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Property Development Process Model for Cape Town

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Jedd Grimbeek, Johan Slabber, Deon Zan Vyl, Rob McGaffin, Lewin Rolls, Mida Kirova, Chris Steffen

10 May 2019


Luke Boyle

Models / tools

Urban Real Estate Research Unit

South Africa

The Urban Real Estate Research Unit and industry members representing the Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) have jointly produced a Property Development Process Model for Cape Town. The model was created to assist in highlighting the exceptionally long development timeframes (and resultant costs) for all stakeholders in the property development industry, including developers, consultants and government, with the objective of identifying opportunities to reduce time and costs by consensus.


The model was originally conceptualised in 2014 by project management firms, MDA and its consultants Jedd Grimbeek and Johan Slabber, and Alwyn Laubscher & Associates’ current CEO, Deon van Zyl, to graphically identify their own firms’ experience of the protracted development timeframes. In 2017, and as a result of the impact that the long development process was having on housing affordability, Rob McGaffin from URERU agreed to further develop the model with the assistance of recently graduated Lewin Rolls and later Mida Kirova, a town planner with Nigel Burls & Associates. Chris Steffen with Talani Quantity Surveyors, later incorporated costings into it to highlight the time-related financial implications. Further valuable input was also received from various professionals and officials in the industry.

Using the Model:

This model is broadly based on the PROCSA (2017) stages and is largely premised on the development process associated with a 10,000m2, mixed-use. However, it is important to note that not all of the authorisation processes illustrated in the model may be triggered by a development of this type; nevertheless, they have been included for the purposes of completeness. The timelines indicated either represent statutory stipulated timelines or the timeframes usually experienced in practice. However, the timeframes may be shorter or longer, depending on the statutory approvals that are triggered and other delays that may be experienced by a particular development. The Triggers for Authorisations worksheet identifies the types of authorisations that may be triggered depending on the specific characteristics of the development project. Users of the model can navigate through the process by clicking on the different stages in worksheet labelled, “Overview of the Development Process”.


The model presents a snapshot of the Cape Town property development process in time (March 2019). The processes and associated timeframes are subject to change with amendments to legislation and general practice. This model is indicative and for illustrative purposes only. Although every effort has been made for it to be as accurate and comprehensive as possible, is not intended for it to be a definitive or exhaustive reflection of the property development process, nor is it intended for use as a project management tool and therefore professional and official advice is recommended at all times. The model should be viewed as, “working document” that will be updated, extended and corrected over time.


Website References

Affordable housing market

Built environment







Property market

South Africa


Urban and Regional Dynamics

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