Approved Plans

Let us guide you through the procedure for the approval of building plans

The following procedure should be followed for the approval process of building plans at the prescribed local authority. Take note that these are only recommendations for an easier process, these recommendations also apply for the submission of site development when required by the local authority. The site development plans are usually applicable at group housing, commercial residence, factories, businesses etc.

  1. Any structures erected on site must be submitted and approved by the local authority for consideration and approval before any construction can begin. There is no such thing as so-called “temporary structures” e.g. swimming pools, thatch roofs, wendy- houses and shade nets. All structures on site need to be approved by the local authority on the building plans. It is important to remember that it is illegal to appoint a person who is not registered with the Architectural institute of South Africa.
  2. All structures need to comply with the national building regulations as well as the SANS10400.
    • The owner must provide the draughtsman with the following information to enable him to obtain the necessary documents from the local authority.
      • Existing approved building plan (available on request at the local authority).
      • Copy of the Title deed.
      • Copy of the latest water and electricity account.
  3. If the owner lives in a sectional title or full title unit in a complex or estate , the following documents should be added:
    • Copy of the original title deed of the premises (not the current deed).
    • The consent of the governing body in the form of a resolution.
    • Permission from the neighboring owner, if so required.
  4. Documents needed for submission of complete building plans (basics):
    • Application form from the local authority.
    • SANS 10400 application form fully completed, with the engineer appointment certificate.
    • Permission application for building relaxation (if required).
    • Legal department approval application form (if required).
    • Architects SACAP registration certificate.
    • SACAP compliance certificate signed by the registered owner.
    • Power of attorney signed by the registered owner.
    • Last paid water and electricity account statement.
    • Two sets of building plans( one should be in color)
    • Copy of the Title deed.
    • Any outstanding documents required by the local authority prescribed by the draughtsman.
  5. Building line relaxation:
    Building line permission applications are requested where the owner exceeds the building lines and servitudes imposed by the council or contained in the Title deed. Building line relaxations are generally circulated through the relevant local authority departments and each department needs to approve the building plans.
    • Traffic department:
      • Are the parking spaces, entrances, exits and turning spaces suitable for the premises?
    • Stormwater department:
      • Is there sufficient flow of natural storm water and distribution, as well as any servitudes indicated on site? 
    • Fire department:
      • Do all the structures meet the fire requirements – thatch roofs usually have a rational design for fire prevention, business sites should also be accompanied by rational designs by a fire consultant. The fire department also looks at your fire safety distances and everything that goes with the SANS 10400 section T.
    • Health department:
      • Structures must meet the health regulations e.g. restaurants etc.
    • Sewer department:
      • No buildings or structures may be erected over any main sewer or sewage servitude. No exception is made. All site sewers must be connected to the city council main sewer, if available.
    • Electricity department:
      • Check if the premises are equipped with sufficient power connection.
    • Geology department:
      • Ground conditions in the various areas, if required.
    • Plan examiners:
      • Check plans to meet standards, NBR and SANS 10400.
    • Architect:
      • Check plans for any urban planning aspects and regulations, as well as aesthetic values.
  6. Title deed conditions:
    • When building plans are drafted, it is advisable to also study a copy of the Title deed to check all the conditions. In many instances, conditions laid down are contained in the Title deed. If the owner then violates such a condition, the deed must be lifted by means of a removal from the Title deed. Removing the limited condition must be done by a
      professional town planner, and then endorsed on the existing deed. The deed must also be submitted to the deeds office for approval by a deed manufacturer. Then only can the building plans be considered for approval by the local authority.
  7. Submission process:
    • All plans submitted in their various areas to the building control department. Building office areas are the following: Centurion, Pretoria CBD, Akasia, Sinoville, Cullinan, Shere.
    • Two sets of plans must be submitted, to prevent plan retardation.
    • All plans must be fully signed by all relevant parties, as well as neighbors, governing body etc (in cases where it is required by the local authority).
    • Building plans are submitted to the administration department, where they are referred to the examiners for examining when completed, the council then informs you that the building plans can be circulated to the relevant departments.
    • After the various departments approve the building plans, the building plans are then referred back to the examiners for recommendation to approve the building plans.
      f. After the examiners recommends the building plan, the plans will go to the architect’s
      Department, after the architect’s approval, the building plans are sent to the office head for approval if the standards are met as required.
  8. Inspections:
    Inspections must comply with all requirements regarding the building inspectors as prescribed by the manual provided with the approval of the building plans. At the final inspections on the premises, the building inspector may require the following certificates if applicable for the issue of the occupation certificate:
    • Completion certificate of civil engineer.
    • Compliance certificate from a qualified plumber.
    • Electric certificate from a qualified electrician.
    • Fire certificate from a qualified person for the treatment of any thatch roofs etc. (where applicable).
    • Energy efficiency certificate from a qualified person.
    • Glass certificate by installer or registered person.
    • Any other documents that may be required by the building inspectors.

*Please note that the process may differ from case to case, also from different local authorities.