Township Establishment

What is a township establishment application in South Africa?


Township Establishment is a complex process of converting agricultural zoned land into residential, commercial or industrial properties/erven.


A Township Establishment application is submitted to the relevant local authority. All the necessary advertisements, processes and follow up work will have to be followed as prescribed. A town planner will also help with coordination with other disciplines in this regard. The application will take approximately 12 months for approval, provided that no objections to the application are lodged.


An Excision of Holding application must be submitted in order to convert the property back to a farm portion, if the property is an agricultural holding. A township cannot be established on a holding and must first be reverted to farmland. This application approximately takes 2 months for approval.


After approval of the excision application, a land surveyor must be appointed to submit the approval to the Surveyor General to obtain a new farm description. The documents are then returned to the City Council to issue the Excision Certificate. The certificate is then submitted by a lawyer with the Title Deed to the Deed Office to be endorsed with the new farm description on it.


The following procedure will take place for a township establishment:


  • Preparation and submission of a township establishment application
  • The township application will be circulated to various external departments and all relevant internal departments of the Council for comments
  • Advertisement of the application must take place as prescribed by the Municipal By–Laws
  • All the relevant departments submitted their positive comments on the application, the City Planning Department arrange for approval of the township
  • A Land surveyor must do the General Plan for the township approved at the SG’s office
  • Appoint civil and electrical engineers to compile the required service reports for submission at the Council for approval and installation of engineering services
  • Open the Townships Register by an Attorney
  • Proclamation of the township


Other reports/studies to be conducted before submission of a township establishment application


  • Land Surveyor Certificate
  • Geological Report
  • Environmental Report
  • Conveyancers’ Certificate (Attorney)
  • Outline Scheme Reports (Short reports by civil and electrical engineers that there are capacity in the area and where services will be integrated, etc.)
  • Traffic Impact Assessment

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