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Dealing with Construction Permits in

Lesotho

Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and costs to build a warehouse in Lesotho. This includes obtaining necessary licenses and permits, completing required notifications and inspections and obtaining utility connections.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016. Read the methodology.

Compare Lesotho to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Hire environmental specialist to prepare environmental impact study

    Agency: Environmental Specialist

    1 day LSL 77,190
    2

    Obtain environmental impact assessment from the National Environment Secretariat

    Agency: National Environment Secretariat

    25 days no charge
    3

    Request and obtain construction guarantee from a commercial bank

    Agency: Commercial Bank

    BuildCo must go to a bank with a signed contract in order for the bank to issue a performance bond (or guarantee). The refundable cost is 10% of the project value, and it is deposited at the bank.

    14 days no charge
    4

    Submit building plans and diagrams and obtain approval

    Agency: Maseru City Council

    30 days LSL 7,000
    5

    Request and obtain building permit from the Maseru City Council

    Agency: Maseru City Council

    The building permit is issued after inspection and approval of the building plans and diagrams. The following documents are necessary: lease (if applicable), building plans, and drawings along with a duly completed application form. The mandated time limit is 30 days, but it often takes much longer. It takes 65 days with constant follow-up.

    65 days LSL 3,250
    6

    Receive on-site pre-approval inspection

    Agency: Municipality

    A lack of resources and capacity constrains the Municipality’s ability to carry out inspections during the construction phase.

    1 day no charge
    * 7

    Request water connection services

    Agency: Water and Sewage Authority


    1 day LSL 4,000
    8

    Receive on-site inspection by water company

    Agency: Water and Sewage Authority

    After the inspection is completed, BuildCo is given the estimates used to pay the connection fee (recorded in the previous procedure).

    1 day no charge
    9

    Connect to water services

    Agency: Water and Sewage Authority

    During construction the company usually already has a temporary connection. BuildCo would then request a final one, in which case they would simply need the meter at the end. Temporary and final connection takes around one month. Compared to other service providers, water connection is fairly speedy.

    30 days no charge
    10

    Request and receive final inspection from Maseru City Council

    Agency: Maseru City Council

    There are several inspections that take place during construction and that are carried out by in-house project architects or engineers (BuildCo). Those inspections include excavation work, foundation work, concrete work, steel work for slabs, frame, damp-proof course, drainage, timber scaffolding, electrical. After completing the final inspection, the Maseru City Council issues a certificate authorizing the use of the warehouse. By law, obtaining the occupancy permit can take up to 4 weeks (excluding inspection time). However, the occupancy permit is practically never or rarely issued, which breeds safety concerns.

    1 day no charge
    11

    Obtain certificate of use for warehouse from Maseru City Council

    Agency: Maseru City Council

    10 days no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Building quality control index (0-15) 5.5
    Quality of building regulations index (0-2) 1.5
    How accessible are building laws and regulations in your economy? (0-1) Free of charge; Not easily accessible. 0.5
    Which requirements for obtaining a building permit are clearly specified in the building regulations or on any accessible website, brochure or pamphlet? (0-1) List of required documents; Fees to be paid; Required preapprovals. 1.0
    Quality control before construction index (0-1) 1.0
    Which third-party entities are required by law to verify that the building plans are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-1) Licensed engineer. 1.0
    Quality control during construction index (0-3) 0.0
    What types of inspections (if any) are required by law to be carried out during construction? (0-2) No inspections are legally required during construction. 0.0
    Do legally mandated inspections occur in practice during construction? (0-1) Mandatory inspections are not always done in practice during construction. 0.0
    Quality control after construction index (0-3) 2.0
    Is there a final inspection required by law to verify that the building was built in accordance with the approved plans and regulations? (0-2) Yes, final inspection is done by government agency. 2.0
    Do legally mandated final inspections occur in practice? (0-1) Final inspection does not always occur in practice. 0.0
    Liability and insurance regimes index (0-2) 0.0
    Which parties (if any) are held liable by law for structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability or Decennial Liability)? (0-1)  No party is held liable under the law. 0.0
    Which parties (if any) are required by law to obtain an insurance policy to cover possible structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability Insurance or Decennial Insurance)? (0-1) No party is required by law to obtain insurance . 0.0
    Professional certifications index (0-4) 1.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional responsible for verifying that the architectural plans or drawings are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-2) Minimum number of years of experience; University degree in architecture or engineering. 1.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional who supervises the construction on the ground? (0-2) There are no specific requirements. 0.0