Why is it necessary to obtain Town Planning authorization prior to making a building application?

In order to assess and approve a building application, it necessary to ensure that ALL Planning related controls applicable to a site have been satisfied and that there is no impediment that hampers the use to be effected on the site.
A clearance or authorization granted in terms of the relevant Town Planning Scheme and Planning legislation, does not presuppose that the application is “approved” or approvable in terms of section 7 of Act 103 of 1977.
Building applications not submitted within 30 days of a planning clearance being issued, may require the revalidation of the planning decision prior to a building application being accepted.

Why am I required to submit a building application to the Local Authority?

Section 4(1) of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 states the following:
“No person shall without the prior approval in writing of the local authority in question, erect any building in respect of which plans and specifications are to be drawn and submitted in terms of this Act.”

What constitutes building work?

Building work includes, but is not limited to the following:
(a) any structure (temporary or permanent) and irrespective of the materials to be constructed of, erected or used for or in connection with-
(i) the accommodation or convenience of human beings or animals;
(ii) the manufacture, processing, storage, display or sale of any goods;
(iii) the rendering of any service;
(iv) any other activities associated with (i), (ii) & (iii) above;
(b) any wall, swimming bath, swimming pool, reservoir or bridge or any other structure connected therewith;
(c) wooden cabins / huts (irrespective of use or size), awnings / carports and similar shelters, thatch gazebos / lapas, swimming pools, timber decks, enclosure of verandahs / balconies with sliding / folding door / window elements, etc..
(d) water storage tanks, solar electrical and water heating systems, etc..

Exemption from Submission of a Building Application

ALL building work requires the submission of a building application i.t.o sec. 4 of the NBR&BS Act to the local authority, unless exempted.
Work by or on behalf of the state requires the lodgment of plans, specifications and certificates with the local authority for its information and comment. Building work by or on behalf of the state associated with national security, or by virtue of economic considerations, necessity or expediency, may be exempted by the Minister of Trade and Industry from the lodgment of such documentation with the local authority. (Refer to sec. 2 of the NBR&BS Act 103 of 1977 for further clarity). Such exemption does not exempt the state from compliance with the requirements of the NBR&BS Act as provided for in the SA Constitution.
The local authority Building Control Officer may, i.t.o. sec. 13 of the NBR&BS Act exempt an owner from the requirement to submit a plan in respect of a building defined as a minor building work and impose conditions and directions in such authorisation. An exemption from the requirement to submit a plan does not however exempt the owner from making an application i.t.o sec. 4 of the NBR&BS Act.

Office hours – Building Plan Submissions & Assessment?

Counters are open between 08:00 and 12:30 for the submission and collection of building plans from the relevant area offices ie: Central, South, North, Inner & Outer West.

Enquiry Contact no’s – Building plans ( NOT CONSENT / LAND USE MANAGEMENT applications )

Where clarity is required with respect to this form or information requested therein, please contact the relevant Area Office:

Central: (Durban)

166 K E Masinga (Old Fort) Road, Durban

Telephone: 031 311 7069

Inner West: (Pinetown)

60 Kings Road, Pinetown

Telephone: 031 322 1933

North: (Umhlanga)

327 Umhlanga Rocks Drive, Umhlanga Rocks

Telephone: 031 311 6074/76/79/80

North: (Verulam)

151 Wick Street, Verulam

Telephone: 031 322 1761

North: (Tongaat)

325 Gopalall Hurbans Road, Tongaat

Telephone: 031 322 1646

South: (Winklespruit)

9 Mayors Mews, Winklespruit

Telephone: 031 311 5851

Outer West: (Hillcrest)

22 Delamore Road, Hillcrest

Telephone: 031 311 2750

What additional paperwork is required where the Registered Owner falls into one of the following categories?

Where the ownership of a property falls within one of the following, additional proof / consent / authority from the “Owner” is to accompany the application forms:
– Sectional Title / Home Owner’s Association Member – Letter of consent from Body Corp./ Home Owner’s Association for proposed work;
– Legal Representative – Separate Power of Attorney and / or where Legal Representative represents an institution, organization, business etc. a Letter of Authority setting out terms of such representation;
– Trust / Close Corp. Member / Company / Religious Organisation / NGO – Letter from Trust / Close Corp. / Company / Religious Organisation / NGO confirming member’s / representative’s status and letter of consent from Trust / Close Corp. / Company / Religious Organisation / NGO for proposed work, or Resolution appointing and authorising Trust / Close Corp. / Company / Religious Organisation / NGO member’s / representative’s to undertake proposed work;
– Tenant / Other – Letter of Authority from Registered Owner to sign on behalf of Owner and letter of consent from owner for proposed work;
– Deceased Owner – Copy of Death Certificate & Letter of Authority & Consent from Executor or Administrator of the Estate authorising & consenting Applicant to make such application; 
– Insolvent Estate – Letter of Authority & Consent from Trustee or Liquidator of the Insolvent Estate authorising & consenting Applicant to make such application;
– Minor – Power of Attorney authorising representative to conduct affairs on behalf of the Minor. 

Validity period of 3rd Party Authorisations, Resolutions, Undertakings, Letters of Authority etc.? 

3rd Party authorisations, Resolutions, Undertakings, Letters of Authority etc. older than 6 months (from the date of their issue) are considered invalid by the department. Where such authorisation etc. exceeds 6 months a NEW authorisation etc. will need to be obtained.

Why do I need Title Deeds and SG diagrams to be submitted with a building application?

To confirm ownership, ensure that there are no restrictive conditions prohibiting the proposal, and to identify the extent of the site.

When do I need AMAFA approval?

Where a proposal falls within one of the following broad categories:
– Buildings older than 60 years, Road, wall, pipeline, canal or other similar linear development or barrier exceeding 300m in length, Places, buildings and structures of cultural significance, Historic settlements and townscapes, Historic graves and burial grounds, Places associated with oral tradition and living heritage, Archaeological and paleontological sites, Battlefields, Geological sites of scientific or cultural importance, Landscapes and natural features of scientific and cultural importance and various categories of movable objects, Changes to the character of a site including the subdivision / consolidation of 3 or more sites or rezoning of site exceeding 10 000m2.

AMAFA approval is to be obtained prior to the submission of any building application.

Pietermaritzburg office:

Post: P.O.Box 2685



Email: central@amafapmb.co.za

Website: https://www.heritagekzn.co.za

Tel: 033 3946543

What is SACAP and can I draw my own plans?

From 1 July 2006, all persons practicing architecture or submitting architectural building plans to Local Authorities are required to register with
the South African Council for the Architectural Profession ( SACAP ). Such registration requirement is in terms of the Architectural Professions
Act 44 of 2000 and limits the type of work that may be undertaken dependant on the category of registration.
SACAP web address: http://www.sacapsa.com/


File Description Date added File size Downloads
pdf Building Plans Brochure December 19, 2018 11:39 am 154 KB 635
pdf Ethekwini Council Assessment Process December 19, 2018 11:38 am 66 KB 305
pdf Ethekwini Council Assessment Process Simplified December 19, 2018 11:38 am 499 KB 226
pdf 6 - Ethekweni Submission Info Sheet December 19, 2018 11:36 am 279 KB 425
pdf 3 - Proforma Letter Of Authority 2015 December 19, 2018 11:36 am 186 KB 205
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