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Please note: published this guide for your comfort only and will not be held liable for any losses incurred with the use of this document.



So, you have found your dream house design had it tailored to your exact specifications, and now you are ready to submit your building plans to the local authority!…Sounds easy enough, but this process has had many prospective owner builders close to tears out of frustration before the actual building even started. This document compiled by the team should enable you to go through this process with a little more ease and would help you a little with understanding the process and the documents required by most local authorities. Please bear in mind that this document is a guide only and based on the rules of the Gauteng areas and that requirements might be slightly different in other areas.
Below is a list of all the documents typically required by a town or city council and should accompany your plan set(s) upon submission. We will go through the list in a little more detail below.
Council checklist
  1. Plans copies signed by Engineer, Client / Architect
  2. Council Submission form
  3. Engineer Submission form
  4. Title Deed
  5. Copy of latest paid up Account
  6. Sewerage connection diagram
  7. Power of Attorney
  8. Fees for submission
  9. SG Diagram
  10. Zoning (Annexure B)
 In rare instances a local authority might require for you to submit an SDP (short for Site Development Plan) prior to submitting the full building set. This is often described in your title deed, but the safest would be to contact your local authority and find you the requirements for your stand in that specific suburb.
The list of documents typically required for SDP submission is described below:
      SDP Checklist
  1. Plans signed by Client / Architect
  2. Application form
  3. Motivational Memorandum
  4. Title Deed
  5. Copy of latest paid up Account
  6. Interpartite agreement
  7. Power of Attorney / Confirmation of appointment
  8. Fees for submission
  9. SG Diagram
  10. Zoning (Annexure B)
Council checklist description of items:
  1. Plan copies
The amount of plan copies required by different town or city councils varies broadly, but all local authorities will require at least one colour set of copies and some might even ask for it to be printed on ‘Durester’ (high quality plastic-type of paper), The amount of additional black & white copies could be from nothing up to ten copies – all the plans & copies are to be signed by your architect / or owner and the appointed structural engineer.
  1. Local council plan submission form
These are in most instances a one page form to be filled out with details about the size, type, zoning etc. of the proposed building. The size of the building stated in the form will be used by the council to work out the plan submission fees payable for plan scrutiny and inspection(s)
In addition to the above the applicant will also be required to fill in the details of his appointed and registered designer / architect. Bear in mind that from 1 July 2006 no person practicing architecture will be able to submit plans without being registered with SACAP (The South African council for the architectural profession.)
Download this form from the documents database
  1. Engineer submission form
This will not be necessary in all instances, but again to be safe find out from your local council before hand. This is a form to be obtained from your local authority together with the plan submission form but to be filled out by your appointed engineer stating that he / she as a professional will take responsibility for the structural soundness of the building and do the necessary inspections on site.
Download this form from the documents database
  1. Title deed
A document drawn up by the attorney handling the sale and the transfer of a particular property to your name as the purchaser. This document usually stays in the possession of the financing institution until settlement of your loan, but you could ask for a copy from them. If the property was bought without a loan, the title deed should be requested from the attorneys.
This document should be scrutinized carefully as it often contains a lot of additional information about the specific property and possible registered servitudes that might exist.
  1. Copy of latest paid-up account
A copy of the latest water & electricity account for the said property is required with the submission set.
  1. Sewerage connection diagram
This diagram is available from the services department at your local authority at the cost of only the paper or sometimes no cost. It’s a one page document outlining the stand with an indication of the position of the municipal sewer connection on the stand and the depth of the connection.
  1. Power of attorney
This will not be necessary if you as the owner of the property is submitting the plans. If you would like to make use of a third party or professional consultant to submit the plans and get it approved, you will need to write a letter stating that you as the registered owner permits the said appointed person to act on your behalf regarding the above.
Download this form from the documents database
  1. Plan scrutiny fees
The fee payable for plan scrutiny also varies widely from council to council and may be anything from about R3/sqm to approx. R6/sqm for the Mapumalanga area, R7,5/sqm for the Gauteng area and even up to R13/sqm in some reqions of the Eastern cape. (The above rated are estimated and based on rates in mid 2006)
Sometimes the rates for different ‘use’ areas of the dwelling could be calculated differently, ex: the garage area might have a lower or higher rate as the rest of the house. Some council also base their fee on the amount of sanitary fittings in a house i.o.w the sewer load on the municipality.
  1. SG Diagram
This is document is also obtainable at your local council usually from the town planning department and contains info about the stand size, location, orientation, side lengths etc. A small fee might be levied for the copy of this document but is sometimes provided at no cost.
  1. Zoning (Annexure B)
This document can be obtained from you local council’s Land use rights department – often located close to the town planning department and contains information about the property’s use rights or zoning. If you wish to build a second dwelling on a particular property, the stand will need to be re-zoned and this will be the department to deal with.
Most of the requirements for a SDP submission are the same but should you have any problems please contact us and we will do our best to guide you in this.
We wish you good luck with your building plan submissions!




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