13 Sep 2013
The Supreme Court of Appeal recently ruled that courts do not have a discretion to grant a demolition order unless an individual can prove that they cannot afford or access any other form of housing in terms of section 26 (3) of the Constitution.
In an August 2013 court case, Professor Mathew Lester, a tax professor at the University of Rhodes in Grahamstown, was instructed to demolish his home to the amount of about R8 million due to his neighbour’s objections to his building plans.
The new building project interfered with his neighbour’s panoramic view of the ocean and objections were lodged at the local municipality on the basis that the title deed restrictions did not allow for two separate dwellings on one property. Pending the local municipality’s final decision on this objection, Lester continued to build.
After six applications to Court and three sets of revised architectural plans, the local municipality still did not approve Lester’s plans to extend his home and consequently, the municipality had to apply to Court for the demolition of the dwelling.
Lester then instituted a counter-application, asking the court to allow the dwelling to be altered, so as to avoid the demolition order. However the High Court in Grahamstown ruled that since the building plans did not comply with statutory and zoning requirements and Lester did not allege that he could not afford alternative housing in terms of the Constitution, the demolition order had to be granted.
The Supreme Court of Appeal stated that it was acutely aware of the financial misfortune which the demolition would cause, however the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act inevitably outweighed such personal considerations and therefore the dwelling had to be demolished.
Let this be a warning to all. - Sika Ackotia
About the Author
Farm for sale in Blue Saddle Ranches R 499 000
House for sale in Fishers Hill R 899 000
Farm for sale in Blyde Wildlife Estate R 3 300 000
House for sale in Keidebees R 1 700 000
House for sale in Bashewa A H R 3 650 000
House for sale in Dan Pienaarville R 815 000
House for sale in Beaconsfield R 895 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Montana R 499 000
House for sale in Langenhovenpark R 1 750 000
House for sale in Modimolle R 980 000
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724