Building Control and Permits

Getting municipal approval for a new construction or renovation project may seem daunting at first, especially when you don’t know where to start.

After drawing up the plans with a professional, SACAP-registered architect or draughtsman, the plans need to be submitted for approval at your local municipality. It is a common misconception that smaller construction plans such as renovations or extensions do not need approval, but the reality is that any additions or alterations to an existing structure have to be authorised by the local authority.

Any building work done without the relevant approval can legally be halted or even authorised for demolition by a building inspector. In addition, fines could also be imposed if construction work has begun without approval. These rules apply to tenants in shopping centres and office parks as well.

Not obtaining municipal building plans approval can be an unnecessary, costly mistake and will also prevent you from obtaining an Occupancy Certificate.

What is an Occupancy Certificate?

By definition, this document gives permission or clearance for the building (habital space) to be occupied as it complies with city by-laws and building standards.

Once you have approved council plans that matches your development/shop/office together with a number of certificate of compliance (COC) for plumbing, electrical etc. an application can be made.

When can I apply for an occupancy certificate?


1. Shopping Centre Compliance


  1. SACAP & SANS10400 Form 1, sign off services
  2. Engineering sign off services (incl. SANS form 2)
  3. Obtaining zoning and SG
  4. Internal layout Plan submission
  5. Obtaining Occupancy Certificate post fitment

Restaurants / Food vendors (additional requirements)

  1. As above
  2. Fit to trade license (Food Vendors)
  3. Business License (Post plan approval)
  4. Liquor License applications and renewals

2. Outdoor - Advertising and events

  1. Fire Compliance Permits
  2. Temporal structure applications
  3. Health & safety
  4. Billboards and other outdoor advertising masts & signage
  5. Wayleaves (Permission to work on council property)

3. Property & Fund Managers, Compliance officers Tool box


  1. Compliance registry on current assets (Zoning, Planning approvals & Occupancy Certificates)
  2. Recommendations on improving & updating compliance records
  3. Registry on Tennant compliance and OC's issued
  4. Annual roof and structural inspections
  5. Advisory service on green energy and other sustainable building developments


  1. New applications for planning approval (SDP, BP)
  2. Heritage applications, including demolition
  3. Closing and opening of bulk municipal accounts
  4. Demolitions Permits
  5. Occupancy Certificates

4. Architects/Developers

  1. Town Planning advisory services during design and planning phase
  2. Ensuring land rights & National building regulations compliance
  3. Pre-scrutiny of drawn up plans prior to printing and submission.
  4. Circulating and managing Planning submissions (SDP, BP, Section 7/6)
  5. Occupancy Certificates

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