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Building Control FAQs

What is the function of building control within the City of Ekurhuleni?

One of the main function of Building Control is to regulate, monitor and control the construction of buildings, ensuring compliance with the standards set out in the National Building Regulations and Building Standard Act (Act 103 of 1977), as amended. The submission and eventual approval of building plans is a statutory requirement of which the Building Control division within the City Planning Department, is the custodian. Building Control ensures the health and safety of people in and around buildings by examining the following: –

  • Buildings are structurally sound.
  • They are safe, amongst other things, in the event of fire.
  • They have adequate drainage.
  • Building have adequate ventilation systems.
  • Building have sufficient toilet/ablution facilitie.s

The act promotes uniformity in the law relating to the erection of buildings in the jurisdiction of the municipality, and to prescribe standards and matters related thereto.  Building Control ensures these standards are met by approving application, as well as on-site inspections, but does not include quality assessments of the building practice.

Included in the Building Control’s function are:

  • Inspecting building works to ensure that they meet the minimum standards as set out in the approved documents.
  • Action to protect the public from dangerous and dilapidated buildings or structures.
  • Demolitions monitoring.
What is the building process?

When a person decides to undertake a building project, the following criteria and process must be followed:

  • Appoint a practitioner who should be registered with the South African Council of Architectural Profession (SACAP) to draw up building plan.
  • Submit the building plans for consideration and approval to the City.
  • After approval, the owner must notify CoE of the intension to start building.
  • Inspections should be booked two days in advance with the building inspector prior to any building activities being carried out, and any other compulsory inspections.
  • Once the building is completed, the owner must request a Certificate of Occupation.
Can you ask the municipality to draw building plans up for you?

Council officials are not allowed to draw building plans. Should anyone have information with regard to council officials who draw up plans please report it to the regional managers.

What are the most common building projects?
  • Construction of new residential properties
  • Construction of commercial properties (Malls, hotels supermarkets, Warehouses, etc)
  • Alteration and improvement to existing buildings
  • Carports
  • Boundary walls above 1.8 metres high
  • Extension to existing structure
  • Sheds etc.
What are National Building Regulations (NBR)?

National Building Regulations are a set of functional regulations used as a point of reference for the design and construction of building, to ensure the safety and health of people and animals that live in or around buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that energy is conserved and that facilities are provided for people with disabilities. “Approved Documents” provide guidance on complying with Building Regulations.

Regulations setting minimum standards for the safety and health aspects of buildings Enforces the national building regulations and building standard act

Is National Building Regulation Approval the same as Planning Permission?

No. These are two entirely separate processes. Planning permission considers land use and rights. Certain proposals may require Building Regulation Approval but not Planning Permission. Planning enquiries can be made with the City Development Department.

Can I speak to a Building Control Officials?

Yes, we would always encourage you to discuss your ideas and proposals at your earliest convenience. We will be pleased to discuss National Building Regulations Requirement.  Building Control Officials are available during office hours to discuss any Building Control issues you might have.

Who monitors Building Regulations?

The Department of Trade and industry is the custodian of the National Building Regulations and Building Standard Act. Who then delegated the implementation through the municipality to building control?


Building Control (as delegated)-qualified and experienced teams building inspectors from the municipality carry out compulsory inspections as work proceeds: Their extensive knowledge of materials, construction methods and local conditions is available to assist you at all stages of the construction process. Building Control is also responsible for the law enforcement and monitoring of contraventions by any transgressors.

When do I need the local authority’s/CoE Approval?

When doing any building work or alterations as stipulated in the National Building Regulations and Building stadard Act 103,1977 as amended. This also applies to minor building works, as defined in the NBR and in terms of Section 13 of the aforementioned act.

The following are some of projects that need CoE approval.


Extensions to existing building:

  • Extensions to existing building
  • Erection of new building
  • conversion of existing loft into a room
  • Conversion of existing garage into a habitable room
  • Internal alterations
  • Carports
  • Cell mast
  • Advertising structure
  • Construction of a conservatory etc.
Do I need CoE approval to carry out repairs to my house?

No, if the repairs are of a minor nature and you are replacing like for like. This includes replacing the felt to a flat roof, repainting, replacing a small area of previously existing and approved brickwork etc.


Yes, if the repair involves the removal of a major part of wall and rebuilding it. In the case of re-roofing if the tiles are of the same type then no approval need be sought. If the new tile or roofing materials is substantially heavier or lighter than the existing materials, then an approval under building regulations will be required. Please note when undertaking substantial repairs and replacement approval may be required including work thermal element i.e. roofs and wall. Substantial refurbishment and repairs may require the upgrading of thermal elements e.g. replacing part of external wall.

Do I need CoE approval to convert my house into flats?

Yes, This is a change of use.

Do I need CoE Approval to underpin my house?

Yes, this is a structural alteration and an appointment of structural Engineer is essential.

Do I need CoE Approval to install fittings and appliances or carry out drainage work?

YesAll drainage work in connection with a building requires an application, all consumer installation must comply with the South African Standard Specification 10252: water supply and drainage for building, SANS 10106: the installation, maintenance, repair and replacement of domestic solar water heating system and SANS 1054: the installation of fixed electric storage water heating systems or any similar substituting or amendment thereof if the consumers installation is of a type regulated by either standard. 

Altering the position of a bath?

You will need Building Regulations approval if drainage alterations are made.  Not fitting alterations.

What do we mean by a 'Change of Use'?

This refers to changing how the building will be used. For example, if your plan was approved indicating a bedroom, you cannot change it into an office.

If I need CoE Approval, what do I do next?

Submit building plans for Consideration at your respective Customer Care Centre (C.C.C.).

Can I apply online?

Not yet, but in the near future as the department is currently developing the building plan management system to offer online submission.

Will I have to pay for the application to the CoE for the approval of building plans?

Yes, we are obliged to make a charge for the work of administering Regulations.


Building plan fees must be paid when submitting building plan for approval in terms of the building and plans related tariff structure and is available on the CoE website under tariffs.

How do I check progress on my submitted building plans?

By contacting building plan counters at the above mention contact list of C.C.Cs

Can we recommend a builder?

No.  Unfortunately, we cannot recommend individual builders, we would always suggest you consider builders who are prepared to let you view recent projects and seek references from previous clients. Recommendations provided by friends / relatives do give a degree of reassurance, together with membership of appropriate trade / professional associations. Always agree your requirement whether this be through a formal contract or written plans and specifications. Give consideration to issues such as insurance, access to the property, fire safety, services such as water and electric, security, site clearance and cleanliness etc.

Does CoE have copies of drainage plans?

Yes, the site drainage system is indicated on the building plan and the general services plans are available from services division and are available for the public upon request and with the relevant tariff should a copy be requested.

When can I start work?

After approval of building plans and upon notifying council of the intension to start building (about two days in advance). An approved building plan must be available on site at all times during construction.

When and at what stages do I have to request an inspection?

Building control office must be notified 2 working days in advanced that an inspection is required. It is important that all appropriate inspections are carried out in order to allow us to issue a completion inspection.

There are compulsory inspections that one needs to book with the CoE:

  • Site and foundation trenches
  • Drainage prior to backfilling
  • Roof
  • Completion- it is important that you request a completion inspection ideally before your builder leaves the site – additional work / cost may be necessary. The certificate is a vital document when you come to sell your property.
What are the consequences of building without approved building plan?

If you carry out building work without approval from the CoE you are committing a criminal offence for which you can receive a fine upon conviction of up to R 4 000,00 or a court order to demolish the structure concerned. Problems can also arise in the future if the property is put up for sale and the CoF records reveal that approval was not granted.

What do I do on completion of building?

When you complete your project you should contact the Building Control office to arrange a final inspection. It is recommended that any final payments to builders are only made after the completion inspection has been carried out and a completion certificate issued. It is essential that you request a completion inspection as soon as possible following practical completion, the certificate provides you and future owners of the development that “as far as can be reasonably ascertained” work complies with current building standards. It is important that all relevant inspections are requested prior to completion. Occupation certificate should not be taken as guarantee or warranty of the building works.


Please remember we cannot replace the services of a Project Manager or Architect- whilst we will always endeavour to ensure that your work meets current standards our site presence is comparatively limited you may need to employ the services of appropriate consultants for quality assurance assessments purposes.


Request for final inspection from Building control and produce applicable certificates (Engineers, completions, glazing, roof, certificates of compliance electricity) if all is in order the building inspector will issue certificate of occupancy

Empty and derelict buildings?

If you have concerns over derelict and empty buildings or any building structure that may pose dangerous to the people, please report this to us and we will take appropriate action. Report the matter to the municipality at the relevant C.C.C.

I intend to demolish a building – do I need permission?

Yes all building that are to be demolished must first get permission from the CoE and an application must be submitted together with the applicable fee in terms of the building plans fees related tariffs. After the application has been assessed and found in order, a demolish permit will be issued with stated conditions to be complied with.


Applications forms are available on the website and at the building control offices.

If I’m not happy with the service I have received from the CoE what can I do?

This is obviously the last thing we want, our main goal is to ensure that your development meets Building Standards and we will endeavour to help you whenever we can. We pride ourselves on a professional and practical approach – if you have any concerns or reservation please don’t hesitate to contact: us on the provided list of contacts

We will endeavour to resolve the situation.

Please remember we are here to help you.

Lodge Complaint with the Regional Building Control Manager on the contract list provided.





Kempton Park

011 999 3537

011 999 3651


011 999 3096

011 999 3037


011 999 3273

011 999 4282



011 999 1217

011 999 1207


011 999 5354

011 999 5412

011 999 5356


011 999 2593

011 999 2591



011 999 8581


011 999 9196


011 999 7790


011 999 6320

011 999 7302

What if my building plans application is refused?

You may appeal such decision in writing within 21 days to the Review Board. This deals with disputes arising from appeals lodged by building owners against decisions of local authorities. The procedures are given in the Review Board Regulations. You are presented on the board and it provides expert technical advice to enable the resolution of such disputes. The board establishes whether applicable building legislation has been compiled with.

To initiate an appeal, the following must be lodged with us:

  • An application for review by the board (SABS Regulatory Affairs), setting out in writing the grounds on which it is based:
  • Plans, documents, photos, to enable the board to effectively deal with the appeal
  • A copy of the appeal with the Local authority in question
  • The statutory fee

The completed appeal can be posted to SABS (Regulatory Affairs)

How long is an approved plan valid?

A building plan is valid for 12 months from the date of approval. You may apply in writing to your local authority for an extension before the expiry date. Extension can be granted for six months upon receipt of written request from the property owner.