Statutory Information

Conditions of Establishment

When a township developer of a residential township establishes the town, one of the legal processes he/she has to go through is to compile a list of special Conditions of Establishment. This procedure enables the developer to specify special conditions to which all property buyers must adhere. It may for instance in a particular township be required that no houses shall have corrugated iron roofs, or that no house should be smaller than say 200 m².

It is thus clear that Conditions Of Establishment may (and will) vary for each township proclaimed, depending on the needs of the particular developer. It is thus not possible to list such conditions on this website. However, the Conditions of Establishment of every single township ever proclaimed is always available at the Town Planning Department of the relevant Local Authority. All prospective house builders should therefore check with their local authorities before finally deciding on a building plan for their future house.

Conditions of Establishment of a particular township may, under special circumstances, be relaxed by the local authority, once the township developer has agreed to such relaxation. Applications should be launched at the relevant local authority.

Conditions of Establishment of a particular township may, under special circumstances, be relaxed by the local authority, once the township developer has agreed to such relaxation. Applications should be launched at the relevant local authority.

Title Deeds

Each and every urban stand in South Africa which is situated in a proclaimed township, has a Title Deed document stored at the central Deeds Office. Title Deeds may, amongst others, also impose general and specific conditions or restrictions of which a prospective home owner should be aware. Such restrictions may for instance limit the height of a building in relation to its distance from a boundary fence, or may impose a building line on a specific property, to prevent any building from being built too close to a stand boundary. Servitudes registered to accommodate services like a sewer line for instance may also be taken up in the Title Deed.

Restrictions laid down in a Title Deed are usually more difficult to relax, but such relaxation may under certain circumstances be warranted by the local authority, once approval has been obtained from the relevant provincial authority.

Town Planning Schemes

A Town Planning Scheme is a document adopted by a local authority by which all development under the jurisdiction of the authority is governed. This may include broader issues like land uses (zonings) and density of a development, or issues focused on the individual stand, including coverage, height restrictions, building lines, servitudes etc. Restrictions imposed by an authority's Town Planning Scheme are very specific to the relevant local authority, and may usually be relaxed by such authority.

It is important to note that no local authority will approve a building plan, and therefore will not allow building work to commence, if the owner's building plans show a contravention of ANY restriction imposed by ANY of the aforementioned documents. Prospective home owners should therefore, after selecting a suitable building plan, first make sure that his/her proposed house does not contravene any restriction as described above.

National Building Regulations

The National Building Regulations are a set of regulations appended to the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, Act 103 of 1977, as amended. These regulations are applicable to all buildings erected anywhere in South Africa, and were promulgated to prevent different local authorities to announce their own set of building regulations.

Although the National Building Regulations are perceived by many to be extremely confusing and involved, this is really not the case. It comprises two mainstream regulation types, namely functional regulations and deemed-to-satisfy rules. In its simplest interpretation, the functional regulations simply state that every building must be suitable for its intended purpose! To achieve this simple requirement, any building is regarded as complying to these Regulations if a rational design has been performed by a competent and suitably qualified person. Therefore an owner can do whatever he/she wishes to do, as long as all decisions are based on a rational design. This is specifically done in order to encourage innovative designs and building materials.

Because not all designers may be interested in using innovative methods and/or materials, and because such methods and materials may not always be practical and economical, the Act provides for a complete set of deemed-to-satisfy rules, by which any part of any building can be judged for compliance to the regulations.

In the House Building Guide section on this website, frequent reference is made to the relevant deemed-to-satisfy rules of the National Building Regulations.

Customers of can relax and rest assure that all building plans sold on the website fully comply with all relevant National Building Regulations. Because the regulations are national, they are applicable to each and every local authority in South Africa, ensuring that all buildings plans available from are accepted by all local authorities in South Africa.