Q. How does the NRCS ensures that the buildings occupied are safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly?
A. The National Building Regulations Business Unit is responsible to ensure that the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act No.103 of 1977) (NBR & BS Act) is;
current, relevant and is kept up to date with new building developments and that it addresses all aspects of the building industry
is understood and uniformly implemented by the Local Authorities as the implementers and enforcers of the Act on behalf of the Minister of the dti
The National Building Regulations Business Unit also ensures the following:
the building environment practitioners are informed of changes to the legislation and provide them with a technical interpretation of the legislation and forms part of the SANS 10400 development committees and provide technical advice to assist these committees to develop
suitable national building standards
the qualifications of the Local Authorities Building Control Officers (BCO) satisfy stringent
requirements in terms of the NBR & BS Act
the general understanding and implementation of the Act, through conducting workshops with
Industry Practitioners and Building Control Officers
forensic architectural investigations used for litigation are conducted as an impartial party.
Q. How do I know that the building I am occupying meets the building regulations and that it is therefore safe?
A. The National Building Regulations are implemented and administered by the Local Authority. The Act requires that, any person who wants to engage in any building activity must first get written approval from the Local Authorities Building Control Officer. The Building Control Officer will request the submission of building plans and also monitor the building process during construction. When the building is complete, the officer will issue the owner with an Occupancy Certificate which allows the owner to move into his/her new building.
If you bought an existing building, then the approved drawings and accompanying Occupancy Certificate will indicate that the Building Control Officer was engaged and that the law that protects you as an occupier was utilized during the establishment of your building.
Q. What do I do when the Local Authority does not approve my building plans and yet I want to comply with the Building Regulations?
A. If the Local Authority does not approve your building plans it means that your building application does not satisfy the minimum requirements set within the legislation that ensures your building is healthy, safe to inhabit, and structurally stable. The Local Authority’s Building Control Officer
. will assist you in getting the problem resolved and he/she will help you to realize your dream of building your own building. They are there to assist you and are generally not approving any building application if such a building application is contravening the law.
If however, you believe the Building Control Officer is unreasonable and interpreting the regulations incorrectly, you have the right to appeal the decision made by the Local Authority and the decision can be challenged in a Court of Law and as such, a civil case has to be launched