It will cost you a little more to build a house

It will cost you a little more to build a house
Planned residential housing under construction. [Photo: Courtesy]

Residents of Torit Town will have to brace for tougher times, following the signing of a local order by Mayor, Joseph Aye Oswaha, establishing mandatory payment of building permits for both residential and commercial properties, as well as annual ground rent.

Oswaha said the proposal was deliberated on last year by various stakeholders, and after that he sought and got approval from the Governor of Eastern Equatoria State.

The payments, which are to be effected immediately from Wednesday when the Mayor signed the order, will vary depending on the size of the houses being constructed.

“Local chiefs in the various areas within Torit Municipal Council will help in the collections,” he said, adding that the collections will help in improving some of the development projects in the town, such as the construction of roads, bridges and some of the biggest markets in the town.

He said there were some taxes that had since remained ‘dormant’ despite a booming business environment, thus the need for their reactivation.

“Building permits, for instance, has been in place in Torit Municipal Council since 2004 and up to the time we got independence in 2011. “After independence, we relaxed a bit and some other nationalities who came here seeking opportunities were given contracts and they started building without supervision from the authorities,” he said.

He however, cautioned chiefs from asking for more than it is required from the business owners in terms of building permits and annual ground rent.

“Finance ministry had tried this in 2014 or 2015 thereabouts without success.” But I am now calling upon everyone to ensure this time round it is successful. I call upon the chiefs to be vigilant,” he said.