Tokai, Plumstead, Kirstenbosch, Newlands, Cape Town, Rondebosch, Pinelands, Steenberg, Constantia, Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Scarborough
and all over the Cape Peninsula
What kinds of building activities require building plans to be submitted for approval?
A building plan application must be submitted for any structure, whether this is of a temporary or permanent nature and irrespective of the materials used to build it. This includes alterations or extensions to existing structures. The only exceptions are buildings smaller than 5m2, a pergola, wire fence or open-side fabric-covered shelter for a car, boat or caravan.
Who may prepare building plans?
In terms of the Architectural Profession Act (Act 44 of 2000), architects, technologists and draughtspersons who are registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession may prepare building plans.
What happens after I have submitted a building plan application?
If complete and all supporting documentation has been submitted, the plans are circulated to relevant technical departments (e.g. fire, health etc) for comment. The application is then scrutinised in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act and its Regulations. The City will contact you via SMS if any amendments or corrections are required. You will also be kept informed via SMS of your building plan routing, and you won't need to contact the office where the plan was submitted.
How long does a building plan take to be approved?
In terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standard Act, the City has 30 days to approve or refuse a building plan application for buildings smaller than 500m2 and 60 days for buildings larger than 500m2.
Do I need to inform my neighbour of my proposed building works?
No (although it is considered good practice), unless the application also includes departure from the zoning scheme regulations (such as building line relaxation, increased bulk/coverage/height etc.) or similar proposals, in which case formal consultation is required.
How are building plans assessed?
A building plan application can only be approved if it complies with the requirements of the National Building Standards Act, the National Building Regulations and any other applicable law. Building plans are therefore assessed in terms of the Act and Regulations and are circulated for comments to various City departments.
What if my building plan application is refused?
You may appeal such a decision in writing within 21 days to the City Manager or the Review Board. Alternatively, it may be quicker to amend or correct the plans and resubmit it for approval. There is no cost if plans are resubmitted within one year of the original decision, on condition that the plans are amended in respect of any aspects that caused its refusal and that they do not differ substantially from the plans, specifications or other documents previously submitted.
How long is an approved building plan valid?
A building plan is valid for 12 months from the date of approval. You may apply in writing to your local district planning office for an extension before the expiry date.
How do I complain about illegal building work?
Deliver your complaint in writing to your nearest district planning office, by hand, fax or post. No anonymous complaints are accepted, as you may be required to give evidence. The written complaint must include your name and address, the name and address of the alleged offender and a detailed description of the alleged contravention.
What are the consequences of building without approved plans?
A building inspector may serve an order to stop any illegal building work immediately, which if ignored may lead to a fine or even further prosecution and a court order to demolish the structures concerned.