Copyright © M. Keuter 2001 - 2018 - Some Rights Reserved.  Legal | Contact / Enquiries





Updated: 29 September 2019

Launching 10400 Supplemental Diagrams suite

Click here >>

17. National Building Regulations and Directives

1. The Minister may after consultation with the council make regulations, to be known as national building regulations -

(a) regarding the preparation, submission and approval of plans and specifications of buildings, including the approval of amendments or alterations to plans and specifications of buildings during the erection thereof;

(b) to provide for inspections and tests in respect of buildings, whether before or during the erection or after the completion of the erection thereof, including the powers of building control officers in that regard, and the steps to be taken in order to prevent any nuisance which may occur before, during or after the completion thereof;

(c) regarding the nature and preparation of sites on which buildings are to be erected;

(d) regarding the strength and stability of buildings;

(e) to provide for the requirements with which buildings shall comply in so far as precautionary measures against fires or other emergencies are concerned, including the resistance of buildings against the outbreak and spreading of fires, the protection of the occupants or users of buildings or other persons against fires, the aids or other installations to be in buildings for the combating or prevention of fires and for the vacating of such buildings in cases of fires or other emergencies.

(f) regarding the resistance of buildings against floods, moisture, the transmission of heat, sound or other injurious factors, and infestation by insects, vermin or other pests;

(g) regarding the durability and other desirable properties of buildings;

(h) regarding the provision of water and of sewerage and drainage services in respect of buildings, including the compulsory connection with the supply, distribution or sewerage disposal works in question of local authorities;

(i) regarding the ventilation and the provision for daylight in respect of buildings, including the provision of open spaces in connection therewith;

(j) regarding the heating and artificial lighting of buildings;

(k) regarding the supply and installing in respect of buildings of gas or electrical equipment, installations or service, including the supply and manner of installing of gas or electrical equipment for purposes of cooking or heating, or preventing, controlling or restricting the emission of smoke or other offensive fumes;

(l) to regulate, restrict or prohibit the use to which any building or categories of buildings may be put;

(m) to regulate, restrict or prohibit access to buildings, irrespective of whether erection thereof is completed, or the sites on which buildings were or are being erected;

(n) regarding the prevention of dangers or obstructions during or in connection with the erection of buildings, including the prevention of danger on adjoining or neighbouring premises, pavements, streets, and other public places;

(o) to regulate, restrict or prohibit the erection of temporary buildings and the occupation or use thereof or access thereto;

(p) regarding the protection of property, including public streets, places or open spaces, of local authorities or other persons during or in connection with the erection of buildings;

(q) to regulate, restrict or prohibit the performance of certain activities or categories of activities in or in connection with the erection of buildings by or under the supervision of other persons than persons having specified qualifications, experience or training;

(r) subject to the provisions of the Housing Act, 1966 (Act No. 4 of 1966), regarding the demolition of buildings and matters connected therewith;

(s) regarding the powers, duties and functions of local authorities if buildings were or are being erected or used in contravention of the provisions of this Act or any other law in force immediately before the date of commencement of this Act or of any approval or authority granted in terms of this Act or the said other law or if no such approval or authority was granted for the erection of such buildings;

(t) regarding the general safety, health and convenience of the public in so far as they relate to the erection of buildings;

(u) regarding the safety, health and convenience of occupiers or users of buildings or of persons otherwise present in buildings or having access thereto, and the compulsory installing or supplying of equipment, installations or services in connection therewith;

(v) regarding any other matter which in terms of this Act is required or permitted to be prescribed by national building regulations;

(w) regarding, generally, any other matter deemed necessary or expedient by the council with the concurrence of the Minister in order to achieve the objects of this Act.

2. Different national building regulations may in terms of subsection (1) be made in respect of different buildings or categories of buildings, uses of buildings, areas or categories of areas, local authorities or categories of local authorities, or portions or categories of portions of the areas of jurisdiction of local authorities.


(a) When a national building regulation is published in the Gazette, the Minister shall publish together with it a notice calling upon all interested persons to lodge any objections which they have against such building regulation in writing with the council within the period specified in such notice.

(b) A national building regulation referred to in paragraph (a) shall come into operation on a date fixed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette having regard to the period referred to in the said paragraph: Provided that the Minister, with the concurrence of the council, may in such notice alter such national building regulation in accordance with any objection lodged in respect thereof in terms of paragraph (a) without complying with the provisions of the said paragraph in respect of the national building regulation so altered.

4. If the Minister after consultation with the council is satisfied that any of or all the applicable national building regulations are inadequate or do not make any provision in respect of any particular building or buildings and that for sound reasons it shall not be expedient to amend such national building regulations or make any further national building regulations, as the case may be, the Minister may, having in writing notified the local authority in question, by notice in the Gazette or by notice sent by post or delivered -

(a) exempt the owner of the land on which any such building is being or is to be erected from the provisions of such applicable national building regulations; and

(b) allow such owner to erect such building or buildings or to proceed with or complete the erection thereof in accordance with the applicable national building regulations from which he was not so exempted, if any, and the directives specified in such notice: Provided that no such directive may relate to any matter not specified in subsection (1).


(a) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law the Minister may, if he is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient for the proper compliance with or operation of any of or all the national building regulations or directives that any servitude or restrictive condition or other provision applicable in respect of any land by or under any law or registered in respect of any land in terms of the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 (Act No.47 of 1937), or otherwise applicable in respect of land, be removed or amended, after consultation with the Administrator of the province in which such land is situated and after compliance with the procedure prescribed by regulation, by notice in the Gazette remove or, to such extent as he may indicate, amend such servitude, condition or provision.

[Para. (a) substituted by s. 4 (a) of Act 36 of 1984.]

(b) On the publication of a notice referred to in paragraph (a) the Registrar of Deeds concerned shall in respect of the removal or amendment of the servitude, condition or provision in question, make suitable entries in the registers in his office, and when the title deed of any land to which such notice relates is. for any purpose submitted to such Registrar he shall endorse such removal or amendment on such title deed.

6. Any provision occurring in a specification, standard specification, code of practice or standard method may be incorporated in a directive by mere reference, and in regard to such an incorporation the provisions of section 33 of the Standards Act shall mutatis mutandis apply as if it were an incorporation in a law.

[Sub-s. (6) substituted by s. 4 of (b) of Act 36 of 1984.]

7. The national building regulations or any directive may provide that, without fully defining any particular materials or methods of erection, in so far as quality and standards are concerned the use or employment of any specified materials or methods of erection or compliance with any specified specification, standard specification, code of practice or standard method shall be deemed to comply with the quality and standard required by such national building regulations or directive

[Sub-s. (7) substituted by s. 4 (c) of Act 36 of 1984.]

8. In the national building regulations provisions may be included which the Minister deems necessary to ensure, notwithstanding the provisions of any other applicable law or the issue of a certificate of occupancy in terms of section 14, the essential maintenance or repair of any building or the efficient operation of any equipment or machinery installed therein.

[Sub-s. (8) added by s. 9 of Act 62 of 1989.]

Top of page ...