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The National Building Regulation Business unit

The National Building Regulation Unit is responsible for ensuring uniform understanding and implementation of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act No.103 of 1977) (NBR & BS Act).

The Building Regulations Business Unit also protects the interests of SA citizens through:

  • Pro-actively engaging with built environment practitioners and the relevant building industries for regulatory awareness, and developing and enhancing a culture of voluntary compliance

  • Identifying gaps in the enforcement and compliance to the building legislation

  • Adopting a risk-based approach that informs all of the NBR’s regulatory activities

  • Collaborating with strategic partners and Building Control Officers as implementers of the building legislation

  • Building a competent team that oversees the implementation of the National Building Regulations and Standards Act.

The strategic roles of the NBR are:​

  • Providing technical advice and interpretation of the (NBR and BS Act) to the built environment practitioners and other interested parties, such as homeowners, local authorities, government departments, and the public

  • Performing building defects investigations that can be described as forensic architectural investigations.

  • These investigations are performed to determine why and how building failures occurred

  • Evaluation of the qualifications of Building Control Officers who do not satisfy the required minimum qualifications as prescribed by legislation

  • Providing technical support and guidance to the SABS technical committees responsible for providing solutions to satisfy the legislative requirements in terms of developing the SANS 10400 range of documents

  • To inform the building industry’s stakeholders of th​e role and function of the NBR ​​​​​

NBR​ Process Flow

Built Environment

F​​requently Asked Questions​​

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;

1. Current, relevant and kept up to new building developments and that it addresses all aspects of the building industry.

2. The NRCS National Building Regulations Business Unit is further tasked with ensuring that this legislation is understood and uniformly implemented by the Local Authorities. The Local Authorities being the implementers and enforcers of the National Building Regulations on behalf of the minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

3. The NRCS National Building Regulations Business Unit ensures that the built environment practitioners are informed of changes to the legislation and provide them with technical interpretation of the legislation.

4. The NRCS National Building Regulations Business Unit administers the Review Board, this is a body which hears appeals against decisions made by the Local Authorities. The Review Board interprets the regulations and suggests changes were appeals has shown that changes to the legislation would be required to alleviate misunderstanding of the law.

5. The NRCS National Building Regulations Business Unit forms part of the SANS 10400 development committees and provide technical advice to assist these committees to develop suitable national building standards.

6. The NRCS National Building Regulations Business Unit evaluate the qualifications of the Local Authorities Building Control Officers (BCO). These BCO qualifications have to satisfy stringent requirements in terms of the Act.

7. Conduct workshops to building industry practitioners and Building Control Officers in an effort to ensure promote the general understanding and implementation of the Act.​​

8. Conduct forensic architectural investigations as an impartial party.​

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. ​

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 ​


Semakaleng Masilo​

Personal Assistant

:+27 (0) 12 482 8830 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​