One stop centre

22 September 2021 13:00 by John de Villiers

eThekwini’s One-Stop Centre is open and ready to assist businesses with a number of initiatives aimed at recovering and rebuilding after the civil unrest and looting.

The One-Stop Centre, which has all relevant government departments based there, opened its doors on 13 August. It forms part the Municipality’s multi-prong strategy contained in the reviewed Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) in implementing special relief measures in response to the civil unrest

Recovery and relief for all businesses currently accessible at the One-Stop Centre include:

  • Application for the reconstruction of buildings damaged by fire,
  • Application for rates relief for property owners where the building is completely non-functional – Up to a75% rebate will be granted,
  • Application for building plan submissions in respect of properties damaged during the unrest,
  • Application for rates rebate for bed and breakfast establishments – Bed and Breakfast establishments can get a total rebate relief of up to 65% until 30 September 2021,
  • Request for information/ forms,
  • Assistance with the processing of applications and,
  • Updates regarding the status of applications.

See eThekwini ERP Relief and Recovery page and Support Schemes for KZN and Gauteng Businesses

Going into some more detail:

1. Reconstruction of buildings damaged by fire

During the unrest several buildings (including commercial, warehousing) were set alight. Given the urgent economic need to have these establishments functioning again, the Development Planning, Environment and Management Unit of the Economic Development and Planning Cluster advises all affected owners that a complete building plan application in terms of the National Building Regulations Act is not required to be submitted to the local authority where a building has been damaged due to a fire. This is only on condition that the rebuild does not alter the current footprint and is in strict accordance with the building plan that was previously approved.

Owners embarking on reconstruction must first submit a request in writing to the relevant building inspectorate office for the necessary direction prior to commencement of any works and for the issuing of a certificate of occupancy on completion of the project as required.

Occupation certificates will be issued within a maximum period of ten days following submission of the required documents.

See Reconstruction of buildings damaged by fire application

2. eThekwini Rebate Application Disaster Relief

Revaluation of properties damaged from the civil unrest to determine new rates payable until restoration

Qualifying criteria

The qualifying criteria is in accordance with the provision of Clause 7.11.2 – 7.11.4 of the eThekwini Municipality’s Property Rates Policy 2021/2022, which provides as follows:

7.11.2 Where property has been damaged by causes other than that defined by the Disaster Management Act, and such damage renders the property uninhabitable, then, on application, the Municipality may grant a six (6) months temporary rebate, from the date of  damage to the property. An application must be made within sixty (60) days from the date of such occurrence.

7.11.3 The Municipality may grant a further extension of the temporary rebate referred to in clause 7.11.2, on application. The applicant must apply no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the expiry of the six-month period. Any further period will be subject to the further rebate period  determined by Council at its annual budget meeting, (which period shall not exceed two years)

7.11.4 A rebate does not apply where:

(a) a property has been totally or partially destroyed as a result of an act of arson perpetrated by either the owner of the property or member of the household.

(b) The value of a property has decreased on account of any of the reasons set out in this Clause 7.11 and the decreased value is reflected in a supplementary valuation roll, as contemplated in Section 78 of the MPRA.

See Disaster Rates Rebate Application

3. Bed and breakfast guesthouses

Bed and Breakfast establishments can get a total rebate relief of up to 65% until 30 September 2021

Qualifying criteria

  • Be registered and compliant with South African Revenue Service (SARS).
  • The applicant must be able to demonstrate by means of supporting documentation that the establishment suffered and continues to suffer more than 60% revenue loss. Example of supporting documentation: Financial performance related documents or holiday booking pattern, that indicate a decline in revenue. The period of revenue loss may be compared between the current COVID 19 pandemic period (e.g. April and May and same period last year (e.g. April and May 2019).
  • The establishment must be registered with KwaZulu–Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department (EDTEA), Durban Tourism and a local Community Tourism Organisation (CTO); The applicant must meet the criteria set by Durban Tourism and all membership fees or other fees payable to Durban Tourism and the CTO must be paid up to date.
  • A business License in terms of the “Accommodation Establishment Bylaws” where applicable, must accompany this application.
  • The application form must be certified by the relevant Community Tourism Organisation. No application will be processed without having met this requirement.
  • Disaster rebate is subject to the availability of budget and Council resolution. This rebate is reviewed on month-to-month basis, based on the availability of the allocated budget and/or the continuous loss of income due to COVID 19 disaster.

See Bed and Breakfast Disaster Relief Application form