, up from $158.

The fee for skipping inspection for any stage in the high and low density areas was increased by 150 percent to $75.
Application for a certificate of occupation for high density areas has been pegged at $60, up from $30.

The total building inspection fee for low density areas has also been increased by 100 percent to $385 after city fathers doubled the inspection fee to $20 per stage.

The building inspection fee for commercial properties, which was pegged at $15 per stage, has now been raised to $30, with council asking for a $35 site visit fee at any stage.
Skipping a stage for commercial properties will now attract a penalty of $750.

There were also 100 percent increases in builders, technicians and craftsmen registration fees, which now cost $100.

There are reports that the council’s finance committee increased the building inspection fees in order to capitalise on an influx of residents who were approaching council seeking regularisation of their properties which they built without adhering to inspection requirements.

Deputy committee chairperson, Luckson Mukunguma, told The Financial Gazette that the hike was necessary in the context of a high rate of skipping inspections.

“There are many people who built houses without following proper inspection stages and we cannot destroy those houses, hence the need to set punitive fees,” he said.
“So we had to recommend higher fees to council and we are glad they have been adopted.
We are saying let’s do the right things from the onset,” he added.

“Inspections during construction help to ensure that what is built remains consistent with what has been approved in the development consent and construction certificate, and that the building will meet acceptable standards of health, safety and amenity, he said. financial gazette


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