Table of Contents

Gated Communities and Road Closures


👉 Gated communities, also known as walled-communities, are residential areas that prioritize safety and exclusivity by tightly controlling vehicle and pedestrian access.

👉 This article explores the growing popularity of gated communities in South Africa and the challenges involved in town planning, particularly with regards to street and road closures.

👉 We will discuss the legal framework governing closures, the considerations for developers, and the steps involved in obtaining approval for access restrictions.

👉 By following these guidelines, developers can create well-designed, sustainable gated communities that provide a secure and exclusive environment for residents.


Gated Communities


✅ A Rising Trend in South Africa Gated communities have witnessed a surge in popularity in South Africa due to the increased desire for security and exclusivity among residents.

✅ These developments offer additional layers of safety and privacy, making them highly sought after. As a result, careful town planning has become crucial to ensure that these communities meet the specific needs of their residents.


Challenges in Town Planning


🏠 Street and Road Closures One of the primary challenges in planning gated communities is addressing street and road closures.

🏠 These communities aim to be self-contained, limiting access to residents and their guests.

🏠 However, closing public roads and streets within the development can lead to conflicts with local authorities and other stakeholders.


Legal Framework


👩‍⚖ Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act To tackle this issue, the Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act (Act 10 of 1998) was introduced.

👩‍⚖ This act establishes a legal framework for the closure of public roads and streets within gated communities.

👩‍⚖ Developers must adhere to a prescribed process, including consultation with local authorities and stakeholders. They are also required to provide adequate alternative access for the public.


Other Considerations in Town Planning for Gated Communities 


🏡 Apart from street and road closures, town planning for gated communities encompasses various other factors.

🏡 These include the overall layout and design of the development, provision of essential amenities and services, and effective community management.


Achieving Balance


⚖️ Meeting Resident Needs and Wider Community Interests Successful town planning for gated communities in South Africa necessitates striking a balance between resident requirements and the interests of the wider community.

⚖️ By following the legal framework outlined in the Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act and engaging in thorough consultation and planning, developers can ensure that their gated communities are well-designed, sustainable, and provide an exclusive and secure environment for residents.


Obtaining Approval


✅ The Process and Requirements To secure the necessary rights for a gated community, developers must appoint a town planner to navigate the process outlined in Section 45 of the Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act.


The following departments and authorities must grant their consent before the official process can commence:

  1. Roads Department and Traffic Engineering
  2. Metro Police
  3. Councillor of the area
  4. Council’s Town Planner of the area
  5. SAPS approval with crime statistics


The Initial Steps


✅ A site inspection with the Council’s traffic engineer is conducted to discuss requirements and determine the way forward.

✅ The Council may request a traffic study to ensure minimal impact on road safety and flow. This initial process typically takes around 3-4 months.


Submitting the Application


✅ A written application, adhering to the prescribed format, must be submitted to the Council.

✅ The application should include a motivating memorandum, proof of consent from two-thirds of affected residents, and written consent from owners opposing the proposed closure. It should also contain a description of public places, comprehensive plans, traffic studies, and details of municipal services and surrounding closed areas.


Public Notification and Approval


✅ Upon Council approval, the closing of the street must be advertised in the Gauteng Provincial Gazette and two local newspapers.

✅ If no objections are raised, the application becomes legally binding.


Town Planning Report and Implementation


✅ Once positive comments are received from all internal departments, the town planner compiles a report for approval by the Town Planning Committee.

✅ When all conditions and rules are met, the access restriction is announced in the Gauteng Provincial Gazette.

✅ The public is given 28 days to comment or object, and a hearing is arranged to address objections.

✅ If the Council supports the application, the access restriction comes into effect after the second approval.


Funding and Implementation


✅ Detailed plans on raising funds to cover the costs of implementing access control gates must be provided.

✅ A contract is signed between the Section 21 Company and the Council before implementation.

✅ The traffic engineer of the Council approves the plans and grants permission for structures on Council property.


Duration and Extension: 


✅ The access restriction is valid for a maximum of two years. After this period, an application for an extension must be submitted to the Council.

✅ The entire process, from application submission to Council approval, typically takes around 8-9 months.

✅ The post-approval phase, including building plan approval, document signing, and construction, takes an additional 2-3 months.

✅ Effective town planning for gated communities in South Africa requires adherence to the legal framework outlined in the Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act.

✅ By considering various factors, engaging in thorough consultation, and ensuring compliance with regulations, developers can create well-designed and secure gated communities that meet the needs of residents while respecting the interests of the wider community.


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