Journal of City and Development
ISSN (Print): ISSN Pending ISSN (Online): ISSN Pending Website: Editor-in-chief: Guangming Yu
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of City and Development. 2022, 4(1), 23-32
DOI: 10.12691/jcd-4-1-3
Open AccessArticle

Assessing the Extent of Non-acquisition of Building Permits among Housing Developers in Lusaka

Felix Mumbi Chilufya1, , Elijah M. Bwalya2 and Francis Simui1

1Institute of Distance Education (IDE), University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

2Department of Mass Communication, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

Pub. Date: July 17, 2022

Cite this paper:
Felix Mumbi Chilufya, Elijah M. Bwalya and Francis Simui. Assessing the Extent of Non-acquisition of Building Permits among Housing Developers in Lusaka. Journal of City and Development. 2022; 4(1):23-32. doi: 10.12691/jcd-4-1-3


Shelter forms a basic human need as expounded by Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, has experienced a massive population expansion since Zambia’s independence in 1964 putting a pressure on the need for housing. However observation indicates that the mushrooming of settlements abrogates stipulated building regulations of Town Planning authorities. The safety and health tenets stipulated in the Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2015 are flouted with impunity. A starting point of enquiry is the control of housing development that ought to be done by Town Planning authorities. The initial procedure is the granting of permission to housing developers through issuing of a building permit. The extent of housing developers not acquiring building permits was the focus of this study which utilised the Grounded Theory Method (GTM) approach. Respondents from Lusaka Town Planning authority and eight selected settlements were interviewed. In the preliminary enquiry, it was observed that the extent of non-acquisition of building permit was substantive. The main concern was therefore a critical limitation of housing developers seeking building permits. The majority of selected housing developers did not apply for authorisation during construction of their houses. This is attributed to what was identified in the core category as ignorance or lack of awareness of the permission seeking procedure by the selected housing developers. Finally, the concept identified in this study on the extent of unauthorised housing developers’ non-acquisition of building permits is that, this is a wide spread phenomenon caused by ignorance of the process occasioned by a lack of sensitization by Town Planning authorities.

building permits town planners housing developers communication grounded theory

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Zambia Statistics Agency, Zambia Data Hub: Lusaka Townships, 2021 [Online]. Available:[Accessed 22 Mar. 22 2021].
[2]  Grollnek, Matthew - Own work [Online Images] Available: [Accessed Feb. 8 2020].
[3]  Vickery, K P (1985). “Saving Settlers: Maize Control,” Northern Rhodesia in Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. II, No 2, 1985 (Online). Available: [Accessed on 15 October 2018].
[4]  Mutale Emmanuel, Management of Urban Development in Zambia, Lusaka, Ashgate Publishing, 2004.
[5]  Lusaka City Council, [Online webpage] 2005: Available: [Accessed Aug. 14 2020].
[6]  Lusaka City Council, Planning 2017 [Online website]. Available: [Accessed 27 May 2019].
[7]  Government of Zambia, Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2015. Available: [Accessed 18 April, 18 2018].
[8]  Berrisford Stephen, “Revising Spatial Planning Legislation in Zambia: A Case Study,” Urban Forum Doi Springer Science + Business Media B., 2011 [Online]. Available: [Accessed Mar. 13 2020].
[9]  Economic News Release, 2018 [Online webpage]. Available: [Accessed Feb, 19 2020].
[10]  Satterthwaite D, McGranahan G and Tacoli C, “Urbanisation and its Implications for Food and Farming” The Royal Society Publishing, 2010 [Online] Available: [Accessed May 18 2019].
[11]  United Nations Sector of Economic and Social Affairs (2004) [Online]. Available:>. [Accessed Sept. 192019].
[12]  Abubakar Sadiq Sani (2006): “Analysis of Low-Income Housing in Kano, Nigeria”, St. Clements University 2006 [Online]. Available: <>. [Accessed 23 Mar. 23, 2020].
[13]  Phiri Daniel, “Challenges of affordable Housing Delivery in Zambia” 2016, Centre for affordable Housing Finance in Africa. Available:>. [Accessed Mar 18 2019].
[14]  South Africa National Building Standards (SANS), “Rapid Urban Decay in Jozi Blamed on Illegal Building,” Building Regulations 2020 [Online]. Available: [Accessed Mar 24 2020].
[15]  Santosa H, The structural Forms and construction of informal Housing: A case study of East Java 2004 [Online]. Available from: <>. [Accessed on 26 June 2019].
[16]  United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), “A Practical Guide for Conducting: Housing Profiles -Supporting evidence-based housing policy and reform.” 2010 Nairobi [Online]. Available: [Accessed Sept. 9 2019].
[17]  Strauss, Anselm and Corbin, Juliet, Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California,1998.
[18]  The National Archives UK, OGL Vol. 1.0 [Online Images]. Available: [Accessed on 8 February 2020.