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John A Forbes: Curriculum Vitae


Name: John Anthony Forbes

Date and place of birth: 3 July 1944, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Place(s) of tertiary education and dates associated therewith:

Durban University of Technology (then Natal Technical College) – 1963-1965

University of South Africa (Pretoria) – 1970-1974

Qualifications & Membership of Professional Bodies

Glenwood High School – Matriculation Exemption - 1961

Natal Technical College – Town Planning Course - 1965

UNISA – Bachelor of Art - majors in Geography & Economics - 1975

South African Council of Town and Regional Planners – TRP(SA) – 1986 - Reg. No 457 (Town and Regional Planner)

South African Institute of Town and Regional Planners -  MSAITRP – 1990 (Corporate Member)

South African Planning Institute – MSAPI – 1996 (replaced SAITRP)

South African Council for Planners – SACPLAN (replaced SACTRP) – 2002 - Reg. No A/457/1986 (Professional Planner)

South African Council for the Architectural Profession – PrArchT (Retired) – 2006 - Reg. No T1006 (Professional Architectural Technologist)


Name of current employer and position in enterprise

John Forbes Associates – Sole Proprietary/Owner




KZN Planning & Development Appeal Tribunal

2012 – 2015, 2017 - 2018


Umgungundlovu Joint Municipal Planning Tribunal

2016 - Present


Msunduzi Appeal Appeal Advisory Panel

2015 - 2020

Sole Proprietor

John Forbes Associates

August 2009 – Present - Hillcrest (Durban), KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Web address: http://www.johnforbesassociates.com  

Project Executive (Environmental Planning)

eThekwini Municipality

March 2007 – July 2009 (2 years 5 months) Durban

Provided planning direction within the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department based in Durban with a view to the integration of environmental considerations into mainstream town planning schemes. e.g. D'MOSS as a controlled layer in schemes.

Manager: Planning and Development

eThekwini Municipality

August 1999 – February 2007 (7 years 7 months) Hillcrest

Headed up the Planning and Development Division, situated in the Outer West Regional Offices of the eThekwini Municipality in Hillcrest. Achievements included the consolidation of 14 separate town planning schemes in a single Consolidated Outer West Town Planning Scheme.

Director: Environmental Planning

uMsekeli Municipal Support Services (Development and Services Board)

May 1996 – July 1999 (3 years 3 months) Pietermaritzburg

Headed up the Environmental Planning Directorate charged with providing town planning support for a variety of smaller towns across the province of KwaZulu-Natal that did not then enjoy full local authority status prior to the 2000 re-demarcation with its wall-to-wall municipalities.


Vincent Leggo Associates

March 1970 – April 1996* (17 years 3 months) Durban

All aspects of town planning including the revision of and preparation of new schemes, rezonings and scheme amendments, township design and implementation, administration of town planning duties for both provincial and local government, architectural assessment of pre-submission  building plans in the Dovehouse township of Gillitts on behalf of Anglo American, etc. Vincent Leggo Associates merged with Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick (SWK) circa 1994 - now known as SiVest.

*This period was not continuous and included time with both Rabie Property Developers (9 mths) and the NBRI of CSIR (8 yrs 2 mths).

Senior Scientist (Town Planner)

National Building Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (now Built Environment)

June 1979 – July 1987 (8 years 2 months)Durban

Dissemination of information on applied research into various aspects of building and in particular application of appropriate technology for a third world situation.

Investigating and reporting on failures in the building industry.

Research project into the performance of plaster sands and paints in the Durban region.

Regional surveys of the supply, production, cost and future availability of sand and coarse aggregate (stone) in the Durban-Pietermaritzburg Region.

Planning Assistant

Development Plan Section of Town Planning Department, Durban Corporation

March 1963 – December 1969 (6 years 10 months) Durban

Preparation of Bluff, Umgeni South, Duikerfontein and Old Line Suburbs district town planning schemes in the erstwhile City of Durban.

Preparation of development (structure) plans – zoning, roads and reports.

Population studies of apartment developments in the Sydenham area of Durban.


John Forbes worked for seven years within the Town Planning Division of the then Durban City Engineer's Department and while there attended a part-time town planning course at the Natal Technical College. In 1970 he joined a private town planning consultancy, Vincent Leggo Associates, where he was employed for nine years.


In 1975 he gained his Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Economics and Geography while studying part-time with the University of South Africa. For a brief period in 1979 he was the Town Planner for the Borough of Kingsburgh leading to their town planning scheme being updated. He then joined the Natal Regional Office of the then National Building Research Institute (NBRI) of the CSIR. His work at the NBRI included undertaking regional surveys of both building/plaster sand and course aggregate in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg area, solar heating performance surveys and studies, information dissemination and numerous investigations into the poor technical performance of buildings. In early 1986, in terms of the Town and Regional Planners Act of 1984, he registered with the then South African Council for Town and Regional Planners.


In 1987 John rejoined Vincent Leggo Associates, where he was involved primarily in township design, including a major township (Parkgate) in Verulam for some 1800 units


In 1990 he joined Rabie Property Developers (Natal) as the Operations Manager with the principal task of implementing their township development and house construction program including the Verulam Parkgate township.


In 1990 he became a Corporate Member of the South African Institute of Town and Regional Planners (This body was later to merge with the Development Planning Association of South Africa and became the South African Planning Institute). In late 1990 he rejoined Vincent Leggo Associates as an Associate.

In late 1994 Vincent Leggo Associates merged with the town planning section of Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick (SWK). While here he was part of the of the KwaZulu-Natal Demarcation Board secretariat during their demarcation of municipalities throughout the province for the first democratic local government elections held in 1996.


In 1996 John joined the Development and Services Board (uMsekeli Municipal Support Services) in Pietermaritzburg where he was the Director: Environmental Planning and was responsible for town planning and building control for a number of smaller towns situated throughout the province of KwaZulu-Natal. These towns included Hluhluwe, Mkuze, Cathkin Park, Lidgetton West, Lions River and Nqutu.


In 1999 John joined the Outer West Local Council as the Manager: Planning & Development in their Hillcrest office in which role he was responsible for town planning and building control for an area which covered from Kloof in the east to Cato Ridge in the west to Mpumalanga in the south. Here he was directly responsible in 2000 for replacing the then fourteen separate planning schemes with a single Consolidated Outer West Town Planning Scheme. This scheme was last updated under his direction in 2006.

From late in 2000 the Outer West area has operated as an integral part of the metropolitan eThekwini Municipality and with levels of ever-greater integration within the Development Planning Environment & Management Unit situated in Durban. During his time in the Hillcrest office the Outer West region experienced phenomenal growth during a nationwide development boom. He was accordingly in the fortunate position of being able to exert influence and to a degree guide the final form of the development in the area.  One of the guiding documents produced during his tenure was the Hillcrest Gillitts Activity Corridor Local Area Plan, which served as the founding structure around which the majority of the commercial development along Old Main Road evolved over the period circa 2000 to 2011.

He was appointed as a Designated Officer in terms of the Development Facilitation Act in 1999 until his formal retirement, charged with facilitating and coordinating DFA land use applications between the respective applicants and the Development Tribunal.


In 2007 John was appointed as a Project Executive within the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department within the Development Planning Environment & Management Unit in Durban until his retirement in July 2009. Here he provided town planning guidance to that department and produced a Town Planning Guideline for persons new to town planning that, amongst other, succinctly covered the Natal Town Planning Ordinance, while cross referencing it to the equivalent sections of the KwaZulu Land Affairs Act town planning regulations and to the then draft of the new KZN Planning and Development Act. He guided a project that led to the Durban Metropolitan Open Space System (D’MOSS) being transformed from a policy to an integral component of the respective town planning schemes of eThekwini Municipality.

Following his formal retirement in 2009, John, operating as John Forbes Associates, provided ongoing support for several years to the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department (EPCPD).  Amongst other tasks with EPCPD, he also provided input for the Unit as a whole in an initiative to establish citywide Development Charges and he managed the introduction of Mixed Use zoning for the then unzoned Mount Moreland area near the then new King Shaka International Airport.

In 2011 he was the primary author of “An Introduction to Municipal Planning in a joint project between SALGA, SAPI, MILE and the eThekwini Municipality. In 2012/13 John prepared a comprehensive Developer’s Guidebook for the eThekwini Municipality and in 2013/14 he undertook a study for eThekwini investigating “The Impact of the National Building Regulations and Planning Legislation on Development” on not only Durban, but also on the metropoles of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria (Tshwane).

In June 2012 John was appointed as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Planning and Development Appeal Tribunal on which body he served till the operationalisation of Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) on 1 July 2015. Following the Constitutional Court ruling on Tronox v KZN Planning and Development Appeal Tribunal, the Appeal Tribunal was re-established  in June 2017. This was to conclude all outstanding appeals that had been suspended after a High Court ruling when Tronox had first challenged the constitutionality of the Appeal Tribunal. He was was then reappointed as a member.

In 2015 he contributed input towards the then draft KZN Model Municipal Planning By-laws. In the same year he also contributed input towards the draft paper being prepared for Department of Rural Development and Land Reform with respect to Section 52 of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, i.e. Matters of National Interest and in a joint venture with Chris Krause Land Surveyor prepared draft Model Conditions of Establishment for the Land Use Division of the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

In  September 2015 John was appointed as a member of the Msunduzi Appeal Advisory Panel. [City of Pietermaritzburg].

In   March 2016 John was appointed as a member of the Umgungundlovu Joint Municipal Planning Tribunal (JMPT). This body serves all the Local Municipalities within the District Municipality other than for the Msunduzi Municipality. The area of responsibility of the JMPT includes, amongst others, the towns of Hilton, Howick and Mooi River.