Feb 102014

City of Johannesburg Relaxes Swimming Pool Plan Submissions

POOL OK01 JHB – Swimming Pools, Boundary Lines and Plans

A Stunning Swimming Pool
Would you need to submit plans for a pool like this? See the post below.
Pool by Prime Pools

The City of Johannesburg’s Planning Department has confirmed that they have relaxed the by-laws relating to swimming pools and plan submissions. These regulations concern the submission of plans – namely when plans are required and when are they not required.

Following up on a query from a reader, Jadie Naicker, we contacted the national office of the NSPI (National Swimming Pool Institute) to find out what they know about the situation. The local Johannesburg manager, Myrtle, said that there were rumours of a relaxation, but that they had put a request to the council in writing for confirmation. By last week they had not had a reply, so she was unable to comment on whether these rumours were true or not.

We contacted the City of Johannesburg Town Planning Department and spoke to one of the building inspectors who confirmed that the swimming pool building by-laws were amended at the end of 2013.





POOL More 3MetersA JHB – Swimming Pools, Boundary Lines and Plans

Putting in a New Pool
If your zoning area allows you to build up to three meters from the boundary, then no plans are required, any closer than three meters then you must submit plans.

The regulations vary depending on zoning; the zone that the property is situated in. If the property is in a zone that has a building line restriction of three meters then any pool that is built within this three-meter line will need plans submitted. If the pool does not cross any of these boundary lines then plans will not be required.

POOL Less 3Meters01A JHB – Swimming Pools, Boundary Lines and Plans

A Pool Closer than 2 Meters
Depending on your zone, if you want to build a pool closer than 2 meters from your boundary, then you will need plans.
Pool by Prime Pools

In areas that do not have building lines set, the by-law requires that any pool built closer than two meters to the boundary must submit plans.

One of the main reasons for this is that the Town Planning Department must scrutinize the site plans and confirm to the building inspectors that there are not any services such as water supply, sewage or electricity supply amongst others that could be affected.

 Pool Safety

Security poolcover JHB – Swimming Pools, Boundary Lines and Plans

A Hard-wearing Safety Pool Cover

Public safety and swimming pools is a National Building Regulation and is applicable whether plans had to be submitted or not. Read more on our page SANS 10400 Part D – Public safety.

The City of Johannesburg put forward planned by-law amendments in 2009 to regulate safety around swimming pools in the Johannesburg area. In addition to the National Building Regulations Part-D, extra safety measures were mooted. These include issue of a permit by the Council and the fact that every outdoor swimming pool must be secured with a pool cover or fitted with a floating pool alarm device at all times when the pool is not use. The Council may exempt an owner from compliance with this section if it is satisfied with the efficiency of any other means of protection used.



Dec 082013

Ensure Your Balustrade System is Installed Correctly

Balustrades Balustrade Installation

As it currently stands, the individual or professional company commissioning a balustrade sub-contractor has far more responsibility regarding their project than they realise. The Building Owner is responsible for ensuring that their project is SANS compliant and signed off by a qualified Engineer. The Owner is therefore responsible for ensuring that the Contractor utilises safe methods and techniques when installing their balustrade system.

Many fly by night contractors or “bakkie brigades” will fail to take into account best practices deemed to satisfy rules and most importantly, the SANS Building Codes when installing your balustrades. This can result in structural failure and even injury to the individuals utilising the facility at some stage down the line. At Steel Studio we are regularly tasked to assess or repair the damage caused by these incompetent and inexperienced fabricators.

To help protect you as the Client, ensure the safety of all that utilise the facility and save you time and money, we’ve listed the correct methods that should be undertaken when installing balustrades and what you can look out for during the installation process.

  • Ensure that core drilling is to an adequate and suitable depth of 120mm and secured with a non-shrink grout, which is an equivalent or stronger Mpa than the concrete, subject to the engineer’s approval.
  • Base plate fixings, either top or side fixed are also suitable, provided adequate chemical anchors are used with the necessary cover depth, designed and approved by a structural engineer.
  • A balustrade post or stanchion should never be installed with a pin fixing at the base of a smaller diameter than the post itself. This will create a weak pivot point at the base of the balustrade and lead to structural failure.
  • A pin fixed balustrade is never a suitable fixing method from a loading perspective. Always ensure that the balustrade fixing method is core drilled or base plate fixed to meet with SABS loading requirements.
  • Stainless steel balustrade systems should ideally always be welded together or where the design calls for it, mechanically bolted together. Filler wire and fasteners of the same or superior material should always be used. Systems that are glued or pressed together may not meet the SANS Building Code requirements and also may rattle continuously.
  • All welds should be cleaned and ground either with a suitable pickling acid or mechanically ground or sanded with suitable dedicated abrasives. If pickling acid is used, care should be taken to ensure that the acid is thoroughly rinsed off with fresh water and the effluent is safely discarded. Care should be taken to avoid contact with finishes such as flooring, carpets etc.

Balustrades2 Balustrade InstallationBy ensuring that the job is done right the first time you can avoid any unforeseen costs, damages or even tragedies later down the line. Uncertain if your balustrade system has been installed correctly or just want clarity regarding any of the points mentioned here? Don’t hesitate to ask us at Steel Studio and we’ll gladly assist.


Article by Rob Blackbeard, owner of Steel Studio.


SteelStudioLogo Balustrade Installation


Contact person: Sandra Blackbeard

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.steelstudio.co.za


Dec 072013

The PAJA: A Law to Protect Your Rights

DeptJusticeHeader The PAJA: A Law to Protect Your Rights

We get questions daily about buildings blocking views, balconies overlooking neighbours’ bedrooms, building approval without neighbours’ consent, developers not putting in correct storm-water drains; complaints that the neighbours wall is on “my” property; the list goes on and on. People also want to know who they can contact to find out what the situation is, who approved the plans (if indeed they were approved), and how and why their neighbours are “getting away” with these activities. The good news is that there is a law in South Africa that was published in 2000 – The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act 3 of 2000) – that was promulgated to protect you.

The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA)


DofJ s The PAJA: A Law to Protect Your Rights>





This piece of legislation is not well known, and it is there essentially to ensure that the government (and all its departments) act in a fair way when decisions are taken that might affect any individual. It is your basic human right to have just, fair and equitable administrative action.

The South African Constitution guarantees that any action taken by any administration in South Africa has to be reasonable, lawful and must follow procedures. It must also be fair in relation to all concerned.

The law covers all levels and all departments in all the provinces:

  • Departments at national, provincial or local government level,
  • The national, provincial and local legislatures,
  • The national and provincial executives,
  • The judiciary (or courts),
  • ‘Parastatals’ such as Eskom and Telkom.

We will refer to those that deal with building regulations and the building by-laws in South Africa.

Allowance has also been made for anybody to ask for an explanation from any of the government or municipal departments regarding why they made a certain decision. You also have the right to request reasons as to why a certain decision was made that negatively affects you. The law states that it is your right to ask for reasons and they cannot refuse you this right.

It is important to note that these requests and replies should all be done in writing. If you are given verbal response it’s you prerogative to accept it, but if you aren’t happy, you have every right to demand that it is given to you in writing. Of course it is always best to have this type of thing in writing, particularly when there is a substantial dispute.

The PAJA addresses the fact that if after reasons have been supplied there is still disagreement. If this is the case, then provision has been made for a review of “the administrative action” by a court or a tribunal.

Once you have identified something you are not happy with (either issues mentioned above or other problems you are facing) that you feel that the relevant department should have consulted or informed you about, you must follow the correct procedures:

  1. Request the reasons, in writing, from the department that made the initial decision. This must be done within 90 days of finding out the decision has been made. If you are not satisfied with the reasons given then…
  2. You must use the internal appeal procedure for that department (see below), if they have one. Not all departments have an internal appeal system. If they don’t you can then…
  3. Go to court (see below)
  4. Use other remedies (see below)

To help you we have two pdf documents as guidelines when making requests:

Form to request reasons PDF

Form for Prior Notice PDF

I want to request reasons for what has been allowed—What do I do?

Firstly and most importantly your request must be in writing. State clearly, with reference details, which decision your request is for. Next say why you think the decision that they made is wrong. You must include all your details including your full name, postal address, email, telephone/cellular phone contact details and/or fax number. Your letter can be sent by post, fax, email or delivered by hand. Make sure that you send faxes or emails to the correct address or number. It might be best to deliver your request so that you get a signature and proof of delivery. If you do deliver by hand, get a signature and full name of the person who takes the letter, and include the date and time next to the signature.

How will they respond? What reasons will they give?

They must not try to persuade you that their decision was the correct one. What they must do is give you a clear reason why and how they reached their decision. All your questions that you asked must be answered.

How long will they take to respond?

They must give you a satisfactory reply within 90 days of receiving the request.

Can they tell me the reasons over the phone?

All reasons should be in writing, unless you accept reasons given to you verbally. If not you have full right to ask them to please put their response in writing.

What is the appeal process? How does it work?

There are a few departments that have the facility for an internal appeal. If the department you are dealing with has such a procedure then you have to use this first before you can consider further action. Again you will have to put your demand in writing and say that you are not satisfied with the reasons given to you up until now. Then you request that the matter be taken to the relevant appeal section. The next step is to go to court.

How do I take my case to court?

If you are not satisfied with the reasons given to you by the appeal division, or if there is no appeal board, then you can take the matter to court. You must ask a court to review your case within six months of the internal appeal, or if there is no internal appeal, within six months of the decision. Unfortunately though the court review can be costly.

Are there any other cheaper options?

The internal appeal (if there is one) is usually free.

There are a few other options such as:

  • Asking a political party in your area to help,
  • Putting your complaint to the Provincial MEC for that particular department (eg the local authority’s planning department),
  • You can find out who the Minister is, and who is responsible for that department, and write to him/her and explain your problem.
  • There are quite a few non-government organisations (NGOs) that you could ask for help. These are usually free.
  • Paralegals are there to assist people in awkward situations.
  • If you suspect that there has been any corruption involved in a decision that affects you, then you can call the public protector and give them all the details. The toll-free number is 0800-112-040
  • There are legal aid boards and justice centres in most of the major centres that will assist you free of charge. You can ask the legal aid officer at your nearest court to arrange a lawyer, free of charge, to assist you. You can also call the legal aid board on 021-481 2700.
Jul 262013

The Housing Consumers
Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998

Updated 2008 – EXPLAINED

House794 Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act

A well built house in a development that was built on time and in budget is all that a Housing Consumer wants.

1. The main purpose of the Housing Consumers Protection Act is to give protection to housing consumers. At the same time it created the NATIONAL HOME BUILDERS REGISTRATION COUNCIL (NHBRC), whose objective is to stand for the interests of housing consumers by giving a warranty to protect against defects in new homes and to give cover to housing consumers in respect of the failure of builders to fulfill  their obligations in terms of this Act.

2. A housing consumer is a “person who is in the process of getting or has taken possession of a home and includes such a persons “successor in title”. What this means is, that for the period that the “original” homeowner is covered by the warranties that may be applicable in terms of this Act, that warranty remains in place no matter the change of ownership. Any other action undertaken by the first owner is transferred to, and enforceable by, the new owner – so long as the original owner did everything in line with the Act. Different time frames apply depending on what the defect is.

3. A homebuilder is defined as a person who carries on the business of a home builder and constructs a home for a housing consumer.

4. An owner builder may contract a homebuilder for the building of a home for occupation by that person. If someone builds himself a home, lives in it and later on sells it, the mere fact that the house is still new does not suddenly mean that for purposes of this Act, the seller of that house suddenly becomes a homebuilder.

5. “Occupation” is either the date that the housing consumer who first gets the home, accepts it as is by signing a document confirming the acceptance, this is  known as a “happy letter”, this is needed by banks before they will pay out the loan on a bond that was registered for a new home, or the certificate of occupancy issued by a local authority in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act of 1977.

6. By signing the acceptance document you take complete ownership of the house and you do not have to physically move in to “occupy” the house for the purposes of the Act.

7. Most important is the part of the Act that states that no person shall carry on the business of a home builder, or receive any remuneration from any agreement with a housing consumer in respect of the sale or construction of a home, unless that person is a registered homebuilder with the NHBRC.

8. If anyone or any company wants to do any sort of building work, they  MUST first be registered with the NHBRC. Before they start work or accept any payment of any kind for the project.

If a builder has finished your entire house for you, and if they are not registered with the NHBRC, you don’t need to pay them a cent. Be aware that you will have to prove that did not know that the builder was not registered from the start otherwise you might  also be found to be complicit in breaking the law.

You can read more about the NHBRC here: national-home-builders-registration-council

Here is a copy of the Act:

Jul 122013

The Town Planning Scheme  for the Tshwane Region 2008

Union Buildings Above Tshwane Town Planning Scheme 2008

The Union Buildings from above in the Tshwane Municipal area.

We have included these Tshwane Planning Scheme Regulations to assist you with accessing the the correct information so that you can make the right decisions when it comes to planning any construction, building and renovation or the purchase of property with developement in mind.

This Town Planning Scheme applies to all properties within the municipal boundaries of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, and is established in terms of section 18 of the Town planning and Townships Ordinance, 1986.

Part 1 contains general information, including the date when the zoning scheme became operative and the areas that were consolidated into the new scheme.
Part 2 Refers to Streets, Buildings and Building Restriction Areas and covers Closed Streets and prohibition of access. Building Lines in the New Townships and on Subdivisions and Canopies in front of Building Lines. Land for streety widening is addressed and Building Restriction Areas (Table A)
Part 3 “Use of Buildings and Land” specifies what land and buildings in the various areas are to be used for. Permission from the Municipality and other Consent is dealt with in this part.
Part 4 deals with General Conditions applicable to all properties as well as Detrimental Soil Conditions. The Conditions applicable to Residential Type 1, 2, 3 and 4 Erven are listed separately as well as Conditions applicable to a Public Garage. The important rules for Floor Area Ratios (FAR), Height of Buildings and Coverage is pointed out.
Part 5 Parking and Loading Facilities sizes and limits are covered.
Part 6 “Amenity in and of the Environment and Appearance of Buildings” refers to the Aesthetic Considerations with regards to Site Development Plan and Landscape Development Plan
Part 7 Are General Conditions.
Part 8 Gives all the Schedules under 22 chapters.
Finally there is  a list of tables that are referred to in the various chapters and a list of Annexures.


Jun 232013

New Electric Fence Legislation Sends Shock Waves throughout South Africa

ElectricFenceX690 New Electric Fence Law

Photograph: Janek Szymanowski

Penny Swift,  23 June, 2013

When the regulations regarding an electric fence were changed in 2011, nobody paid much attention. But now that the authorities are enforcing the regulations, people are totally shocked and all fired up.

Yesterday a homeowner living in a “wealthy” Pretoria suburb was interviewed on eNCA. She said: “I think it is absolutely crazy. I mean we must try and do absolutely everything in our power to safeguard ourselves and the police don’t have the manpower to keep you safe.” The woman told how three would-be burglars had accessed her property and were trying to break through her front door. She said she ran to get her “pistol” and fired at them. The implication was that not even her electric fence had stopped them. But it wasn’t clear whether her electric fence, if there was one, was compliant with the new regulations – or even up to standard in terms of the relevant SANS.

She seemed to be outraged that if people did not comply with the new electric fence legislation, and a criminal was injured by the fencing, the owner could be held liable. Sure it may seem unfair that you could be charged in these circumstances. But if the woman interviewed on eNCA had hit one of the intruders and killed him when she fired her pistol, she could have been charged with murder.

Beeld ran a story on 12 June that quoted Marike van Niekerk, legal manager of MUA Insurance Acceptances: ”The law requires that only certified installers may erect fences. All installers of electric fences must undergo an examination by October this year  before they can be accredited. There are very few certified installers. The Association of South African Electric Fence Installers expected that by October there will only be 300 accredited installers in the country. Not only will the owner have legal fees to pay, but he also runs the risk of criminal prosecution.”

Why is this an issue? We are expected to use qualified building contractors to build our homes. The law says that all electrical work must be carried out by qualified, registered electricians; and that only qualified, registered plumbers may do plumbing work. And we need both electric and plumbing certificates of compliance (COCs) for our newly built homes. In coastal regions, houses cannot be sold without beetle certificates, to ensure that woodwork is not infested.

These compliance issues are in the interests of you and me – as are the newly amended regulations that affect electric fencing. Well, that’s the general idea.

The main issues raised by the media recently are that if property owners don’t comply with the regulations, and get a COC from a registered company:

  • insurance claims may be rejected
  • property owners may be held liable if someone is injured by an electric fence, even if that person is a criminal

Let’s get this into persepctive. If you don’t comply with the National Building Regulations (NBR) and your house falls down, insurance isn’t going to pay. If you don’t have an electrical COC, and your house burns down because of faulty wiring, insurance certainly won’t pay. If you build a staircase that doesn’t comply with the NBR, and someone falls down and breaks a leg, you can be held liable and be forced in a court of law to pay substantial damages.

Electricity is potentially lethal. Would you really consider getting a company that is not qualified to install an electric fence to do the job? … even if they were cheaper? The new registration process is intended to ensure that you and I know who is qualified and who is not.

So What is the Problem?

The main problem is that, as the Beeld article points out, there are very few people who are registered in terms of the new legislation, which should have been enforced from October last year. According to the South African Electric Fence Installers Association (SAEFIA), electric fence installers who are “qualified” may, and have been, granted temporary licenses to issue COCs. But to get a permanent license, it is necessary to pass a test (see next section below). The deadline for registration has been extended to September 2013.

The other problem relates to the COC itself, which must be updated in certain circumstances, including when a property is sold, and where tenants lease a property.

The Amended Regulations

The regulations that apply to electric fences, are the Electrical Machinery Regulations, and they fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993. Until 25 March 2011, when the new Electrical Machinery Regulations were published in the Government Gazette, electric fences were governed by the rather sketchy Electrical Machinery Regulations, 1988 – as well as the relevant South African National Standards (SANS), including SANS 60335-2-76.

It should be noted that the regulations do not only deal with electric fencing, but cover all types of electrical machinery, portable electric tools, portable electric lights, overhead power lines, and personal protective equipment for electrical work. You can download the “new” 2011 Electrical Machinery Regulations HERE.

In the new regulations, an electric fence means “an electrified barrier consisting of one or more bare conductors erected against the trespass of persons or animals”. A person registered as an electric fence system installer is required to have “sufficient knowledge of the safety standards applicable to electric fence systems”. Further, proof of “electric fence system installer proficiency” must be given before registration will be approved.

But this doesn’t mean old electric fences need to be replaced. As long as they comply with the old 1988 regulations, they are perfectly legal. And if they comply, there is no reason why they shouldn’t qualify for a COC. This is important, because if a property is sold, a COC is required (see 2 below).

The regulations state that every “user or lessor” (which implicates tenants) of a new electric fence system must have a COC “Provided that such certificate shall be transferable”. Electric fence systems installed prior to 1 October 2012 don’t require a COC unless:

  1. they have been added to or altered,
  2. there is a change of ownership of the premises.

The Law and Electric Fencing: A Pocket, Ready-Reference to the Legal Dos And Don’ts of Electric Fencing In South Africa is available FREE from SAEFIA, or you can download it HERE.



The following story, originally published in De Rebus (The South African Attorneys’ Journal published by the Law Society of South Africa) will be of critical interest to all home owners, property developers, body corporates, estate agents and anyone involved in the security industry.

New certificate requirement for electric fence systems

By Carol McDonald

It is important for practitioners dealing with a change of ownership of immovable property to be aware of the latest developments in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (the Act) regarding electric fences.

Regulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 2011 imposes an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have an electric fence system certificate of compliance.

The requirement does not apply to a system in existence prior to 1 October 2012. However, as with an electrical compliance certificate, this certificate will be required where an addition or alteration is effected to the system or where there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists if the change of ownership takes place after 1 October 2012.

The electric fence system certificate is separate from an electrical compliance certificate and is therefore an additional requirement if the property has an electric fence system.

It will also be necessary to include an appropriate clause in sale agreements concluded after 1 October 2012 if there is an electric fence system on the property.

A transfer registered after 1 October 2012 therefore triggers the obligation to provide a certificate. It will thus be necessary to arrange for an electric fence system certificate if an electric fence system exists on a property that is in the process of being transferred.

The certificate is however transferable: Once it has been issued, there is no need to obtain a new one on a change of ownership.

Three questions arise in response to the above:

• Who is the user in respect of sectional titles? Must the owner of a unit obtain a certificate when the unit is transferred?

• If a property on which an electric fence system is situated is sold and the sale agreement is silent on, who is to obtain the certificate, who is responsible for ensuring that it is obtained?

• If a property is leased and the lease is silent on the issue, who is responsible for the certificate – the lessor or the lessee?

The regulations do not provide clear answers to these questions and they therefore require amendment.

In the interim, I submit the following comments.

Who is the user in a sectional title scheme?

The common property in a sectional title scheme comprises the land and permanent attachments to it that are not included in sections (s 1(1) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 and GJ Pienaar Sectional Titles and Other Fragmented Property Schemes 1ed (Cape Town: Juta 2010) at 72).
An electric fence system erected on the common property forms part of the common property and is therefore owned in undivided shares by the sectional owners in the scheme (s 2(c) of the Sectional Titles Act).

A general duty is imposed on a body corporate to control, manage and administer the common property for the benefit of all owners (s 37(1)(r) of the Sectional Titles Act).

‘User’ is not defined in the Electrical Machinery Regulations, whereas the Act defines ‘user’ as:
‘[I]n relation to plant or machinery, means the person who uses plant or machinery for his own benefit or who has the right of control over the use of plant or machinery, but does not include a lessor of, or any person employed in connection with, that plant or machinery.’

A body corporate falls within the definition of ‘user’ as it exercises the ‘right of control’ over an electric fence system erected on common property.

The owner of a sectional title unit, likewise, falls within the definition of ‘user’ as each unit owner has the ‘benefit’ of the system. In addition, the body corporate is required to exercise its control for the benefit of all the sectional owners (CG van der Merwe Sectional Titles, Share Blocks and Time- sharing vol 1 Service Issue 14 (Durban: LexisNexis 2012) at para 14 2 14 11).

In respect of existing electric fence systems, a certificate is required only if there is a change of ownership of the land on which the system is situated.

The land does not form part of a sectional title unit being transferred. However, as the sectional owner’s undivided co-ownership in the land is an accessory to the section (GJ Pienaar (op cit) at 65), a change in ownership of a unit brings about a change in co-ownership of the land. The transfer of a unit will trigger the application of reg 12, which stipulates that every user of an electric fence system shall have an electric fence system certificate.

Unlike a certificate of compliance required in terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009, where the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate is older than two years, there is no such provision in the Electrical Machinery Regulations. As stated above, the electric fence system certificate is transferable and does not expire.

I submit that a separate certificate is not required by every sectional owner. If there is a change of ownership of a unit in a scheme, by virtue of the change of ownership in the common property, the body corporate should be obliged in terms of reg 12 to obtain an electric fence system certificate of compliance. Thereafter, if a sale agreement requires a seller to produce a certificate, a certificate issued to the body corporate and produced to the conveyancer in respect of the transfer of any sectional title unit in the scheme would be sufficient to comply with the requirements of reg 12.

Responsibility for obtaining the certificate

As stated above, reg 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations stipulates that ‘every user or lessor’ of an electric fence system shall have an electric fence system certificate.

This wording is similar to that of reg 7 of the Electrical Installation Regulations, which stipulates that ‘every user or lessor of an electrical installation, as the case may be, shall have a valid certificate of compliance’.

Regulation 12 differs from reg 7 in that the former stipulates that ‘if there is a change of ownership … the user or lessor shall obtain an electric fence system certificate’, whereas the latter provides that ‘the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate of compliance is older than two years’.

Regulation 12 does not prohibit the transfer of ownership in the absence of a certificate. It does, however, place an obligation on the ‘user’ to obtain a certificate.

Although there may be a difference of opinion on this point, I submit that there is nothing in the regulations to prohibit transfer in the absence of a certificate and it is the purchaser who would be in violation of the regulations once transfer has passed.

The obligation therefore falls on the purchaser to obtain the certificate.

There is no obligation on the conveyancer to obtain the certificate on behalf of the transferee unless the agreement of sale specifically places that obligation on the conveyancer.

Conveyancers must peruse the sale agreement and establish whether reference is made to the certificate. Provided that the agreement of sale does not prohibit it, transfer may be registered without a certificate having been obtained.

A clause in a sale agreement that places an obligation on the seller to provide the purchaser with an electric fence system certificate serves a twofold purpose: It removes the ambiguity created by the imprecise wording of the regulation and it protects the purchaser.


Failure by the user to obtain an electric fence compliance certificate where an addition or alteration has been effected or where there has been a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists (if the change took place after 1 October 2012) could result in a fine or a prison sentence. In terms of the reg 24 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations, any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of reg 12 shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a maximum of 12 months and, in case of a continuous offence, to an additional fine of R 200 for each day on which the offence continues or additional imprisonment of one day for each day on which the offence continues: Provided that the period of such additional imprisonment shall not exceed 90 days.

Lease – who is responsible for the certificate?

If a property is leased, and the lease is silent on the issue, who is responsible for the certificate – the lessor or the lessee?

The Act’s definition of ‘user’ specifically excludes the lessor, while reg 12 specifically includes the lessor. But it is the lessor of the electric fence system that is referred to in reg 12, not the lessor of the premises on which the system exists – a distinction that creates ambiguity rather than clarity.

It is unclear why the drafters specifically included the lessor.
Applying the definition in the Act, the user is the person who ‘uses … for his own benefit or who has the right of control over the use’ (my emphasis).

Who has the right of control? The lease in each case will determine the answer to this question. In a property with a single tenant, the system may be controlled by the lessee or the lessor. In a multi-tenanted building it is likely that the lessor will control the system. The body corporate will control the system where the lease pertains to a sectional unit in a sectional title scheme.

Who is using the system for their own benefit? The landlord benefits from the existence of the system on the property that he is renting out. However, the tenant also benefits. Without clarity in the wording of the regulation, one must apply common sense. It would be inequitable to require a tenant to obtain a certificate because the landlord has sold the property. The landlord should therefore obtain the certificate.

Nonetheless, it would be prudent to include a clause in the lease to address this issue.
It is hoped that there will be amendments to the regulation to provide more clarity on these issues.


In summary:

• A sectional title owner need not obtain a certificate. Following a change in ownership of a sectional unit, a body corporate should obtain a certificate.

• Unless a sale agreement provides otherwise, the purchaser of a property must obtain a certificate.

• A landlord should obtain a certificate for leased property.

Carol McDonald LLB (UKZN) BCL (University of Oxford) is an attorney at Cox Yeats in Durban.


Jun 202013

How to contact your Local Authority

and Municipality in your District

DeAarMunicipalityBldg s Municipality Contact

This lovely old building is the DeAar Town Hall and is situated in the Pixley Ka Seme District and is across the road from the Emthanjeni Local Municipality on Voortrekker Road


We get requests almost on a daily basis about “How do I  contact my local Municipality?”,  “Where is my local Authority?”, “Where do I take my plans?”, “Where can I contact the building Inspector?”

Well here is the most up to date National list that we can find. The list is also divided up into all the Provinces so just scroll down the pdf pages and find the Province then the Municipality that you live in and the contact details will be there. If you are not sure of the new Municipality name there is a list of all the old District names and towns with the new name of the Municipality and number next to it.

Please comment below if you would like us to display lists of any other features relating to Building Regulations.

Download (PDF, 997KB)

Jun 132013

Consolidated Johannesburg
Town Planning Scheme, 2011

Google Jhb Town Planning Scheme   JHB

We have included this Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme document to assist you with accessing the the correct information so that you can make the right decisions when it comes to planning any construction, building and renovation or the purchase of property with developement in mind. This Town Planning Scheme applies to all properties within the municipal boundaries of the City of Johannesburg, as determined by the Municipal Demarcation Board.
This Town Planning Scheme is prepared in terms of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and is, subject to the provisions of section 3(4) of this Scheme. The Scheme relates to the area of jurisdiction of the City of Johannesburg:
a. Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme, 1979 (The clauses only )
b. Halfway House and Clayville Planning Scheme, 1976 (The clauses only)
c. Sandton Planning Scheme, 1980 (The clauses only)
d. Roodepoort Planning Scheme, 1987 (The clauses only)
e. Randburg Planning Scheme, 1976 (The clauses only)
f. Lenasia South East Planning Scheme, 1998 (The clauses only)
g. Modderfontein Planning Scheme, 1994 (The clause only)
h. Peri-urban Areas Town Planning Scheme, 1975 (The clauses only)
i. Southern Johannesburg Region Planning Scheme, 1979 (The clauses only)
j. Walkerville Planning Scheme, 1994 (The causes only)
k. Annexure F as per the Black Communities Development Act, Act 4 of 1984
l. Lethabong Planning Scheme, 1998 (The clauses only)
m. Westonaria Planning Scheme (The clauses only)
n. Alberton Planning Scheme (The clause only)

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Jun 122013

A List of Definitions and Terms
Used in Town Planning Schemes

Includes Land Use and Zonings Terms

Town planning zones316 Town Planning Definitions

Town Planning has different by-laws for each zone in any Municipality

The Johannesburg metropolitan area is the largest, most diverse and most cosmopolitan in South Africa, so we have based this list on definitions from their Town Planning document, see: town-planning-scheme-jhb. These are not only relevant to Gauteng but are used nationally. We have also added terms from various other Town Planning documents. In addition, your Local Authority may have terms that refer specifically to their region. If so, you can call them directly and ask them to enlighten you on the meaning of any specific terms or phrases you haven’t heard before.



Land or buildings where livestock or poultry is slaughtered and prepared for distribution.

Any Act Promulgated and referred to to any of the Town Planning Schemes

Adult Premises
Means land and buildings used for trade with sexually explicit material, including the distribution or exhibition of films or videos which are classified as “X18″ or “R18″ in terms of the provisions of the Films and Publications Act, 1996 or any amendment thereto. It also includes any shows, be it live or via films, videos or magazines, the distribution/exhibition of sex aids and/or the operation of an escort agency.

Agricultural Purposes/Building
Purposes normally associated with the use of land and buildings for farming/agricultural purposes and it includes only dwelling units necessary for and related to the bona fide agricultural use of the property. This also includes the use of the property for urban agricultural purposes; the sale of produce solely cultivated or bread from the site; horse riding facilities and related schooling uses, but shall not include sporting and recreation purposes or a race course.

Agricultural Holding
Means land as laid out in terms of the Agricultural Holdings (Transvaal) Registration Act, 1919 (Act 22 of 1919).

Agricultural Industry
Means any farming activity such as pig and poultry farming and cattle feeding lots, that is performed on such a scale and with such intensity that it could in the opinion of the Municipality possibly cause a health nuisance in respect of noise, smells, waste and effluent.

Land and buildings designed and used for the landing and taking off of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, airways control, aircraft hangers, fuel depot, fuel bays, workshops for manufacturing, repair and spray-painting of aircraft, engine run test area, training facilities for flight schools, passenger terminals, luggage and freight storage and handling, customs and migration control, associated shops, sale of aircraft and parts, offices, places of refreshment, places of amusement, banks, ATMs, leasing of vehicles, vehicle valet service area, guest-house, clinic, residential buildings, dwelling-units, telecommunication masts, hotel and conference centre, aircraft and related clubs and other ancillary and subservient uses and all uses normally associated with the proper functioning of an airport to the satisfaction of the Council.

Air Rights
Means the use of a building, which spans across an existing street at a specific height above the street level and does not restrict the use of the street, for any use which has been approved by the Municipality.

Ancillary and Subservient Use
When used in the context of an associated use or purpose, means a use, purpose, building or activity, which is ancillary and subservient to the lawful dominant use of the property and which support and compliment the main use on the property and which shall not exist on their own when the main use on the property is discontinued.

Animal Boarding Place
Means land and buildings used for the boarding, breeding and grooming of dogs, cats and domestic animals and may include the sale of products related to the main use subject to the Municipality’s relevant By-laws and Regulations.

Animal Care Center
A place for the care of domestic pets and animals, operated on either a commercial or welfare basis and includes boarding kennels, catteries and pet training centers.

Any registered owner of land, whether a natural person or a juristic body, or anybody duly authorised by such owner, who makes an application as provided for in the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and/or this Town Planning Scheme or any amendments thereof.

An application made in terms of the provisions of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and/or this Town Planning Scheme or any amendments thereof.

Application Register
A record of all applications submitted in terms of the provisions of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and/or this Town Planning Scheme or any amendments thereof.

Any approval granted by the Council in writing with or without conditions.

The defined municipal boundaries of the City of Johannesburg and the area across which this Town Planning Scheme is applicable.

Means land and buildings used for an automatic teller machine of a bank or other financial institution.

Means land and buildings used for the storage of new and second hand goods for sale to the public by means of an auction or over the counter.



Means land and buildings consisting of habitable rooms including dormitories, a communal kitchen, dining-room, lounge and ablution facilities for the accommodation of guests and tourists for short periods and shall be managed by the owner or manager who shall reside on the same property.

Means land and buildings where bread, rusks, tarts, rolls, pies and other flour-baked products are manufactured in bulk for distribution to wholesale trade, shops and warehouses.

Means a public company provisionally or finally registered as a Deposit-taking Institution in terms of the Deposit-taking Institutions Act 1990 (Act 94 of 1990) and also includes an instant bank and automatic teller machines.

The space in a building between the floor and ceiling which is partly or completely below the natural ground level; Provided that a basement shall be counted as a storey for the purpose of a height measurement where any portion extends more than 1,0 m above the lowest level of the natural ground level immediately contiguous to the building.

Bed and Breakfast
A building/s in which the resident manager provides lodging and meals for compensation to transient guests who have permanent residence elsewhere provided that:
i. The number of rooms/suites may not exceed 10 without the written consent of the Council in addition to the accommodation of the resident manager
ii. The buildings may include self catered suites
iii. No buildings may be converted into dwelling units or be sectionalized.

Block of Flats
Means two (2) or more dwelling-units on two or more storeys contained in a building with a common entrance or foyer to the dwelling-units.

Boarding House
A dwelling house where the habitable rooms are rented out for an extended period by the resident owner/occupant to unrelated persons and communal facilities such as the kitchen, lounge, dining room and bathrooms are shared by the boarders.

In relation to a land unit means the cadastral line separating such land unit from another land unit or from a public street.

Builders Yard
Land and/or buildings which is used for the storage of material and equipment which:
i. Is normally required for or used for construction work and/or building operations;
ii. Resulting from demolition or excavation operations; or
iii. Is normally used for land improvements, such as materials used for building roads, installing essential services, or for any other construction work, whether for public or private purposes; and
iv. Land or buildings used for the preparation for use of any of the aforementioned materials; provided that it does not include any builder’s yard established for the purpose or temporary storing any of the aforementioned materials in connection with and for the duration of construction or building works in the vicinity of such builder’s yard, or the storage of building material supplies for a hardware shop contained within a building.

A structure erected on land, irrespective of the materials used inthe erection or construction thereof.

Building line
A line that is a fixed distance from the boundary of an erf or property abutting a public and/or private street or any other boundary of an erf or property or include a floodwater mark where indicated on the Zoning Maps, Schedule or Annexure.

Building Material Storage
Land and or buildings which is used for the storage/sale of material/equipment that relate to a hardware shop

Building Restriction Area
An area of an erf or portion of land on which no buildings may be erected, save as allowed in the Town Planning Scheme, and which is bounded on one side by a building line and / or street boundary or any other boundary of an erf or property, or which is subject to flooding as indicated by a flood water mark or designated by a floodline boundary.

Building Society
A Mutual Building Society as defined in Section 1 of the Mutual Building Societies Act, 1965 (Act 24 of 1965) and also includes automatic teller machines.

Business Purposes/Building
A property from which business is conducted and the related use of buildings including an office, restaurant, motor showroom, medical consulting rooms, domestic service industry, funeral parlour, call centers, warehouse, financial institution, dry cleaners, launderettes and building for similar uses not elsewhere defined as well as uses which are ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use such as a caretakers accommodation, but does not include a place of assembly, institution, public garage, industry, noxious trade or place of amusement.

The by-laws or regulations of the Municipality in force in the area.



Cadastral Line
A line representing the official boundary of a land unit or portion as registered in the Deeds Office.

Means a building or part of a building used for the preparation and sale of food and refreshments for the exclusive use of the employees and their guests or patrons of the building provided it is ancillary and subservient to the main use on the same property.

Call Centre
Means land and buildings used for a telephonic or other communication centre for rerouting telephonic or other calls by means of call operators.

Camping Site
Means land and buildings used for transient guests for the overnight accommodation of caravans, motor homes and tents and may include ablution facilities, caretaker’s flat, communal kitchen and ancillary and subservient shops and other related buildings.

A cantilevered or suspended roof, slab or covering (not being the floor or a balcony) projecting from the wall of a building and not being enclosed.

A building or part of a building used for providing food and liquid refreshments for the exclusive benefit of persons employed by an undertaking which owns and operates or controls such undertaking and includes the area for preparation of such foods and liquid refreshments. This use is an ancillary right on all non-residential Land Use Zones contained in this Town Planning Scheme but excludes a restaurant.

A vehicle which has been equipped or converted for living or sleeping purposes and which is towed.

Caravan Park
Land used for the parking of caravans for transient camping purposes


Car Sales Lot
Land, which is used mainly for the display and sale of motor vehicles, motor vehicle trailers, caravans and heavy-duty vehicles and may include ancillary offices, but excludes a scrap yard and a public garage.

A place, including land and/or buildings, used for burials, and such activities and which can include all uses ancillary such as a crematorium, chapel, funeral parlour, wall of remembrance and a convenience shop.

Child Care Centre
Land or buildings thereon used as a child care centre, including a day care centre, crèche, preschool, playgroup or after school care centre, for taking care of children according to compulsory educational standards and health requirements.

A place for the diagnosis and treatment of human illness or the improvement of human health, which has limited facilities and an emphasis on outpatients, with no overnight facilities. A clinic includes medical consulting rooms, outpatients’ center and a wellness center with associated uses.

Commencement Date
The date on which this Town Planning Scheme came into operation.

Commercial Purposes
A building and/or land designed for use or used for distribution centers, wholesale trade, warehouses, storage, computer centers, removal and transport services, laboratories, cash management centers, builders yards, coal yards, building material storage and all uses which are ancillary, directly related to or subservient to the main use such as a caretaker’s accommodation.

Common Boundary
In relation to land unit means a boundary common with the adjoining land unit other than a street boundary.

A dwelling house where the habitable rooms are rented out for an extended period to unrelated persons and who share the communal facilities such as the kitchen, lounge, dining room and bathrooms.

Community Body
A body, organization or institution of whatever nature that represents the interests of a community or segment of a community.

Permission granted by the Council, after due consideration of all relevant facts and after following a reasonable and lawful process, in terms of which a specific aspect of land management is permitted, in addition to the primary use rights applicable to the property concerned, i.e. Clauses 39 to 41.

Consent Use
The additional land use right that may be permitted in terms of the provision in a particular zone, only with the consent of the Council as contemplated in Clause 40.

The use or maintenance of land and/or buildings in terms of its natural, cultural, historical or built environmental significance, with the object of preserving the identified special characteristics. Such areas, which are to be identified by the Council from time-to-time or as determined through the National Heritage Act or National Environmental Management Act, can include but are not limited to water courses, wetlands and sensitive eco-systems, heritage sites, historical buildings or sites of cultural significance. These areas, erven or buildings need special management and maintenance in order to preserve the identified natural, historical or cultural characteristics.

Convenience Shop
A building, or portion of a building, restricted to the sale of convenience goods such as bread and confectionery, dairy products, fresh produce, beverages, canned foods, magazines and newspapers, at the discretion of the Council.

The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality as established under the provisions of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998, or its successors in title, or a structure or person exercising a delegated power or carrying out an instruction, where any power in this Scheme has been delegated or subdelegated, or an instruction given, as contemplated in section 59 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000.

The total area of land that may be covered by buildings, as seen vertically from the air measured from outer face of exterior walls, expressed as a percentage of the land area, and shall include all roofed areas; provided that the following portions of buildings shall be disregarded in the calculation of coverage:
i. Unroofed stoep, entrance steps and landing;
ii. Open balconies, retractable awnings;
iii. Cornices, chimneys, pergolas, water pipes, drain pipes and minor decorative features not projecting more than 500mm from the building wall;
iv. Eaves not projecting more than 1,0m from the wall of the building;
v. A canopy erected on the street frontage of a shop;
vi. Electrical high and low tension chambers;
vii. The area covered by open air swimming pools;
Basements are dealt with and are subject to the provisions of Clause 30 of this Scheme.



Calendar days.

The development of land, changes in the use of land or intensification of that use and includes any matter in relation to land for which a development application is required.

Domestic Service Industry
The repair and sale of spare parts for domestic equipment and appliances, garden services, including the repair and sale of spare parts for lawn-mowers, irrigation systems and swimming-pool equipment, property maintenance services and any other service that is ancillary to such a industry. Such uses shall fall under the auspices of business purposes.

Dwelling House
A detached self-contained inter-leading suite of rooms containing a kitchen with or without an ancillary scullery and the appropriate ablutions, used for the living accommodation and housing of one family, together with such outbuildings and subsidiary dwelling unit as is ordinarily permitted therewith, as long as the subsidiary dwelling unit comply with the process stipulated in the Town Planning Scheme in Use Zone “Residential 1”; provided that a second kitchen, which is to be used for religious purposes and which is physically connected with the first kitchen, may be provided to the satisfaction of the Council. An entertainment, reception and/or living area within a dwelling house or part of a reasonably required and ancillary outbuilding (See “Outbuilding” definition), may include a wash-up area used exclusively for that purpose.

Dwelling Unit
An interconnected suite of rooms, designed for human habitation that shall contain a kitchen with or without an ancillary scullery and with the appropriate ablutions; irrespective of whether the dwelling unit is a single building or forms part of a building containing 2 or more dwelling units; provided that a second kitchen, which is to be used for religious purposes and which is physically connected with the first kitchen, may be provided to the satisfaction of the Council.



The aggregate of surrounding objects, conditions and influences that affect the life and habits of humans or any other organism or collection of organisms.

Environmental Control Area
An area defined by the Council within which any development shall be subject to a development plan or any other requirement as determined by the Council.

Erection in Relation to a Building
In relation to a building or structures includes:
1. The building of a new building or structure;
2. The alteration, conversion or addition to, a building or structure;
3. The re-erection of a building or structure which has completely or partially been demolished.

A piece of land in an approved township, registered in the Deeds Registry as an erf, plot or stand or shown as such on a General Plan of a proclaimed township.

Executive Council
The Executive Council of the Gauteng Province, established under Section 132 of the Constitution.

Existing Building
A building erected in conformity with building plans approved by the Council and which is otherwise lawful and the erection of which was:
i. Completed on or before the fixed date;
ii. Begun before but completed after the fixed date; or
iii. Completed in accordance with the terms of any permission granted by the Council during the preparation and until the coming into operation of this Town Planning Scheme.

Existing Use
A use carried out or in operation on an erf or site that was permitted in terms of the previous town planning scheme but which is contrary to this Town Planning Scheme. It shall remain an existing use right for a period of 15 years from the date of commencement of this Town Planning Scheme, unless the said use is altered in any way or ceases to be carried out for a period of 12 months during the 15 years. Such existing use can be extended for a further 15 years, subject to the written consent of the Council.



A man and/or woman with or without their parents and with or without children of the said man or the woman or both, living together as one household. A family can also include orphaned children living together as a family under the custodianship of an adult.

Farm Portion
A portion of land which is not an erf, agricultural holding or road and which is registered as a separate unit in the Deeds Office. Such portion is land that has not been the subject of township establishment.

Fixed Date
This is the date that this scheme came into operation via a promulgation notice.

A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of land areas from the overflow of a body of water.

Flood Water Mark
The floodlines as contemplated in Section 169(1)(a) of the Water Act, No 54 of 1956 as amended from time-to-time.

Floor Area
The sum of the gross area covered by the building at the floor level of each storey, provided that the area reasonably required for the purposes detailed below may be excluded from the calculations of the floor area, which calculations shall be clearly indicated on the building plans. Floor area shall be measured from the outer face of the exterior walls or similar supports of such building, and where the building consists of more than one storey, the total floor space shall be the sum of the floor area of all the storeys, including that of basements. Areas that may be excluded from the calculation of floor area are:
i. Any area, including a basement, which is reserved solely for parking of vehicles and loading and off-loading areas;
ii. 10% of the total floor area shall be regarded as areas required for the cleaning, maintenance, care and proper mechanical and electrical functioning of the building.

Floor Area Ratio or FAR
The ratio obtained by dividing the floor area of a building or buildings by the total area of the erf or site upon which the building(s) are erected, thus:

FAR = 

Floor Area of a building or buildings
Total Area of the Erf or Site upon which The building(s) are erected

Funeral Parlour
Property where the deceased are prepared for burial or cremation and includes facilities for associated administrative and religious functions but does not include a crematorium.



A building for the parking of motor vehicles, and includes a carport but does not include a public garage or filling station.

General Plan
A cadastral plan of a township, which has been approved in terms of the Land Survey Act No 8 of 1997.

Ground Floor or Ground Storey
A floor at ground level or a floor having its entrance directly accessible from natural ground level by means of a ramp, stairway or similar structure, provided that:
i. Subject to (ii) below, the floor level of the ground floor shall at no point, extend more than 1,5 above the lowest natural level of the ground immediately contiguous to the building
ii. Any ground floor which has a floor level higher than the distance specified in (i) above shall, for the purpose of determining height, be considered part of two storeys incorporating both the ground floor and the next storey above, being the second storey. Refer to Clause 28 for further details.

Guest House
A converted dwelling house or dwelling unit whereby the resident family/person lets out individual rooms for temporary residential accommodation, with or without meals, with the proviso that all amenities and the provision of meals and beverages shall be for the sole benefit of bona fide guests and the resident family/person. The premises shall not be used for functions such as conferences, promotions and/or receptions.



Habitable Room
A room designed or used for human habitation in accordance with standards prescribed by the by-laws but excludes a storeroom. Any habitable room, either as itself along with ancillary uses or as part of a suite of habitable rooms shall be defined as a dwelling unit.

The vertical dimensions of the building from the natural ground level to the highest point of the building measured in meters or in number of storeys; provided that:
i. The height restriction which refers to storeys does not apply to roofs, domes, chimneys, flues, masts and antennae; and
ii. Elevator motor rooms, satellite dishes, ventilation shafts, water tanks, air conditioning plant and equipment on top of a building, shall be regarded as a storey, unless enclosed within the roof or hidden behind parapet walls, not exceeding 2,0 m in height, in which case it shall be counted as part of the top storey.

Land and buildings used and designed for landing and taking off of helicopters and may include a terminal for passengers. This use is permitted in all Use Zones other than “Residential 1, 2 and 3” with the consent of the Council.

Home Enterprise
Subject to the provisions of Clause 21, the practicing of a profession or occupation from a dwelling house/unit by one or more occupants of the dwelling house/unit; provided the dominant use of the dwelling house/unit concerned shall remain for the living accommodation of the permanent occupant/s of the dwelling house/unit, and the property complies with the requirements contained in this Town Planning Scheme.

A place for the diagnosis and treatment of human illness; with integrated facilities such as operating theatres and live-in accommodation for patients; and includes a clinic and medical consulting rooms.

A building used as a temporary residence for transient guests, where lodging and meals are provided, and may include:
i. A restaurant or restaurants;
ii. Associated meeting rooms, conference and entertainment facilities, recreational and service facilities that are subservient and ancillary to the dominant use of the property as a hotel; and
iii. Premises which are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the property; but does not include an off-sales facility.

House shop
Is defined as part of the dwelling house or attached outbuilding to the dwelling house, which provides a necessary local retail function to the community, supplying essential pre-packed and/or pre-wrapped items and/or foodstuff, excluding liquor and meat. A house shop is not a general business or retail function on a residential erf and the residential component remains the main use of the erf.



Industrial Purposes
The use of a building or land or part thereof as a factory and in which an article or part of such article is made, manufactured, produced, built, assembled, compiled, printed, ornamented, processed, treated, adapted, repaired, renovated, rebuilt, altered, painted (including spray painting), polished, finished, cleaned, dyed, washed, broken up, disassembled, sorted, packed, chilled, frozen or stored in cold storage; including offices, caretaker’s quarters or other uses which are subservient and ancillary to the use of the property as a factory; and includes a warehouse, the generation of electricity; the developing or processing of photographs, films or tapes; refuse disposal sites; and abattoir but does not include a noxious trade or risk activity.

Informal Trading
The legal selling of products in areas demarcated by the Council specifically for these purposes, such as markets and other demarcated areas, ensuring that each informal trader has a valid and applicable trading permit as determined by the by-laws.

A welfare or charitable facility such as home for the aged, indigent or handicapped; a hospital, clinic or nursing home, a sanatorium; or any other institution whether public or private and includes all uses ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use, but excludes primary office and administrative functions.

Interested Party
Any person or body who, in accordance with the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme and within any time period prescribed, has submitted in writing any objection, comment or representation in respect of any matter in this Town Planning Scheme providing for objections, comments or representations.



A room or part of a room equipped for preparing and/or cooking meals.



Land with or without improvements, including land covered with water. It can also mean erf, place, property, plot, lot, holding and/or farm portion.

The placement of plants, contoured features, water features, paving, street furniture and other soft and hard elements, for the purposes of enhancing aesthetic appeal, environmental management, amenity and value of a property.

Line of no Access
A line along any street, erf or site boundary or portion thereof prohibiting any vehicular access.

Loading Bay
An area which is clearly demarcated for loading and offloading of goods from commercial vehicles, and which has vehicular access to a public street to the satisfaction of the Council.

Local authority
Refer to the definition of “Council



Medical Consulting Rooms
A building designed for use or a building or land which is used for the following consulting practices associated with restoring or preserving health but excluding overnight or operating facilities:
Medical practitioner; dentist or dental hygienist; psychologist, optometrist; podiatrist; occupational, speech and dental therapist; physiotherapist; radiographer; audiologist; dietician; orthotist; medical orthotist; and prosthetist; veterinarian; chiropractor; homeopath; naturopath; osteopath and herbalist; Provided that where the Council adds to such list such additions shall also be deemed to be included in the above definition. This use falls under the ambit of business purposes unless separately defined.

An intermediate floor in a building. For the purposes of measuring height, a mezzanine shall be counted as a storey.

Mining Purposes
All land and associated buildings that were previously outside the bounds of a Town Planning Scheme and that have now been incorporated for management by the Council on which an enterprise is carried out which extracts raw materials from the earth, whether by means of surface or underground methods, and includes, but is not limited to, the removal of stone, sand, clay, kaolin, ores, minerals, gas and precious stones; and also includes the processing of such raw materials by means of crushing, cutting or polishing. Such land and/or buildings may include agricultural land and land owned by Mining Houses which have been deregulated.

Mobile Dwelling Unit
A factory assembled transportable structure, constructed in accordance with the requirements of the S.A.B.S. specification for Mobile Homes, with the necessary service connections, and designed as a permanent dwelling unit.

Motor Showrooms
The use of buildings or land for the display and sale of new and/or used motor vehicles and accessories, ancillary offices and workshops, all of which shall be within an enclosed building.

Motor Workshop and Services
The use of buildings or land for the repair, maintenance and servicing of motor vehicles including the installation of parts and accessories.

Refer to the definition of “Council

Municipal Purposes
Such purposes as the municipality may be authorized to carry out in terms of its powers and functions and shall include all municipal land uses as well as such uses as sewerage works and reservoirs and their related buildings.



National Building Regulations
The National Building Regulations made in terms of section 17 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act No.103 of 1977, as amended.

Natural Ground Level
The level of the land surface in its unmodified state as established from a contour plan.

Nature Reserve
A national park or environmental conservation area that has been declared as a nature reserve in terms of legislation, whether in public or private ownership, for the purpose of conserving and managing wild life, flora and fauna in their natural habitat; it includes conservation use but does not include tourist facilities or tourist accommodation. Refer to “Conservation” and “Public Open Space”.

The owner of the erf or site which is contiguous to the application erf or site, even though it may be separated by a road or panhandle, except if indicated differently by the Municipality.

Noxious Industry
An activity where any one or more of the following activities are carried out: Blood boiling; tallow melting; fat melting or extracting; soap boiling; bone boiling; tripe boiling or cleaning; skin storing; bone storing; fellmongering; skin curing; blood drying; gut scraping; leather dressing; tanning; glue making; size making; charcoal burning; brick burning; lime burning; manure making; manure storing; parchment making; malt making; yeast making; cement works; coke ovens; salt glazing; sintering of sulphur-bearing materials; viscose works; smelting of ores and minerals; calcining; puddling and rolling or iron and other metals; conversion of pig-iron into wrought iron; re-heating; annealing; hardening; forging; converting and carburizing iron and other metals; works for the production of or which employ carbon disulphide, cellulose lacquers, cyanogens or its compounds, hot pitch or bitumen, pulverized fuel, pyridine, liquid or gaseous sulphur dioxide, sulphur chlorides; works for the production of amyl acetate, aromatic esters, butyric acid, caramel enameled wire, glass, hexamine, iodoform, lampblack, B-naphthol, resin products, salicylic acid, sulphonated organic compounds, sulphur dyes, ultramarine, zinc chloride, zinc oxide; and all refining and works dealing with the processing or refining of petrol or oil or their products; Provided that where the Council adds to the list of noxious trades, such additions shall also be deemed to be included in the above definition and that all Health requirements are complied with.



Occupant or Occupier
Any person who physically inhabits or occupies a property.

Any property used for the conducting of an enterprise primarily concerned with administrative, clerical, financial or professional services, and includes medical consulting rooms and financial institutions.

A structure, whether attached or separate from the main building, which is ancillary and subservient to the main building on a land unit, and includes a building which is designed to be normally used for the garaging of motor vehicles, and any other normal activities in so far as these are usually and reasonably required in connection with the main building. In respect of a dwelling house / unit, notwithstanding the above, outbuildings may also include small store areas, garden sheds, external toilets and a domestic outbuilding which is defined as follows:
Accommodation for staff residing on the erf and exists in association with the dwelling house/unit. The extent of the domestic outbuilding shall be restricted to 20% of the built floor area of the dwelling house/unit or 50m², whichever is the lesser, provided that this restrictive requirement may be relaxed with the written consent of the Council.
The domestic outbuilding on a “Residential 1” Use Zone shall not be alienated, subdivided and/or sectionalized

The registered owner of the land which shall include the holder of a long term lease, or the holder of a land tenure right such as a permission to occupy certificate, deed of grant, leasehold or initial ownership, a designated executor, administrator, guardian or holding any other official capacity, any successor in title, a duly authorized agent.



Panhandle Erf
Any portion or erf created through subdivision or township establishment where access to such portion is gained by a part of the portion not narrower than 3m and not wider than 8m.

Parking Bay
An area measuring not less than 5,0m x 2,5m for perpendicular or angled parking and 6,0 m x 2,5 m for parallel parking, which is clearly outlined and demarcated for the parking of one motor vehicle and which is accessible to the satisfaction of the Council.

Parking Lot or Parking Garage
A place, excluding a road, street and on-site parking associated with a primary or consent use that is used for parking of motor vehicles by the public, with or without a fee, and may include parking within a building and any ancillary use, which could be in the form of a recycling facility and a caretaker’s accommodation. These uses fall under the ambit of the Parking Use Zone.

Pedestrian Mall
An area set aside such as a thoroughfare for pedestrians, for such vehicular activities as the Council may determine and for structures erected on, above or below it. This use falls under the ambit of Public or Private Street Land Use Zones.

Any unroofed horizontal or approximately horizontal grille or framework, such that the area in the horizontal projection of the solid portions thereof does not exceed 10% of the total area of the erf.

A facility with direct access from a freeway, inter city road or major transport route, which provides a range of rest, service and fueling facilities for motor vehicles, and includes emergency vehicle breakdown services.

Place of Amusement
Includes a building designed for use or a building or land which is used as a theatre, cinema, music hall, concert hall, billiards saloon, sports arena, skating rink, dance hall, casino, bingo halls, race courses, buildings for the purposes of exhibitions of trade or industry or other recreational purposes, amusement park, and also includes such uses as are ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use. It also includes discos, night clubs and places of live music entertainment or establishments where adult entertainment is provided.

Place of Assembly
A place which has a civic function to serve the social and community needs of an area, which may attract people in relatively large numbers and which is not predominantly a commercial enterprise; including a civic hall, concert hall, indoor sports center and club house, but does not include a place of entertainment or conference facility.

Place of Instruction
A place for education at pre-school, school or post school levels, including a crèche, nursery school, primary school, secondary school, college, technical institute, university, research institute, lecture hall; or a civic facility for the promotion of knowledge to the community such as a public library, public art gallery, museum; and associated uses such as boarding hostels, monastery, convent and all uses which are ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use.

Previous Scheme
A town planning scheme or similar provision that governed and controlled the use of land prior the promulgation of this Town Planning Scheme.

Primary Use
In relation to land or buildings means any use specified in this Town Planning Scheme as a primary use, being a use that is permitted without the need first to obtain the Council’s consent.

Private Open Space
Land zoned private open space, with or without access control and which can be used as a private ground for sports, play, rest and recreation, or as an ornamental garden; pleasure ground; golf course; or for buildings reasonably required in connection with such uses.

Private Parking Area
A building designed and used or land used for the provision of parking which is required or allowed in terms of the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme for another building or site or part thereof. Provided that on land zoned “Residential 1, 2, 3 or 4”, “private parking area” shall mean the use of the land and not a building.

Private Street
Land reserved for the passage or parking of motor vehicles and right-of-way, which is privately owned and does not vest in the Council or other public authority which is exclusive and ancillary to the adjoining use for obtaining access and can include access control facilities, including a guardhouse, boom or gate.

Land and all buildings and structures on a cadastrally demarcated and determined erf or site.

Public Garage
Land and building(s) used for gain or reward for any one of the following purposes:
i. Storage and retail selling of motor fuel and lubricants;
ii. All ancillary uses, including the parking and storing of motor vehicles; the sale of spare parts and accessories, car wash facilities; a convenience shop which does not exceed 30% of the total built floor area or 150m2, whichever is the lesser; a take-away or sitting down facility and automatic bank teller machines;
iii. Maintenance and repair of vehicles excluding panel beating and spray painting activities.

Public Nuisance
Any act, omission or condition which, in the Council’s opinion is offensive, injurious or dangerous to health, materially interferes with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public, or which adversely affects the safety of the public, having regard to:
i. The reasonableness of the activities in question in the area concerned, and the impacts which result from these activities; and
ii.    The ambient noise level of the area concerned

Public Open Space
Property which is under or will be under the ownership of the Council or other public authority, with or without access control, and which is set aside for the public as an open space for recreation, games, sport or cultural activity; including a park, playground, public square, picnic area, public garden, nature reserve, outdoor or indoor sports stadium, and includes associated buildings and uses as permitted by the Council, including restaurants, cafés, golf course, and any apparatus, facility, structure or building which in the opinion of the Council is necessary or expedient for the purposes of such open space.

Public Parking Area
A building used or land used, whether or not for gain or reward, for the provision of parking not related to the parking requirements or provisions of the scheme for another building or site or part thereof.

Public Road
Any road, street or thoroughfare shown on the General Plan of or township, Agricultural Holding or other division of land of which the public has acquired a right of way.



Recreation Resort
The use of land and/or buildings, due to their natural or human made attractions, for nature, natural beauty, water, socio-historical, cultural and/or sports and recreation activities. It may include swimming pools, water slides, braai facilities, camping, caravanning and wedding chapel. Such facilities can include temporary accommodation as well as uses ancillary to and subservient of such facilities, including restaurant, place of refreshment, conference and business-related activities and function facilities.

Religious Purposes
A church, synagogue, mosque, temple, oratory meeting house, chapel, cathedral or other place for practicing a faith or religion, and includes associated uses such as the official residence registered in the name of the said religious community, which is occupied by an office bearer of that community and who officiates at services held by the community, an ancillary office and place for religious instruction, but does not include a funeral parlour, cemetery or crematorium.

Residential Building
A building on an erf or site, excluding a dwelling house and/or dwelling unit, that contains habitable rooms, with or without common ablution-, kitchen-, dining- and/or lounge facilities. Such definition includes but is not restricted to hostels, hotels, dormitories, communes, boarding houses, guest houses (excluding converted dwelling houses and/or dwelling units), bed and breakfast and old age homes that may or may not include ancillary frail care facilities.

A building designed for use or building or land that is used for the service and consumption on the site of food or liquid refreshments for the general public excluding a canteen and place of amusement.



Scrap Yard
A building or land which is utilized for one or more of the following purposes:
i. Storing, depositing or collecting of junk or scrap material or articles the value of which depends mainly or entirely on the material used in the manufacture thereof;
ii. The dismantling or storage of scrap metals, second hand vehicles or machines to recover components or material; and
iii. The storing or sale of second hand parts, poles, steel, wire, lumber yards, tyres, bricks, containers or other articles which are suitable to be left in the open without any serious damage being incurred

Second Storey
The storey above the ground floor

Property used for the retail sale and accompanying storage of goods and services to the public, including a retail concern where goods which are sold in such a concern are manufactured or repaired; provided that the floor space relating to such manufacture or repair shall not comprise more than 20% of the floor space of the shop; “shop” does not include an industry, service trade, public garage or restaurant.

In relation to a building, includes the area of any building, yard, court or garden and in relation to either land or a building, may include more than one erf or portion of land, if such erven or portions of land are abutting and have been notarially tied to the satisfaction of the Council.

Social Hall
A building designed for use or buildings or land used for social meetings, gatherings and recreation, and includes a Masonic temple but does not include a place of amusement.

Spaza Shop See “House Shop

Special Building
A building designed or used for any use other than one of the uses for which the buildings herein defined are designed or used. A special building should be seen as the exception rather than the rule, an example of which could be a greenhouse.

Special Development Zone
A clearly defined area according to the cadastre that the Council has delineated for focused planning and development intervention and investment. A Special Development Zone (SDZ) will have a specific urban management focus that can include environment, transportation, urban renewal, housing and economic development related focuses. Such Special Development Zones can be added to, amended or removed in terms of Council resolution and official publication. A Special Development Zone will be indicated in terms of an Annexure.

Sport and Recreation Club
A privately owned facility that is utilized for both passive and/or active recreation by the owners and patrons of such facility. This can include a private golf course, health and fitness centre, social hall or private gardens. This however excludes any retail functions or business related activities.

That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the next floor above, or if there is no floor above the ceiling, provided that:
i. A basement does not constitute a storey;
ii. A roof, or dome which forms part of a roof, shall not constitute a separate storey unless the space within the roof or dome is designed for, or used for, human occupation, in which case it is counted as a storey; and
iii. The maximum height of the ground storey shall not exceed 6,0 meters and every additional 4,5 meters in height or portion thereof, shall be counted as an additional storey.
iv. The maximum height of any other storey shall not exceed 4,5 meters and every additional 4,5 meters in height or part thereof shall be counted as an additional storey.
v. The height limitations are indicated in Table 4

As out lined in Clause (25) and in terms of Section 92 of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, 1986 (Ordinance 15 of ’86)

Surveyor General
The Surveyor General as defined in Section 8 of the Land Survey Act, No 8 of 1997 or any amendments thereof.

Systems Act
The Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) or any amendments thereof.



Tavern or Shebeen
A residential building or dwelling unit or part thereof constructed, designed or adapted for use for social gatherings and for the consumption of liquor on the premises and may include the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages and the preparation and consumption of food, but shall not include the sale of any of the aforesaid items for consumption off the premises, provided that the dominant use shall remain residential for the occupant of the said dwelling and subject to the compliance of health and safety by-laws.

As defined in the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, or any subsequent legislation.

Transitional Residential Settlement Area
Defined land upon which informal settlements are established by the occupation of land and provision of residential accommodation in the form of self help structures and some ancillary non-residential uses and regulated by the applicable Annexure.

Transport Facilities
A transport undertaking based on the provision of a transport service and includes a public private undertaking such as an airport or aerodrome, helistop and heliport; railway purposes, stations and related facilities; bus depot, termini and related facilities; metered and minibus taxi rank and related facilities; intermodal transfer site; and associated ancillary purposes including convenience shops, ancillary offices, customs, restaurants, security and police functions, medical facilities.



Urban Agriculture
The cultivation of crops and rearing of small numbers of livestock, on relatively small areas within the city, for own consumption or sale in neighbouring markets.

Use Zone
That part of the Town Planning Scheme, which has been shown on the zoning map by means of a specific notation or bordering or any other distinguishing manner, in order to identify the permitted use of the land.



A building used primarily for the storage of goods, except those that are offensive or dangerous, and includes property used for business of a predominantly wholesale nature.

Wall of Remembrance
A structure where containers with the ashes of the deceased are inserted in openings or niches in the structure and thereafter sealed and/or on which appropriate commemorative plaques can be attached. Such uses are part of a cemetery.

Land and/or a building used primarily for the distribution of goods to retailers.

Land used or a building designed or used for the purposes of retail or services regarding goods that are wholly or partially manufactured, processed, mounted or repaired on the property and in each case a building that is not described as a factory under the Factories, Machinery and Building Works Act of 1941 or any amendments thereof.

Written Consent
A consent applied for in writing and does not involve the procedures as set out in clauses 39 and 40



When used as a noun, means a category of directions regulating the development of land and setting out the purposes for which the land may be used and the land use or development rules applicable in respect of the said category of directions, as determined by this Town Planning Scheme.

Zoning Map
Means an approved map or maps (A and B series) showing the erven within the Council’s area of jurisdiction and applicable use/density zoning.

May 012013

Temporary Buildings Must be Authorized
by the Local Authority 

Builders Shed 588 s Temporary Buildings

Even though builder’s sheds are temporary structures, they are not defined as “temporary buildings” in the National Building Regulations

temporary adj lasting only for a short time”

People often talk about temporary buildings in terms of structures that can be erected quickly and without plans. Some people go so far as to opt for what is advertised as a “temporary building” because they think it will provide a cheap, quick and easy solution to the need for additional space – either at home or at work. But if you want to erect a temporary building, first of all you need permission to do so, and secondly, you will have to demolish or dismantle it within the time frame that is deemed to be “temporary” for that particular structure.

While the National Building Regulations (NBR) do allow for “temporary buildings”, they are very specific in terms of requirements and permissions. These requirements are incorporated in SANS 10400-A: 2010 General principles and requirements.

The National Building Regulations are not intended to be restrictive, or to make it difficult for people to build. The regulations are also not intended to be a handbook on good building practice. Rather, they have been carefully compiled by experts in the construction industry to ensure that our homes, offices, hospitals, shops and other buildings are safe and hygienic. This applies not only to permanent structures but to temporary buildings as well.

What the term “temporary building” means

Each part of SANS 10400 The application of the National Building Regulations has a list of definitions at the start, that relate specifically to that particular part – this is in addition to the glossary that appears in the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act.

In Part A, the term temporary building is defined as: ”any building that is so declared by the owner and that is being used or is to be used for a specified purpose for a specified limited period of time, but does not include a builder’’s shed“.

The fact that it states that an owner has the right or ability to declare a structure a temporary building doesn’t mean that property owners may simply erect them without permission from the local authority.

Even though builder’s sheds are in fact temporary structures, they are so common they are dealt with separately, in Part F: Site operations.

Permission Required to Erect a Temporary Structure

The erection of all buildings and structures are subject to the provisions of a number of laws, not only the building regulations. However plans and permissions are handled by each local authority (municipality, council or city) in terms of the NBR.

Minor building work does not require plans, but even this must comply with any NBR that are specified as a condition of the authorization that is granted by the building control officer.

When it comes to temporary buildings, before the local authority can grant “provisional authorization” in terms of Regulation A23, they must assess the building in relation to:

(i) the intended use and life of the building;

(ii) the area in which it is to be erected; and

(iii) the availability of suitable materials from which it may be constructed.

What Temporary Buildings Might be Used for

The legislation does not specify what temporary buildings might be used for. The declaration of “intended use” is up to the property owner. However SANS 10400-A does mention a few possibilities. These include:

  • stalls and structures that may be erected as part of an exhibition
  • structures that are to be used for “experimental, demonstration, testing or assessment purposes”

Plans Required for Temporary Buildings

The plans and particulars required for temporary buildings are detailed in Regulation A23 of SANS 10400-A. This regulation is titled Temporary Buildings.

When the local authority receives an application to erect a building that the owner (or applicant) has declared to be a “temporary building”, the local authority is permitted to “grant provisional authorization” for the applicant to go ahead and erect the building provided any conditions or directions are complied with.

While plans as such are not required, the local authority has the right to ask for:

  • a statement that specifies how long the authorization is required (in other words how long the temporary building will be needed)
  • a site plan – this of course would be a plan of the whole property showing any existing structures as well as the exact area where the temporary building will be located
  • layout drawings that give enough information to enable the local authority to determine the general size and form of the structure, as well as the materials that will be used to construct it
  • any other structural details that the local authority needs to be sure that the proposed temporary building will be structurally safe

If the local authority gives permission for the erection of a temporary building, it will be for a limited period of time – and this will be stated on the authorization document. 

There is a clause in this part that gives owners the right to apply for one or more extensions of this initial period of time. However they must submit any additional plans and details that may be required no later than the last day specified on the authorization document. In addition, the owner must submit an affidavit that states that the building has been erected in accordance with the plans and details mentioned above (if these were required by the local authority).

If members of the public are going to have access to the temporary building, each and every request must include a certificate that is signed by an approved competent person that indicates that the structure is safe.

If the local authority requires additional plans and details and these are not submitted, or if the local authority does not approved the temporary building, then the owner will have to either remove or demolish the structure.

Normally, if a building has been – or is being – erected without prior approval by the local authority, the local authority may serve a notice on the owner demanding that approval, in writing, is obtained by a specific date. They do not have to serve such a notice if the building is “temporary”.

Temporary Builder’s Sheds

Anyone performing work that is connected with erecting or demolishing a building is permitted to erect a temporary builder’s shed or sheds.

Part F of SANS 10400 states that both the construction and location of these sheds must be in keeping with the requirements of the local authority and they must be properly maintained. Further, they may only be used for a purpose that is directly connected to the building or demolition operation.

If builder’s sheds are not built, located or maintained properly as required, the local authority has the right to demand that the owner or person responsible, moves, rebuilds or repairs the shed within a specified time period. If it is being used for another purpose not connected with the building operation, they can demand that this “unpermitted use” stops immediately.

While builder’s sheds are not intended for habitation, the building regulations do state that security personnel who are employed on the site may be accommodated in builder’s sheds, “subject to such requirements and conditions as may be necessary for the safeguarding of public health and the health of such personnel and for avoiding nuisance or inconvenience to persons in the vicinity of such building”.

Once building and/or demolition work is complete, the shed or sheds must be removed from the site.