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council approved plans

By Gail Andrew on Fri, 05 Jan 2018 at 10:30


I am an owner of a sectional title unit in a block of flats. I wish to remove an internal non load bearing wall. I have a structural engineers report stating that the removal of the wall will not affect the integrity of the existing slab structure. Am I required to submit plans to the local authority for approval before work can commence.

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RE: council approved plans

Callie de Jager replied on Sat, 06 Jan 2018 at 14:24

Internal renovations to residential property are not subject to submission of plans to the Local authority. Submit the engineer’s certificate to the BC for record and insurance purposes only, purely to show that the structure was not weakened.

RE: RE: council approved plans

Gail Andrew replied on Mon, 08 Jan 2018 at 12:55

Thank you for your reply. The Trustees of my block of flats are insisting local council (Johannesburg) approved plans are needed even though the structural engineer and architect say council approved plans are not needed. I have tried to search the Johannesburg municipality website to find something in print, but to no avail. Do you have any idea where I could source evidence to support my claim that I do not need council approved plans for the work I wish to undertake. Unfortunately the structural engineer and architect are out of town at the moment.

RE: RE: RE: council approved plans

Callie de Jager replied on Mon, 08 Jan 2018 at 19:31


Gail. You are being bullied by the Trustees. This is fairly common in Sectional Title units. My first question to them would be, show me and substantiate your point (claim or demand). Where did they find the rule in the Act or where did they find it in The National Building Regulations. They will not be able to give you an answer, but: You have now won the war but not the battle.
Go to your local municipal offices and ask to speak to the building inspector for your area. He will give you the rules in print form and you can now shove that under the noses of the Trustees. Now you have won the war and the battle. Which area are you in? (City)
The Definition of “minor building work” in Terms of the Law
a) the erection of:
1. poultry houses (hoender hokke or chicken coups) that are no more than ten square meters in size,
2. aviaries that are no bigger than 20 square meters,
3. solid fuel stores (for storing wood, coal, anthracite or similar) that are no more than ten square meters in area and no higher than two meters,
4. tool sheds that are smaller than ten square meters,
5. children’s’ playhouses that are no more than five square meters,
6. cycle sheds no more than five square meters,
7. greenhouses that are a maximum 15 square meters,
8. open-sided car, caravan or boat shelters or carports that do not exceed 40 square meters in size,
9. any freestanding wall built with masonry, concrete, steel, aluminum, or timber or any wire fence that does not exceed 1,8 m in height at any point above ground level and does not retain soil,
10. any pergola,
11. private swimming pool (although most local authorities do insist on plans),
12. change room at a private swimming pool not exceeding 10 sq m in area.
b) the replacement of a roof (or part of a roof) with the same or similar materials,
c) the conversion of a door into a window, or a window into a door, without increasing the width of the opening,
d) the making of an opening in a wall that doesn’t affect the structural safety of the building concerned,
e) the partitioning or enlarging of any room by the erection or demolition of an internal wall, as long as it doesn’t affect the structural safety of the building,
f) the section of any solar water heater not exceeding six square meters in area on any roof; or 12 square meters if the water heater is erected elsewhere,
g) the erection of any building that the local council doesn’t believe plans are necessary for.
In the last instance, it is up to the building control officer to make this decision.

RE: RE: RE: RE: council approved plans

Callie de Jager replied on Mon, 08 Jan 2018 at 19:33

Gail. Read 12 e that is what will apply in your case plus the engineers certificate.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: council approved plans

Gail Andrew replied on Sat, 13 Jan 2018 at 09:08

Thank you for your reply. The municipality is Johannesburg.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: council approved plans

Callie de Jager replied on Sat, 13 Jan 2018 at 18:26

Gail. Sorry, should have asked for the suburb. Then I can give you the name and telephone number of the building inspector for your area. The offices are in Braamfontein on the Hill.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: council approved plans

Gail Andrew replied on Sun, 14 Jan 2018 at 23:03

Hi Callie. Please could you email me on gailandrew011@gmail.com. Thank you!

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