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George Municipality tackles review of By-laws – Draft Building Control By-Law

Council approved a draft Building Control by-law for the George Municipality on 30 March 2023 and which included a public participation process to be followed.

Purpose and objective of the by-law
The main purpose of the by-law is to supplement the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act 103 of 1977) (NBR & BS) and the National Building Regulations issued in terms of the NBR & BS to ensure uniformity with regard to building standards, the erection of buildings and structure and the submission, consideration and approval of building plans in the jurisdictional area of George Municipality.

The relation of this By-Law with and between the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act No 103 of 1977, as amended and SANS Codes is aimed at ensuring that the functional regulations contained in the National Building Regulations are deemed to be satisfied insofar as it relates to the relevant SANS codes as stipulated in SANS 10400.

The purpose of this by-law is not only to be able to enforce compliance of The Nation Building Regulations and standards more efficiently but more importantly ensure the health and safety of the property owners and neighbouring properties owners or any interested parties as these standards and means to comply will be clearly set out.  It takes the transparency of regulatory requirements, standards and codes associated with construction practices a step further.

The objective of the by-law is to improve organizational efficiency and articulate the rules concerning the processes and practices in the construction industry that are otherwise not expressed in the Act, thereby providing additional clarity on the aspects addressed in the draft by-law. This intervention is regarded necessary as much of the department’s capacity is spent on corrections required to render a plan suitable for approval.

The proposed by-law elaborates and provides clarity on the following aspects pertaining to building control including: approval required for buildings to be erected; buildings that require approval of the municipality;certificate of occupancy; applications and requirements; offences and penalties; and appeals.

The draft Building Control By-Law notice will be published on 13 April 2023 in the George Herald, on the Municipal Website and municipal social media sites. The draft Building Control By-Law is available on our website, follow this link . Hard copies will be provided at all public libraries in George for review. Feedback is required by no later than 12 May 2023.

Once the input has been received from the public and addressed, the final by-law then goes back to Council for approval. Comments and inputs can be emailed to, Fickerie Toyer phoned in to 044 801 9111 or submitted in person at the George Municipality Ground Floor ,71 York Street, George ,6530. Enquiries to Fickerie Toyer

By-laws differ between municipalities.
The Constitution of South Africa gives municipalities the power to pass their own legislation, in the form of by-laws, for subject areas. These by-laws hold the same power and force as other national and provincial legislation but are laws managed by the individual municipality in order to regulate the affairs and the services it provides within its area of jurisdiction.

The details of by-laws can differ from one municipality to another, and the public is always advised to check their local municipal by-laws which can be found on the relevant municipal website. The most important by-laws being addressed in this round of review by George Municipality, are the Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places, Informal Street Trading, Water and Sanitation Services, Water Services and the Stormwater by-laws amongst others.

Promulgated in Western Cape Provincial Gazette
A municipal by-law may be enforced only after it has been published in the official gazette of the Western Cape Province on request of the local municipality. The promulgated by-law is then uploaded to the municipal website for easy access by the public. Transgression of a by -law is treated the same as a normal law, if you break a by-law, you can be fined or prosecuted. Most transgressions are handled in the George Municipal Court.