Building Regulations Part 1


As there are 23 items in the Building Regulations we have divided them into three sections to improve the ease of navigation. Please note that there are sub-menus which are not included here, but can be accessed via the drop-down menu. The order in which the different Parts of the regulations are displayed follows the same order as the regulations themselves.

Building Regulations Section 1:

General Principal and Requirements

Structural Design


Public Safety

Demolition Work

Site Operations



  24 Responses to “Building Regulations Part 1”

Comments (24)
  1. hi there

    a friend of mine is having a free standing house built, on the plans the builder only has one door and this has been passed but now the builder has added a back door as well as a sliding door and none of this has been changed on the plans.
    please could someone help and let us know what we can do?

    • Why has the builder not followed the plans? Either the builder must remove the door that is not on the plans, or have the plans altered. It depends who told him to do this. If he did it off his own bat then it will be for his cost.

  2. Subject:
    Size required to built flats

    I just want to know if there is an minimum size for the plot if you want to built at least 4 to 5 flats.

    • Hi MC, site densities vary from suburb to suburb and from town/city to town/city. This can be on average 60% coverage and also has height limits. So it is not possible to give you a precise figure. The best is to contact your local municipality planning section and ask them

  3. Subject:
    underground electrical cables

    Good evening. Must all underground electrical cables be covered with a warning tape above the actual depth of the cables? For instance the cable is 1.5m underground, should the warning tape be 500mm below the ground surface ?
    Andre van der Westhuizen

    • Hi Andre, This is the paragraph that I think you are looking for:
      3.11.2 For high voltage cables (1 kV to 11 kV) a coloured plastic marking tape shall be installed 400 mm above the cable. The tape shall be yellow, marked with the words “ELECTRIC CABLE/ELEKTRIESE KABEL” in red. These markings shall not be more than 1m apart from centre to centre. The full document can be downloaded here: download-regulations Scroll down to “General Electrical Specification PartA And PartB”

  4. Hi
    I have a neibour that has built an outside structure right up against my wall at the back of my property. I dont have a problem with the building. The problem is that he has blocked the flow of the storm water that used to run through a vent in that wall which he has now blocked with his building. I have tried to talk to him about this but he tells me it is not his problem. My question is is there any legal way to deal with this because when it now rains my garden becomes a dam.

    Thank you

    • Hi Nicholas, If you are on a erf that is higher than his and you have no other way of dealing with the stormwater, then your neighbor must take the runoff from your property. Most by-laws in SA are similar.
      Here is a paragraph from the by-law:

      2. Where, in the opinion of the Council, it is impracticable for stormwater to
      be drained from higher lying erven direct to a road, the owner of the
      lower lying erf shall be obliged to accept and/or permit the passage over
      the erf of such stormwater: Provided that the owners of any higher lying
      erven, the stormwater from which is discharged over any lower lying erf,
      shall be liable to pay a proportionate share of the cost of any pipe line or
      drain which the owner of such lower lying erf may find necessary to lay or
      construct for the purpose of conducting the water so discharged over
      the erf.
      Ask your local building inspector to arbitrate the matter.

  5. Hi,
    In a case of encroachment, who must be first in taking action to prove that he is right,
    1) The Agricultural land belongs 45 years two us
    2) When the new developers rezone the next holding, the land surveyor find a 1 meter encroachment from our property into their stand,
    3) The boundary was their from the 1950′s.
    4) the two party’s is in a very documented, high court struggle,
    5) The new developers did mention, they will move our buildings and rebuilt, while they build the new development,
    6) But the moment they finish their 33 units,
    7) They refuse anything to build for us and we must breakdown the wall on our cost,
    8) And stated now that because we knowing of the encroachment for about 2 years,
    9) We did not intention to become the owners thereof and no such case is made out

    So the question, they keep us busy the whole time with promises, they never insist on the South Africa Encroachment law, but we did tell them in the beginning there is law’s, and regulations for this matter.
    Who is responsible to take first action?
    Thank you

    • Edgar this is obviously a highly complex legal matter, I honestly can’t comment. Sorry. Maybe someone else has some ideas?

  6. Hi. We bought into a new development about a year ago. The properties are situated below road level and do not have proper storm water drains in place. 3 months after transfer there was a major flooding and the developer was notified of the lack of proper storm water drains that resulted in the flooding of some of the homes, and did nothing about it. He simply said that it was the “Body corporates” responsibility. 5 months later, another flash flood and this time there was damage to the interior of the 2 houses due to the lack of storm water drains.

    A couple of months ago, another owner had to call in a contractor to help “underpin” part of his foundation due to problems caused by the adjacent incomplete houses of the development due to lack of storm water drains.

    The developer is now back to complete his development neither accepting any responsibility for the damage caused, nor wanting to install the proper storm water drains, despite the development not being complete.

    Kindly advise what we as a body corporate can do. Thanks

    • Hi Shivani, You have the right to request the local council to give the reasons why they did not make the developer install a stormwater system. I will be posting an article about the PAJA soon so check back. The law is the THE PROMOTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE ACT, 2000 (ACT 3 OF 2000), PAJA. In the meantime you can visit their website here: If you suspect that if there are any corrupt dealings associated with this development then you can also report this.

  7. thanku Penny there is another thing worrying me the land has brakish water underneath it about a metre deep.can one stil build on that kind of land. regards Lorna

    • Lorna that sounds as if there is a very high water table. An engineer will advise on what special steps would need to be taken if building. The problem is largely with the foundations. Also if there is heavy rain, the water will rise and you may well have rising damp problems.

  8. if wanting 2 build a village in an existing community what are the requirements

    • Lorna you will need planning permission relating to zoning, and you will need approved plans for all construction work. This must be done by a competent person who will need to oversee all building work. For the rest, you must comply with the National Building Regulations throughout.

  9. Hi I have leased a piece of land of an owner who’s farm is zoned agricultural / Mining. I have signed a lease with him and have had consent from him to run a riding school.
    We on a farm 563 in the caledon/overberg district.
    As part of the lease I am to build removable housing for the horses and myself so as when I leave I am to vacate the land of the buildings.
    What is required as far as submitting plans etc to the municipality under these circumstances.
    Sarah Milton

  10. Hi there,
    My apologies as I honestly have no idea under what page to paste this.

    I live in Rustenburg and would like to know what regulations cover the minimum amount of parking bays the must be provided at a school sports field. A local school is purchasing a vancant piece of property to build a rugby/hockey field with two netball fields. I have seen the plans and they have made no provision for parking and the vacant property is not large enough for parking should they build what they want. I just want to understand what is required by law otherwise with sports days and practices we will have a lot of parents parked all over the neighborhood.

    • John parking is not covered by the National Building Regulations. Parking and loading is “governed” by the local authority. You can download the Consolidated Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme, 2011 from this web site. I have given you the link. Part VI which starts on Page 52 of this document deals with Parking and Loading.
      If you need further clarification you will need to contact the City of Johannesburg.
      There is a pdf that you can also download from this site HERE – that has the contact numbers of all the local authorities. Rustenburg probably has its own office, I haven’t checked.

  11. Hi
    On this porperty there is a building currently owned by the SANBS. I would like to know who the builder and/or architect and or structural engineers were.
    The city council lost the plans, is there any other way I can obtain this information?

    • The SANBS should be able to tell you. I cannot believe how often councils “lose” plans. It’s shocking. Alternatively you could do a search at the deeds office to see who previous owners were. There may even be plans lodged with the title deeds.

  12. To whom it may concern,

    I cannot find the prescribed minimum height for a retail parking garage? And in which section is it?

    Please help.


    • Hi Carla,
      The regulation that you are asking about is SANS 10400 Part-C, you can read what we say here: size-dimensions-room-height A parking garage is classed in SANS 10400 Part-A as a J4 occupancy (Occupancy used for storing or parking of more than 10 motor vehicles). The Part-C does not refer specifically to J4 occupancy but rather uses this as a rule-of-thumb clause: “4.3.2 Notwithstanding the requirements contained in table 2, where any structural member projects below the level of the ceiling or, where there is no ceiling, below the level of the roof covering, the height of such projection shall be not less than 2,1 m”

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