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Wierda Road

14 December 2017

Neutral citation: Wierda Road West Property (Pty) Ltd v SizweNtsalubaGobodo Inc (1156/16) [2017] ZASCA 170 (1 December 2017)

Coram: Cachalia and Majiedt JJA and Plasket, Meyer and Mbatha AJJA

Heard: 22 November 2017
Delivered: 1 December 2017


Media summary
The Supreme Court of Appeal (the SCA) today unanimously upheld an appeal from the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court, Johannesburg with regard to the validity of a lease agreement which contravenes certain provisions of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 103 of 1997 (the Act).

The high court had found the lease agreement to be valid but unenforceable, due to the contravention of s 4(1) of the Act (the lack of approved building plans in respect of the leased property) and s 14(1) of the Act (the lack of an occupancy certificate in respect of the leased property).

The SCA held that the penal sanctions in these legislative provisions (ss 4(4) and 14(4)(a) respectively), were clearly regarded by the Legislative as adequate sanction in cases where these provisions are contravened. The SCA held further that the Legislature did not intend private contracts of, for example, lease, which contravene these sections, to be invalid as a further sanction. Lastly, the SCA held that there is no justifiable basis for reading an implied meaning into s 4(1) that the use or occupancy of a building which has no approved plans is prohibited. The SCA consequently upheld the appeal with costs and dismissed the cross-appeal with costs.

Full judgement

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