Any new building and any alteration that adds on to or changes the structure of an existing building must be approved by the City.

Who has to submit building plans?
The short answer is everyone. Any new building and any alteration that adds on to or changes the structure of an existing building must go to the City’s (Planning) Development Management Department for approval.

If you redecorate your kitchen, or replaster your house, you don’t need permission, because you haven’t moved any walls around or altered the drainage system.

But if you make a change to the structure, for example, add on a carport, or even just move the front door, you do need permission. When you submit a building plan for approval it is essential that you make sure that you have complied with the zoning regulations of the Town Planning Scheme.

What if someone fails to submit a plan?

If you’ve chosen to build without having the plans approved, a building inspector is entitled to enter your property and order construction to stop immediately. He could even obtain a court order for the structure to be demolished, at your expense, and you would be liable for legal costs as well. In serious cases, you could be fined or sent to prison.

What if no building inspector notices your illegal alterations?
They could come back to haunt you years later – when you try to sell the house and the prospective buyer asks to see approved plans.

Where can I get an application form?
You can get application forms online or from the building plan submission counters at the City Council. Roycher Construction takes care of all of this for you.

How do I submit the plan?
You submit the completed forms, together with the building plans and supporting documentation to the City Municipality – again Roycher Building Contractors assist you all the way.

What does the council need from me before it considers my plan?
The council needs a completed application form, signed by the owner of the property or his/her authorised representative (proof of authorisation is required) together with a copy of the registered title deed.

The title deed can be obtained either from the attorneys who handled the transfer of the property, the financial institution that granted a first mortgage bond over the property, or the Deeds Office.

Where an application for approval is submitted by a company or an organisation such as a school or a church, a letter must be provided by the organisation authorising one person to sign the application form.

A copy of the approved Site Development Plan is also needed, if this is required in terms of the zoning regulations that apply to the stand.

A separate form also needs to be completed by a professional engineer or technologist registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa when structural work such as reinforced concrete floor and roof slabs, special reinforced foundations, and so forth are part of the proposed building.

Different certificates or designs need to be submitted depending on the technical aspects of the plan. You should consult an architect or engineer in this regard.

In the case of non-residential developments (for example, offices, factories, shops, institutional buildings and so on), a zoning certificate with a copy of the most recent Amendment Scheme is to be furnished.