Do you need building plans for a pool in South Africa?

Swimming pools form a huge part of South African culture. There is nothing like having the family over for a braai and a swim. The kids love it, and it’s a great way to bring the family together. Not to mention it’s perfect to cool down on hot summer days. For those who are looking into installing a new pool to enjoy the many benefits, the first question you’ll need to answer is, do you need to get building plans for a swimming pool in South Africa?

You might be surprised according to the Minor Building Works Schedule, in many cases, you don’t need building plans for a pool in South Africa. However, you do need to submit an MBW application to your local municipality and appoint an architectural professional or an engineer to oversee the design and construction of the pool.

In most cases, a swimming pool only requires a “Minor Buildings Works” application, a basic sketch indicating the dimensions of the pool, and a site plan indicating its position. You also need to appoint a registered architectural professional to oversee the construction. Having said that, your local municipality has the final say, If they insist on a formal building plan, then you will be required to comply.

Why do I need plans or an MBW application and an architectural professional for a swimming pool?

When you build a swimming pool on your property, you’re essentially adding a structure that changes the building footprint of the land. Specific building regulations and standards need to be adhered to regarding building lines, safety fences, wastewater disposal, and structural support.

An architectural professional who is registered with SACAP or an engineer will need to be appointed to sign the SANS 10400 form 2, takes responsibility for overseeing the design and construction of the pool. It is their responsibility that the pool is designed and built according to the building regulations and that it is safe. They also need to make sure that the pool pump, drainage, backwash mechanisms are safe, including the disposal of excess water.

What will happen if I build a swimming pool without plans or an MBW application?

Building a swimming pool without the approval of a minor building works application or appointment of a professional as per SANS 10400 Form 2 could result in a hefty fine, as well as a demolition order of your newly built swimming pool. In extremely rare cases, you’ll be able to keep your pool subject to the submission of “as-built” drawings of the swimming pool by a registered architectural professional.

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