City puts Development Cost Charges exemption into action

26 May 2022 in Where We Govern

Two Vrygrond Early Childhood Development Centres are the first facilities to benefit from the exemption criteria approved in 2020, paving the way for the ECD centres to be structurally compliant and render a much needed service to the community.

Any building or infrastructure development project in Cape Town is subject to a once-off bulk infrastructure contribution levy where new or additional land use and development rights are granted – as regulated by the Policy on Development Charges for Engineering Services.

The once-off fee is imposed at the time of a land development application or when an application is made to change the lawful land use or zoning of a property.

The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department (SDECD) identified this requirement as a stumbling block to Early Childhood Development Centres several years ago, and then set about drafting the Development Charges Exemption Criteria for ECDs, which was approved by Council in October 2020.

What it means, practically, is that ECDs who meet the criteria, can be exempted from paying these development costs, with the SDECD covering the costs on their behalf.

The department has successfully facilitated exemptions for two Vrygrond ECDS – the first facilities to benefit from the Development Charges Exemption Criteria.

The value of the exemption amount waived for the Little Sunshine Educare and Nourish Educare, both in Vrygrond, is just over R175 000.

‘All ECDs are required to comply with health, fire and building regulations before they can be considered for registration with the Western Cape Government. The reality is that compliance is a challenge for many, and the City has introduced numerous measures over the years to smooth the way for these ECDs. The waiving of the development costs is one of the latest interventions, and it is worth taking a moment to appreciate how an idea, on paper, has now come to practical fruition. Hopefully we can assist many more ECDs in this manner, which in turn will increase the number of compliant, registered facilities to meet the ever-growing need for early learning centres that are so crucial to the development of our young children,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

Apart from the Development Cost Exemption Criteria, the SDECD also facilitates ECD registration drives and awareness campaigns on the City’s ECD Modernisation tool in collaboration with other City departments such as the Land Use Management Department, Building Development Management Department, Environmental Health and the Fire & Rescue Service.

‘The investment in the development of ECD Centres is an investment in children’s future and our leaders of tomorrow. We will keep on working closely with our communities to provide the best possible assistance in these challenging times. We would like to urge the community to support the centres and assist in looking after these facilities,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

For more information on the City’s ECD centres visit: