Download Regulations

After many years of allowing visitors to their website to download “out-of-date” regulations, the SABS changed its policy. Even though these were out of date, they contained the basic information homeowners need to know. And since most find it is too costly to pay for SANS, we directed our visitors to the old regs and to the SABS website in an endeavour to help them NOT break the law! We were forced to prevent public access to this information after the SABS put us to terms. If you want to read any of the regulations without being forced to buy them, your best bet is to visit the nearest SABS office that has a library open to the public.



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Is This Electric Fence Legal and Compliant?

Can you spot the electric fence violations in this picture? We spotted this electric fence …


  1. Under what section would I find guidelines for building washbays

  2. I’m afraid there is no simple answer to your question. The NBR are organized according to building elements e.g. foundations, walls etc… and if any of these is included in your washbay structure, it will apply. You aren’t going to find a section dedicated to “building washbays”. There are also tables that classify “structures” according to occupancy and population. e.g. a parking garage for storing or parking more than 10 motor vehicles is classed J4 (if that’s where your washbay is) – and at various times in the regs, reference will be made to class of occupancy – to differentiate. If your washbay is on a “low risk industrial” site, then it will be classed D3 and the requirements may be different. If your washbay is on your property, next to your garage perhaps, then it will be classed H3 (I think).

  3. Dear Penny

    We live in a townhouse. With permission of owner we enclosed our braai area, using wooden frames with glass. Using same material, a slidding door on one side. Now, two years later we were issued with a letter from the body corporate saying we erected an illegal structure and need to submit plans for this. The roof, floor and electrical wiring was all in place, we only added the frames with glass. No bricks or sement was used, it basiccally clips on. What is your thoughts on this?

  4. Oh, and under which section would I find regulations/guidelines for this?

  5. Lizette, you need to ask the owner of the property what the townhouse rules and regs are. The body corporate will probably be acting on internal rules and not the National Building Regulations. Enclosing a patio with a sliding door will – I am certain – fall under minor building work. Have a look at this link; it explains this very clearly. Also HERE (scroll to the end of the treehouse article.
    Alternatively ask the body corporate representative what they are basing their objection on. Minor building work DOES NOT require plans.

  6. Part A: General Principles and Requirements of the National Building Regulations.

  7. hi Lizette,
    Penny is right that falls under minor building works but still what people don’t know is that even thou one need not to submit plans for structures under minor building works, they still need to do a sketch site plan accompanied by a letter informing the council of what is going to happen so that they can monitor for Encroachments & potential damage to service.

  8. Maphisa Jonas

    I have registered with sacap, for guidance and protection of my work as a draught person, as I am writing you this comment, I am faced up with a chalenge of our local manucipality personnel whom I believe is practicing conflict of interest, he keeps on changing the regulations as he sees it fit; 1. All drawing plans must be computer drawn since last year 2012 November; 2. The dimensions on a normal residential dwelling toilet excluding the bathroom must be 1000mm x 2000mm irrespect of the space and coverage per site dimensions and many other changes like garage dimensions which, I request him to avail the copy of ammended Building Regulations SA, he does not have it because if he has it he could have provided me with by now. Now is it legally correct for this personel to change the regulations like he is doing and not provide us with the source of this Building Regulation changes. Kindly help?

  9. Maphisa, the local municipality is not permitted to alter the regulations. The National Building Regulations and National Standards Act was changed in 2008, and since that date, the SABS has progressively released the new guidelines on how these can be “satisfied”. Part A: General Principles and Requirements, which is the part that deals with plans, was released in November 2011. I wasn’t aware that drawings had to be done on computer at all. I’ll check for you as soon as I get a chance.
    Since you are registered with SACAP, why don;t you ask them for clarity? Certainly the NBR guidelines for plans didn’t change in November last year, but there might have been something that the local authority changed in terms of requirements. That is perfectly legal. The same applies to dimensions of a toilet. The law doesn’t specify a size; I need to check whether the SANS do. These were released early on, in October 2010.
    The local authority is not obliged to supply you with a copy of the NBR. The SABS SELLS these; but you can access them at an SABS library at no cost – i.e. you can read through them there.
    So to answer your question:
    The local authority cannot change the NBR, but they can change their own requirements. You can source the NBR at the nearest SABS library. You can demand a copy of the local authority requirements. That they are obliged to give you.
    I hope this helps.

  10. Hi,

    Is there any code and/or specification regarding to sectional title parking bay allocation requirement? I’m under the impression that parking bays are allocated depending on the relative living space between different apartment. How does the building regulation defines “living space”?

  11. graham walker

    please advise me on the following problem. are windows considered as part of the structure of the building. i live in a block of flats and the wooden window frames are rotten. the directors of the flat have decided that it is not the flats problem and that the owner of the flat is responsible for the replacement. i maintain that the windows are part of the building and that as the responsiblity of the flats. who is correct ? and where do i find proof as to who is correct. thanx

  12. Graham, the owner of the apartment (specific flat) is responsible for the maintenance of the unit he/she owns. Only the public areas will be the responsibility of the principals. Any variance would be recorded as part of the deed of sale. So if you own the apartment you will have to replace the window; if you are renting, it is the landlord’s responsibility – unless there is a clause in the lease agreement that state’s that the tenant is responsible for maintenance (which would be very unusual).

  13. The association of my complex wants me to bring down a car shade which I erected because I did not get their permission nor that of the city. I was not aware that I needed this. Is there anyway I can prevent them from bringing down the structure while I get the approvals?

  14. In terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, construction of any “open-sided car, caravan or boat shelters or carports that do not exceed 40 square metres in size” is regarded as minor building work (click on the link to read more) which does not require plans. You are though expected to notify the City of your intention to erect such a structure. When it comes to complexes, they have their own sets of rules and regulations. Are they wanting you to get approval from them or the City? Unless the structure is larger than 40 sq m it seems rather extreme to force you to dismantle it.

  15. What legislature documents can I look at that will cover law on height restrictions and view?

  16. Height restrictions are normally covered in local authority by-laws – e.g. The City of Cape Town has a new zoning by-law and in this there are maximum height requirements. Unfortunately when it comes to view, it is only complexes that have requirements/restrictions.

  17. Jason, as far as I know this is governed by by-laws rather than the Building Regulations. So contact your local authority for information.

  18. Taureeq Waggie

    What is the required size in square metres for a school hall to take 400 persons seated.

  19. The Act states that: “The occupancy of any building shall be classified and designated according to the appropriate occupancy class given in column 1 of table 1 and such classification shall reflect the primary function of such building: Provided that, in any building divided into two or more areas not having the same primary function, the occupancy of each such area shall be separately classified.”
    So I presume that a school hall will be classified as an A1 building – for entertainment and public assembly “where persons gather to eat, drink, dance or participate in other recreation” – rather than A3, a place of instruction where school children, students or other persons assemble for the purpose of tuition or learning; though the school itself will be classified A3. If I am right then if the seats are fixed, the size of the 400 seats will determine the size; otherwise you require one square metre per person. “Number of fixed seats or 1 person per m2 if there are no fixed seats” is what it actually says. An A3 building requires five square metres per person. I assume though that this would be where they are actually taught – i.e. the areas will be classified differently.

  20. Francois Graaff

    Would you kindly advise what is the minimum number of sanitation facilities required for a factory?
    I remember that the old Mine Works and Regulations Act covered this as one facility for the first 10, then two for the first 25, and so on. This act was repealed, and ever since I could not find a direct answer.
    I am sure that the Building Regulations should cover this?
    Many thanks.

  21. Francois, Part A of 10400 classifies the occupancy types of different buildings. I am not sure which type your factory would be. Very little has changed from the previous regs, so have a look at pages 34 and 35 in THIS DOCUMENT. I think the only changes are the E4 Health Care and H5 Hospitality have been added. But that shouldn’t affect you. On pages 124-127 of this same document (Part P Drainage) there are a number of tables that state the requirements. There are some minor changes, but they are essentially the same. If you want to be 100% sure then you can access Part P at an SABS library. Each part of SANS 10400 is now available separately, rather than in one document as it was in 1990.

  22. Francois Graaff

    Many thanks for the effective service!

  23. Dear Penny,

    if I build a house, is the builder responsible to pay for my water and electrical connection or am I as home owner responsible?

    Thank you

  24. Mary-ann – you, the home owner are responsible for these payment.

  25. hi I’m studying architectural draughting. I hv an assessment can u plz send me steel window standard measurements

  26. Joseph, your best bet is to contact one of the many companies that manufacture steel windows. The building regulations do not specify this, and hundreds of different sizes are available. There is no SABS standard that I know of the specifies sizes either.

  27. Wat is dit spesifikasies waaraan ‘n ontwikkelaar moet voldoen om n begraafplaas te ontwikkel? Ons bure wil n begrafplaas ontwikkel in n landbou gesoeneerde gebied. Kan umy asb help?

  28. Ada this does not fall under the National Building Regulations. It will be a zoning issue – and this is part of the local authority by-laws. Contact your local municipality or council for advice.

  29. Hi, what is the specifications for damp proofing? I have a property where the damp seal / damp proofing ( the section where the foundation stops and the house start, if you understand what I mean). I have a property where on some part of the house the damp proofing is on the ground. I have problem in the house that some sections smell of mildew, which worsens in the rainfall season. If this is a problem, what can be done and will the NHBRC cover this? the property is not yet 5 years old.

  30. Hi, what is the regulation on occupancy – i.e. the number of people allowed to stay in a house / flat? When does it become overcrowding?

  31. Hi there I’m currently building in glenashley Durban, I would like to know what the specifications regarding the maximum height from floor to roof apex should be? That is the total height of the building. I’ve searched on the sabs document but cannot find it, please help. Thanks

  32. There is some information in Part C, Dimensions. City by-laws govern maximum heights. Here’s a link to the City of Durban (eThekwini Municipality) building bylaws – though I can’t see anything here. Roofs are covered to some extent in the City’s town planning document.
    However, at the end of the day you should be building according to approved plans, and the maximum height should be on those plans.

  33. Karien, Minimum specifications in terms of the floor area allowed for a certain number of people using a room or building at any one time are in Part C, Dimensions of SANS 10400. Have a look at the link (specifically see under Floor Areas for Buildings). This should answer your question.

  34. Hi CPK,
    My first thought with the limited information that you have given is that the external ground has been backfilled too high against the external walls (above the damp-proof course) and this needs to be excavated away. If this is not the case then it does sound as if there cound be a structural defect and you would be covered by the NHBRC warranty (5 years for structural defects). The process is to put the builder to terms, and once that prescribed time frame has passed then you can contact the NHBRC. You can also call in an independant assessor to give you a report before you contact them just to make sure. The NHBRC has a toll free number: 0800 200 824.

  35. Can you possibly advise where information can be found if there is in fact legislation in place requiring a stopper to be included in an electric gate installation as safety to prevent the gate from coming off the rail and injuring persons?

  36. Lize if there is anything, you will probably find it in the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 2011. YOu can download the regulations from the page where we have published an article about electric fencing.

  37. Hi, I am busy building a small apartment, with an open loft room. I originally planned a type of balustrade with a horizontal design of sortof metal ‘wire’ if I can call it that. The builder advised me not to use the ‘wire’ – it rusts too quickly at the coast. However, with the balustrade now installed, it is a vertical design of closely spaced stainless steel. When I said that this is far from the original design, the builder and the company who did the balustrade informed me that this is apparently a health and safety regulation, as I understand dating to 2012 and pertaining to child safety. You are apparently not allowed to build ‘stairs’ on these balustrades as all have to comply with ‘child-proofing’ a house or you won’t get an occupancy certificate. Is this the case? Are you able to refer me to this regulation prescribing ‘childproofing’ a house / minimum balustrade requirements.

    Sincerest appreciation in advance…


  38. Karen, Balustrades are covered in Part M of SANS 10400, Stairways. In addition to what you find on that page on this site, SANS 10400-M: 2011 states:
    “any wall, screen, railing or balustrade to such stairway is in accordance with the requirements of either SANS 10400-B or SANS 10400-K and SANS 10400-T.”
    “The headroom at any point on any stairway shall be not less than 2,1 m, measured vertically from the pitch line, and the width of any stairway, measured to any enclosing wall or balustrade, shall be not less than 750 mm (see figure 1).” Fig. 1 is the drawing on our page about stairs that is captioned: Minimum headroom allowed on stairways.
    Handrails must be “securely fixed to such wall, screen, railing or balustrade at a height of not less than 850 mm and not more than 1 m measured vertically from the pitch line to the upper surface of the handrail”.
    Part B covers Structural design, and unfortunately I don’t have access to a copy of this at this point in time. But you can check it by going to an SABS library.
    Part K covers Walls – and only deals with solid balustrade walls.
    Part T covers Fire protection – not balustrades.
    So it’s not really “child-proofing” but rather a safe design feature.
    But I am a little puzzled. What type of stainless steel have they installed? e.g. Round bar? Many people use stainless steel wire for this type of balustrade (similar to what is often used on yachts). And are you saying that they did what they did to comply? Or are you saying that they have created a “stair”-like balustrade that a child could climb?

  39. Hi Penny, & thanks.

    Basics about the stairway leading to the upper loft etc all seems to be in place according to requirements – no balustrade at the staircase, there’s walls so only a handrail. My question would, I assume, then be specifically about structural design about the balustrade leading from the staircase along the side of the loft room. The original design was, yes round bar based, with horizontal wire ‘beams’ – a design you actually see quite often (with required heights, fixed to the walls etc. etc.). The builder then commented on the fact that he prefers not to use the wire at the coast, because of rust. And then in short to replace the wire with a thin stainless steal round bar – providing still for a design very similar to my original idea, an essentially horizontally oriented design. After they installed the balustrade I went back to the house. It is now a balustrade with fairly thick approximate 20mm in diameter round steel bars vertically spaced approximately 10cm apart. A design for me which is just totally different from what was in the original specs or what I assumed I would have based on our discussion of replacing the wire with steel These balustrade designs, basically horizontally oriented in design where there is horizontal steel bars instead of wire is also quite common and according to me quite stylish. But now I have this massive construction of closely spaced thick vertical bar – to me it looks like a kind of ‘shimmering Alcatraz’. I went with him to the company who does the steelwork and him and the girl there said to me that I cannot have the design I originally wanted with just the wire replaced by thin steel bars because this is against Building Regulations. Because of the horizontal position of the steel bars they will be building ‘stairs’ into the balustrade – this is what they referred to as the Regulation of 2012 that requires all balustrades to be ‘child proof’. You apparently have to have this specific vertical design of steel bars otherwise it won’t pass inspection for purposes of an occupancy certificate. (PS: I don’t have children). So this is what I want to know – is it a Regulated requirement to have vertical steel bars in balustrades? And is it against the Regulations to have a balustrade with thin horizontal steel bars spaced approximately 15cm apart?

  40. mark walters


    I am involved with a large Department of Public Works project and there is confusion amongst the professional team of where the responsibilities of the various consulting Engineers begin and end. I am specifically referring to the fire and domestic water supply in the ground external to the buildings. My understanding is that all infrastructure in the ground and external to the buildings is a Civil Engineering responsibility. Is there a guide that specifically defines the responsibility limits between the various Engineers?

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    Mark Walters

  41. Mark I assume that this would normally be defined in the job – so when the Dept of Public Works appointed engineers for the job they should have been given a clear mandate in terms of their individual responsibilities. Somebody at ECSA may be able to give you generic information in terms of definitions. In terms of water supply itself, this is the responsibility of the qualified, registered plumber/s appointed to the job; and this person would presumably work with whoever designed the system. Of course not including council land/water supply.

  42. Hi Penny,

    Thanks for your response. Nope not able to get the Regulation they refer to from them – just an extract from an Australian website similar to yours. Must admit your website and responses are extremely helpful, informative and down to the point – much appreciated!



  43. We did some phoning Karen, and the most helpful comment was not helpful at all! viz that those balustrades are “illegal” – came from the marketing person at one of the company’s that make them! I also found the Aussie site – If you look at Part A of the NBR you will see that the people who put our regs together do cross ref some of the Oz regs. Not sure what to suggest, other than say I doubt I would accept a design that I didn’t want and don’t like. Maybe you should go to the planning dept at your council and ask to see the town planner – and ask whether what you want will be acceptable – after all they are the ones who will accept or reject at the end of the day.

  44. hi penny
    i submiited a plan for approval, and eventually it did not get passed. eventually with all the back and forth with the council, the plan got lappsed.
    i tried to get the file to resubmit, and the council plans department caanot find the file.
    i was told to redo the drawings and resubmit and also repay all the neccessary fees.
    please assist me …..what to i do now ?

  45. Hi Penny.
    We have just completed a house with a 300 litre heat pump/geyser and a ring main. We specified the use of lagged PEX piping for the ring main which we assumed would be installed in the roof space. The ring main was actually installed in the first floor slab. We suspect the plumber has (a) used copper and (b) not lagged it. The result is huge temperature losses in the water as it travels around the ring main meaning that the last bathroom in the ring main can produce at best a tepid shower. Also, with the circulation pump working the heat pump cannot keep up with the loss of temperature in the returning water. Before we start arguing with the plumber I would like to know what the regulations are concerning the installation of ring mains in concrete slabs (specifically with regard to materials and lagging). I hope you can help.
    Regards, Harald

  46. Harald this is not contained in the NBR – there are a number of other SANS that deal with plumbing. I suggest you contact the Institute of Plumbing IOPSA and ask their advice. Here is a link to their web site – their contact details are on the Home page.

  47. Hi Nashid,
    This is a huge problem in Johannesburg. As you can see from this story ( they were supposed to appoint an Ombudsman in March2013. Cape Town has a tracking number that they give to all plans and you know where they are at ANY time. This is horrendous and bordering on criminal. I would contact the City Managers office and complain to him, his name is Mr Trevor Fowler. You can quote the THE PROMOTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE ACT, 2000 (ACT 3 OF 2000) (PAJA) where public servants BY LAW have to take responsibility for their poor performance and must rectify any damage or loss suffered by their actions against any member of the public. Otherwise you will have to approach an attorney. Unfortunately the Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG) closed in January and as volunteers they would have taken on your case. Keep fighting for your rights.

  48. Good Morning

    We live in the Eastern Cape near Addo and want to convert an old milk shed into a coffee shop. What regulations would govern this? Do we need to submit building plans? Also, how many toilets would be required (it will be a 25-30 seater coffee shop). Could we have one unisex (with handicap access) instead of a male and female, as we are restricted with size. Also, where will I find guidelines on how to best do the kitchen facilities? – We do not intend to serve alcohol at all.

    Thank you

  49. Tanya you will need permission and licenses from the local authority and you will need plans from the local authority, These must be drawn up by a competent person who will have all the answers to your questions. Part A of SANS 10400 – General Requirements – specifies the number of toilets required. Have a look at the Q (comments) and answers on that page – I have answered similar questions many times.
    “Handicap access” is a separate issue, and this is dealt with in Part S, Facilities for disabled persons.
    Issues like kitchen facilities do not fall under the National Building Regulations and Standards Act. You need someone who is qualified in kitchen design to help you.
    This project is not something you can do on a DIY basis.

  50. GOOD DAY,




  51. Anzebet, a toboggan is a “narrow sledge for sliding over snow” and not something that could be adapted to incorporate restaurants, toilets etc. I have no idea what you are talking about. Contact your local authority for assistance.

  52. A Toboggan is a bobsled run….above ground. There is already one in Cape Town. It wil be akin to a Theme Park…bob sledding, with restaurants etc.

  53. Anzebet a toboggan is what you use on a toboggan track. You would then have such a track at a theme park or whatever. A toboggan is NOT a bobsled run above, below or on the ground! It is what you use on … You will need to consult a competent person – probably an engineer – for advice. This is not covered in the building regulations.

  54. Manfred Petruttis

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am working as Building Instructor in a Vocational Training Centre in Namibia and would be grateful to receive Building Standards and latest developments in the field of building construction to enhance the Quality of our Training delivery.


    Manfred Petruttis

  55. Manfred, the National Building regulations and Standards Act is available for download on this site, HERE.
    The only place you will find the latest SANS is at the SABS.

  56. Hi,

    We are looking into maybe building a granny flat type building in the back of our yard.

    I’ve seen that something like that needs to be linked to the main house. Is that true? Since where we want to build it, isn’t close to the house?

    Can we link it with a porch to the garage that’s to the side of the proposed new building?

    Thanks in advance

  57. Kevin you don’t necessarily have to link it to the house, unless of course the local authority won’t approve plans for a second dwelling on the property. I suggest you ask them before you have plans drawn up by a competent person.

  58. Hi,

    I am looking for vacant property in midrand or randburg to erect a funeral parlour.

    How can I find out if the land area is zoned for funerals parlours or not?

  59. Ask your local authority.

  60. In an office building or factory, can the emergency exit door be locked if there is a mechanism for opening it in the event of an emergency?

  61. Hi Cathy, An emergency exit is just that—an emergency exit—and cannot be locked at any time. If you have a mechanism that prevents unauthorised entrance and allows free exit in an emergency then that is the way it is supposed to operate.

  62. Can anyone help with what are the building regulations with building a wooden home? Like the Americans do… Its 13m x 8m.
    Do we have to have plans? any sort of certificates?
    Please need some urgent advice or help on this topic.


  63. Hi Candice, All the rules are exactly the same as those that apply to a brick and mortar house. You need plans done by a “competent person” and they must be submitted to the council in the normal way. Then you will have to declare a “competent person” who will oversee the build. Some timber frame house builders have plans that they include with the house when you get them to supply and erect the house, but these will need to be adapted according to your site, and site plans will need to be included. If it is a new house then you will also have to register the house with the NHBRC and pay the required fees (or apply for a exemption if you are owner building). By law this has to be done with all new homes. This is briefly the process for a timber frame house. Please feel free to ask more questions anytime.

  64. Hi Guys,
    We are a prefab house company in China. My client asked me to make school design. Our house’s life span is over 50 years, is made by our foam cement board, wall panel thickness is 90mm-140mm, it’s totally fireproof, waterproof, and can resist 150km/hour wind and 8-9 grade earthquake. So can you tell me if we do the project, our house is qualified or should make some test.
    Thanks for your kind reply
    Henry Zhang

  65. How many houses can I build on 2 ha of agricultural land without subdividing the property and doing town planning? I heard a rumor that there is a way to have a maximum of 7 households and this is enough to start our eco-community. Local government is impossible to reach, Madibeng, and I can’t find anything online. Any advice please!?!

  66. jaco potgieter

    Please can you tell me what is the minimum depth of main electrical cable to house in the ground?{the trench or ditch for cable}

  67. Hi Jaco, These are the paragraphs that I think you are looking for:
    Section B6 – Installation of cables, 3.11 Backfilling, 3.11.2 For high voltage cables (1 kV to 11 kV) a coloured plastic marking tape shall be installed 400 mm above the cable. The tape shall be yellow, marked with the words “ELECTRIC CABLE/ELEKTRIESE KABEL” in red. These markings shall not be more than 1m apart from centre to centre.
    AND Section 4.1 Installation Depths, 4.1.1 Cables shall be installed at the following minimum depths below final ground level: Up to 11kV : 8OOmm
    The full document can be downloaded here: download-regulations Scroll down to “General Electrical Specification PartA and PartB”

  68. Franco Hanekom

    Good day. We have been building our house, and I mean building it ourselves, myself, my wife and our two sons are the labour involved in this project. So far we have mainly worked over week ends and after hours. Unfortunately, we have a neighbour who is not at all happy with the fact that we are building in front of her, thereby partly obstructing her view, and she has begun complaining about our after hours noise to other neighbours and the local authority. As we can only work at these odd hours, if we want to complete our house any time soon, we are at a loss as to how to proceed. Have you got any info on our situation?

  69. Kobus unfortunately only your local authority can answer this question because it depends on zoning requirements. You will, in any case, need approved plans.

  70. charlottejvr

    Hi there, I own a pet parlour alongside a fast food restaurant. Do you know what the building/health regulations are in this regard? This is in the Tshwane region. Thanks for your help

  71. Very useful information

  72. Useful information to assist me in my work

  73. Hi I am mapping shopping malls in the Greater Durban Area and have to predict possible future location for a new mall as part of a university project (GIS and Remote Sensing module).

    May you please provide me with the regulations that govern the construction of shopping centers/malls for instance, how close it can be from the drainage systems, land zoning rules etc.

    Thank you.

  74. The National Building Regulations govern all construction in South Africa. If you go to Part 1, General Principles and Requirements you will see that the class of occupancy of shops is F1 (large) and F2 (small). Throughout the regulations there are references to the classes of occupancy where they differ. In terms of drainage there are additional SANS, and in terms of land zoning, this falls under the local authority bylaws. Good luck with your research. Unfortunately I don’t have time to do it for you.

  75. Good day.
    Is there a regulation that prescribes periodic structural inspection of existing buildings?

    Pleas take not that the selection buttons for selecting ‘Newer Comments’ or ‘Older Comments’ work the wrong way round.
    Thank you.

  76. JP There is nothing in the NBR that determines periodic structural inspections of existing buildings – the regulations simply govern the erection/construction of buildings.
    In terms of our buttons… I seriously don’t know what you mean. Newest come first.

  77. f one clicks on the button “Older comments>>”, on would expect to go to comments from an earlier date than the last comment on the list, and if you click on ‘<<Newer Comments', you would expect to go to comments with newer dates than the last one on the page you're on.
    Pass this information to the webmaster and he will know how to handle it.

    OK, if the information I seek is not in the NBR, could it then be in the OSH ACT as a health and safety feature. Where can I get this, please

    Thank you Penny.

  78. I doubt it is covered in the OHS Act, but here’s a link to it. The older/newer comments is a WordPress blip – we’re trying to sort it out.

  79. Thanks for that JP, we found the problem with the theme and finally solved it, older now goes to older and newer now goes to newer 😀

  80. Here is a link to the Tshwane Town Planning Scheme document. That information should be covered. If it isn’t then you will need to contact the local authority.

  81. Franco they have every right to complain. If you scroll down to the heading, Control of Unreasonable Levels of Dust and Noise you will see when you are legally allowed to work on your house.

  82. Hi Penny , I hav epurchased land in a country estate, my land will be on my name by the end of the month april. what steps should I follow now as an owner builder . many thanks

  83. Vanessa you will need plans drawn up by a competent person, you will also need to apply for an exemption from the NHBRC not to have to enroll your new house because you are owner building.

  84. Apologies for taking so long to respond to you Henry. Your message slipped through the cracks somewhere. You can build a house using virtually any method, but you need an agrément certificate
    that according to Part A of SANS 10400, “confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non-standardized product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa.”

  85. Andries Venter

    Thanks very usefull info

  86. where can I find info on parking lot standards for a community centre?

  87. Zsadie this will be in your municipality bylaws.

  88. Need to know the buibing regulations for log homes in Twane

  89. There are no specific building regulations for log homes, though there are regulations that will guide you in terms of using wood for timber frame homes – which is essentially what log homes are. All other elements including foundations, ventilations, roofs etc are the same as for any other structure – you just need to work out how they apply to timber homes. A competent person will be able to help you. BTW the National Building Regulations are the same for all provinces and cities.

  90. I need to know regulations for timber frame buildings in Tshwane

  91. Is it compulsory for home owners or home builders to enrol their houses with NHBRC , building for them selves. What are the advantages of enrolling the house with NHBRC

  92. The regulations for timber frame buildings are the same throughout the country. Part K of SANS 10400, Walls deals with timber frame walls. The same regulations that apply to bricks buildings for roofs, foundations etc also apply to timber frame buildings.
    In addition, timber-framed walls must be built in accordance with SANS 10082.
    The Tshwane municipality will be able to assist further in terms of any specific bylaws that might apply to timber frame buildings.

  93. Any person who builds homes commercially is bound by law to enroll the houses they build with the NHBRC. Registration with the NHBRC is also mandatory. Owner builders may apply for an exemption from the NHBRC. This doesn’t cost anything but it needs to be done the correct way. If you do this you may not sell your house for a period of five years after completion.

  94. Hi, i want to replace my exsisting roof with a second story ready slab. Do I need a plan for this and what other requirements do I need to observe ? My intention is not to erect the second story structure right now but it is something I plan for in the future.


  95. John yes you do need a plan for this – and it must be drawn by a competent person who will now what the requirements are.

  96. Hi. I live on a Farm Portion in Ekurhuleni. According to the 2012 Town Planing scheme, I am entitled to have 5% coverage of the plot and 10% if I apply to the metro. There is no indication of the number of dwellings allowed however. I want to construct 4 additional 100m dwellings that I want to rent out. Do I need to have metro approval to do this? My total coverage would still be less than 5%. Thanks Wayne

  97. Where can I find the regulations regarding emergency exits in construction office buildings?

  98. In Part T of SANS 10400 – Fire Protection

  99. Very informative. Might help me

  100. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  101. I want to convert a laundry room into a small bathroom with shower and basin, do I need building plans or permission? There will be no structural changes to the house.
    Your assistance would be appreciated.

  102. How far back were the first ever Building Regulations Published or made available? Where can I down load them if it is possible?

  103. Edward Henry

    This is a very informative website. keep it up. Thank you.

  104. afternoon penny..

    been reading your responses and they quite hellpful so in shot,
    may god bless you with knowledge.

  105. Hi, where can I find information regarding flammable liquid stores or the storage of 220l drums of oil on our premises.

  106. My neighbor is doing renovations and alterations on her property, what time does she have to stop working and does that time also apply to cleaning up after the builders have done for the day. This is in an residential area. I was informed by her that she can make a noise until 23.00 hrs

  107. Hi Richard, If you read on our page Part F – site-operations you can scroll down to the paragraph “Control of Unreasonable Levels of Dust and Noise” and read what the times are.

  108. Can you obtain occupational certificates for buildings built prior to 1974?

  109. I am a trustee in a Body Corporate building. I would like to download the regulations regarding electric fencing.
    I cannot see where to register with you in order to do this.
    Please advise

  110. Looking for SANS 10400-C but cannot find such a document. Can you please help?
    Thank you
    Neil Kerr

  111. Barbara crisp

    what are the building specs for a carport? Can the sides be enclosed? Can it have a door that locks? When is a car port a carport and not a garage?

  112. Good day.

    I have a 525m2 plot of land next to my mother’s erf on which I want to build a timber house. The contractor builds according to the SANS standard.

    Can you point me into the right direction as to where to start this endeavor!


  113. Hi there

    Thank you for the great site!

    I would like to find out : 1.If a foundation have 7 waste points ext basins , showers ,baths does all the waste pipes have to go out separate or can I join some of the pipes ext to have only 3 waste Pvc pipes that runs out to the stack? All the waste pipes are going to one stack

    I know that showers have to runs by its own 50mm waste but cant a person joint the rest to 4- 50mm pipes instead of 7 pvc pipes?

    Your time will be appreciated


  114. Hi Simon, the best place to start is to read the posts in our “owner builder” category here: building/owner-building-2 BTW if you need webhosting and a website built please contact us.

  115. The SANS 10400-C deals with Dimensions, you will find our post here: size-dimensions-room-height

  116. It does not matter what percentage of land that you build on, if you want to build anything on any piece of land in SA then you must have plans approved before you start otherwise you will be breaking the law.

  117. A carport must have at least two sides open. If you enclose the sides then it becomes a garage. I am not sure what you mean by “a door”, some carports are built on the boundary with a garage door but inside the property the sides are open.

  118. I have replied to you on this.

  119. If you go to our downloads page look for Electric-Fence-Legal Booklet click on you can create a subscriber account and then download. Then use this to make downloads at any time.

  120. hi my neighbours (tenants) erected 5 wooden Wendy’s with air-conditioning and use it as a afterschool for 100 kids thy also build a could room 300mm from my boundary wall where they process meat. how do I get them to remove all this?

  121. I would like to find out the regulations about storage facilities.
    Can I use shipping containers instead of building brick?
    What are the restrictions regarding this?


  122. Could you please indicate exactly where to find confirmation in law that the seller of a property must have approved building plans when selling his property.

  123. Melanie de Jager

    Where can I find the rights of co-owners of a business property, (and information on the rezoning regulations to follow ?

    One of the owners has applied for rezoning for further development without consultation of the 2 other owners.

    Parking is a huge problem already and additional buildings will just add to the existing frustration.

  124. From the info that you give it seems that you would not need plans to rearrange the room without structural changes.

  125. The Building Regulations SANS10400-Part P states that a qualified person must design the system then it must be installed by qualified artisans and inspected and approved by the local building inspectors. Having said that it is difficult to comment on the design that you have. Any drains from basins and baths (not sewage) need to have a drain gradient of not less than 1:40. Stack systems can be tricky as the back flow from the pipes higher in the stack must be correctly engineered.

  126. The first National Building Regulations came into existance in 1990 prior to this each province and city/town had their own set of regulations that had to be adhered to. You can download the 1990 PDF from our site here: download/SANS10400.pdf or look on our downloads page for SANS 10400 Version GR 22-1990

  127. Alberto Adao

    I need a copy of the sans 10400. Thanks Alberto

  128. They are exclusively available from the SABS directly from their offices or online. Note that they are in 23 Parts/Chapters and are all sold separately, please have a look at our post with contact details: sabs-contact

  129. There is no such law – which is a huge problem.

  130. You can use containers, but you need an agrement certificate. This is contained in Part A of SANS 10400.

  131. They need 1) plans and 2) a business license. Report them to the local authority.

  132. There is no law!

  133. Rezoning is governed by local bylaws. Contact your local authority/council

  134. Although there may not bee any law specifically stating the requirement, this is usually covered by the issuing of a Certificate of Occupation, which is issued by the Local Authority (Building Control Officer) or his representative, in the form of the Building Inspector.

    Without approved plans, there is no certificate, without the certificate, there is no legal occupation, nor is there any reason for the Insurance to pay out should there be a claim with damages which affects the structure or the benefit of occupation.

    Other than that the buyer needs to be aware – hence – ‘Caveat Emptor’ A Latin phrase for “let the buyer beware.” The term is primarily used in real property transactions. Essentially it proclaims that the buyer must perform their due diligence when purchasing an item or service. (Google Definition)


  135. Hi,
    What are the by-laws on TIME, starting to build in the morning, and finishing in the afternoon, as well as over weekends.
    What is acceptable and reasonable to have contractors on site time wise.
    I am based in Kempton Park.

  136. Sandra Basson-Bowden

    Where do I register to your site so that I can download the regulations?

  137. Hi
    I’m looking for a copy of the SANS 10400 and I can’t see where you register on your site. Please help.

  138. Thandekile, we don’t sell or supply the standards – except the old SANS 10400 from 1990 which has subsequently been updated. You can only purchase them from the SABS – either from one of their offices (the library), or from their online store. I have given you the link. At the top lefthand side you will see there is a search function; type in “SANS 10400”. Just bear in mind that all the different parts of SANS 10400 are sold separately, so if you want a full set you will have to order each part separately.

  139. If you are looking for the current SANS 10400 regs Sandra, you can only get these from the SABS – as stated elsewhere on this site.

  140. You’ll find this in Part F: Site Operations of SANS 10400. Click on the link and scroll down to Control of Unreasonable Levels of Dust and Noise

  141. There may be a national standard that covers this but it is not part of the NBR. Contact an SABS library to find out.

  142. Good day
    I would like to start manufacturing cement bricks, so I want to know the regulation body/institution that I must register with, is it CETA/NHRBC/SABS or what ?

  143. No idea – not the SABS. I don’t even think you have to register with a specific institution. However you do need to know what you are doing.

  144. also note that the SANS standards are issued to and individual when purchached, and may not be copied and redistributed

  145. Gerrit, Yes you are correct, you can only purchase the SANS 10400 from the SABS. Our intention with this site is to assist the man-in-the-street, and sometimes professionals, to understand and help interpret the law. Mr/Mrs citizen cannot go and fork out R100’s to find out if the contractor has built something correctly according to the Law and the SANS. We also try to advise on the grey area between The Law, the SANS10400 and the Local Municipal bye-laws that people have difficulty understanding.

  146. If you change the sentence to read like this “Could you please indicate exactly where to find confirmation in law that the owner (seller) of a property must have approved building plans (when selling his property.) then surely the Law is Act 103 of 1977. So there is a LAW!

    The owner is the seller, and by law he is responsible to see that every building on his property shall comply with this Act. If the buyer becomes the new owner, then all responsibility is transferred to him/her. Therefore, as a consumer you (all buyers) must ask their agents to confirm that every building on the property has been approved, and to get copies of approved plans. If not, they can insist on having those plans drawn up professionally and approved by Council as a condition of sale.

    The Law also says that you may not sell illegal substances to anybody. A building that is not approved is an illegal structure, and technically may not be sold. So there is a LAW. You need to find the appropriate Act and interpret it correctly.

  147. Richard Stephens

    Dear Sir / Madam
    Please can you let me know what the Overstrand Municipality require in the way of building plans for a domestic dwelling. The house is some 30 years old and since construction the Municipal plans have not been up-dated as various alterations inside and external additions have been made. It is now down to me, as the new owner and at my expense, to have the plans up-dated and approved.
    I have spoken several times to the Municipality and their requirements seem to differ from day to day.
    The matters of contention and stated requirements are as follows:-
    1. A full copy of the Title Deeds
    2. Three sets of building plans of which all internal and external alterations must be shown in colour
    3. The Building Fee
    4. Written permission and signature on the plans from the neighbours where the building crosses the 2m building line
    5. The plans must show all dimensions for all rooms – internal and external
    6. All external plumbing and drainage must be shown
    7. SANS 10400-A:2010 form must me completed
    Many thanks in anticipation and kind regards – Richard Stephens 2015.09.23

  148. Where in sans 10400 do I find the ratio of factory workers per toilet.

  149. Hi Penny

    Please would you be able to assist me in finding what is the meaning of different zoning.

  150. Where do you live Sam?

  151. It’s up to the municipality to state what they need. However the plans should be “as built” – so written permission from neighbours could be a problem. The rest sounds perfectly normal.

  152. There is no regulatory board.

    If your product does not comply with required standards and there is structural damage to the house/wall
    built with your bricks, you could be held liable.


  153. Madelein Kuther

    What does the law say about a neighbours chimney that relays all the smoke into your house? This chimney is about a meter high, broad with air vents on 4 sides and a flat solid top that causes, in conjunction with the wind, for all the smoke to come into my house every time they light a fire

  154. Madeleine the issue of smoke entering your house is not covered in the NBR. The issue is whether it was built correctly according to the NBR.

  155. In Part P – Drainage. The table that gives class of occupancy of buildings is in Part A.

  156. Where can I locate the standards for a carport made from steel and galvanized roofsheeting.

    Thank you

  157. Thank you

  158. You will not find a standard that tells you how to build something that specific. You need to look at all the different standards e.g. foundations, roofing etc.

  159. good day Penny
    my neighbor has dug out two holes in through the wall. her rain water and dirty water are running in my yard when they are washing their cars and cleaning their pavement. what am i to do? please help.

  160. Hi, My employer/building owner has locked the emergency exits from our basement parking. The main gate where vehicles enter is controlled by fingerprint identification from the outside and pressure plate(for your vehicle) from the inside. This is apparently not against the law. I am looking for a copy of the latest national building regulations to see what the situation is.

  161. Hi. What are the regulations to convert and existing space in your property to a maids room? We have a storeroom that is 48sqm that we want to convert. It currently has two windows and a patio door. Thanks

  162. Hi Penny

    I trust you are well.

    I’m interested in the construction of buildings any suggestions where to start. I have a private company registered already.

    Best regards

  163. Very usefull. Thank you

  164. How does a general handyman go about registering as a building contractor in Cape Town? Are forms avaiable, or what does he need to do?

  165. Good work

  166. You would register with CIPC (previously CIPRO). Then you also have to register with the NHBRC to be able to operate as a building contractor – but you will need to have professionals involved in the business with you because as a “general handyman” you won’t be able to register as “a competent person” on any of your projects.

  167. You also need to register with the NHBRC. Then buy a plot and build a house! Sell it… make some money. Good luck

  168. The regulations are no different. It depends what alterations you want to make. If for instance you are going to add a bathroom, you will need plans.

  169. You will find the NBR at any SABS offices

  170. Try to lock in and register a few time but nothing is getting send to my email address. Not even forget password resending is working.

  171. Hi Hofni, I see your registration is OK and emails are being sent to your yahoo email address. Unless you have put in an incorrect email when you registered. If you email me your correct address at then I will update this for you.

  172. Where in SANS do I find informationon tiny houses, houses on wheels and houses on poles? Thank you

  173. Hi, I would like to find out if I need building plans for building on a farm (Hluhluwe area). Some buildings might be for public use and self catering units. Other buildings for stores, garages etc.

  174. Where can I find the regulations for a mezzanine floor?

  175. Hi

    Would like to know if it is a legal requirement to fit only SABS approved fittings in a new house i.e mixers and light fittings


  176. rebaone mokoto

    its a good page because i can learn anything and everything just through here in this page and i thank and salute

  177. There is no information of this kind.

  178. Good website thanks

  179. All buildings in South Africa require approved plans

  180. There are no regs relating to mezzanine floors as such. SANS 10400-J deals with floors in general including suspended wooden floors. There may be coverage of mezzanine floors in the NHBRC manuals.

  181. Jaunne Viviers

    This looks like a good site, will no more after I have downloaded documents

  182. Johan Niemand

    Can a SANS 10400 book be purchased somewhere?

  183. Isabel Wiese

    Excellent site – thanks!

  184. Hi Harriet, By law they are not allowd to do this, contact your municipality. You could lay a charge.

  185. Hi Johan, the SANS are only available from ths SABS here:

  186. Looks extremely comprehensive
    looking forward to using this resource

  187. Thanks

  188. I would like to register. Please send me a log/pass
    Thank you.
    Binci Stewart

  189. Where can one download the latest SANS 10400 Forms

  190. Forms are incorporated in the various SANS which you can buy from the SABS and download. If you don’t want to buy them, go to your nearest SABS office and get photostats of the forms. Alternatively, contact your local authority and ask them to email you the relevant forms.

  191. Register for what? We don’t do registrations of any sort!

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