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  You and your Local Authority

Local Authorities are there to regulate and control the ever densification and development of cities and local residential areas.  This is done by means of various building and zoning regulations and codes.  Therefore, in order for anyone intending to build their dream house to proceed, certain requirements need to be satisfied before permission can be granted to build such dwelling.  So in satisfying these requirements, one needs to be aware of the specific requirements and fees payable to the relevant local authorities/councils.  These requirements vary considerably from one local authority to the next, and it is best to approach each relevant local authority to ascertain these requirements.  

Here are some general requirements when submitting building plans/house plans/ architectural designs to your local authority (South African context):

  • A copy of your Title Deeds – obtainable from either your attorneys/conveyancers who handled the transfer of your property or the financial institution which has granted the mortgage bond over the property.
  • Application Forms provided by the local authority, filled and signed by yourself.
  • Where structural work such as concrete slabs or special foundations is contemplated, an appointment certificate completed and signed by a registered professional engineer.
  • A fire installation drawing (normally for public or commercial buildings) – check with the fire department of your local authority.
  • A copy of an approved Site Development Plan (SDP) - if applicable.
  • A full set of plans coloured and scaled according to the building code applicable to your local authority.
  • A rational design proposal by a professional engineer for fire installations or specialized electrical and mechanical systems.
  • Applicable building plan scrutiny fees.  These can be charged at a rate per area of the dwelling or as a flat fee.  NB. Building line fees can vary considerably from local authority to the next.
  • A SACAP form signed by both yourself and the architect or draughtsman who prepared your plans. provides this form when you purchase a full set of plans.
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