Building Plans

Building Plans

The City’s Building Development Management Branch is responsible for checking and approving all building plans, as well as inspecting building work during construction to ensure compliance with the approved plans and related regulations.
RAMPOA will only consider plans that are compliant – the most important requirements are mentioned here, but there may be other requirements for specific applications. Please consult the local office of the Branch in the Milnerton Civic Centre, 87 Pienaar Road, Milnerton (tel: 021 444 0560/1).
The City of Cape Town website also has all the required information:
» Click here to go to Building Development Branch section on website.
» Click here for application forms and fees.

Building plan requirements

Plans for alterations must comply with the following requirements:

  • Any person intending to erect a building (this includes altering or adding to a building) must submit the following together with the prescribed application form:
    • Site plan.
    • Layout drawings.
    • Drainage installation drawing (where necessary).
    • Full constructional specifications applicable to the application.
    • Appointment Form : Architect/Draughts person.
  • These may be on one or more single sheets not smaller than:
    • A3 size (297 x 420 mm).
    • Not larger than A0 size (841 x 1189mm).
    • For Minor Works not larger than: A3 size (297 x 420mm).
  • Plans must be in sets of four (4). All sets to be white paper prints
  • Plans must be drawn to a suitable scale selected from the following:
    • Site Plan – 1:00 or 1:200 or 1:500 or 1:1000
    • Layout Drawings – 1:100 or 1:500 or 1:20 elevations may be 1:200
    • Drainage Installation drawings – 1:200 or 1:100 or 1:50
    • General structural arrangement drawings and structural details – 1:100 or 1:50 or 1:20 or
      1:10 or 1.5 or 1.2 or 1.1
    • The scale(s) must be clearly stated on the plans.
  • Structural Design:
    • In addition, where any structural design, (for instance reinforced concrete, structural
      steelwork or structural timber) is involved plans showing the structural arrangement and
      details together with a certificate of appointment must be submitted with the plans.
  • Artificial Ventilation:
    • Where artificial ventilation or lighting is involved the necessary details together with a
      certificate of appointment must be submitted with the plans.
  • Alterations and additions to existing buildings:
    • All copies to be coloured as per detail in the table below
  • Signing requirements:
    • The owner to sign the application forms as well as the plans in black ink.
    • Any alterations must be similarly signed and dated.


Materials in plan or section
• New masonry Red
• New concrete Green
• New iron or steel Blue
• New wood Yellow
• New glass Black
• Existing materials (all materials) Grey
• All other new materials To be clearly indicated other than in colours above.
Site Plans
• Proposed work Red
• Existing work Uncoloured
• Work to be demolished Draw in black dotted lines.
Drainage installation drawings
• Drains & soil pipes (fittings) Brown
• Waste pipes Green
• Soil & combined vents Red
• Waste vents (fittings) Blue
• Existing drains Black
• Stormwater drains Not coloured
Materials in elevation (optional)
• New masonry Yellow
• New timber Brown

Click here to open a pdf file with these requirements

Frequently asked questions
What kinds of building activities require building plans to be submitted for approval?
A building plan application must be submitted for any structure, whether this is of a temporary or permanent nature and irrespective of the materials used to build it. This includes alterations or extensions to existing structures. The only exceptions are buildings smaller than 5m², a pergola (without a permanent roof), wire fence or open-side fabric-covered shelter for a car, boat or caravan.
Who may prepare building plans?
In terms of the Architectural Profession Act (Act 44 of 2000), architects, technologists and draughtspersons who are registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession may prepare building plans.
How long does a building plan take to be approved?
In terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standard Act, the City has 30 days to approve or refuse a building plan application for buildings smaller than 500m² and 60 days for buildings larger than 500m².
Do I need to inform my neighbour of my proposed building works?
No (although it is considered good practice), unless the application also includes departure from the zoning scheme regulations (such as building line relaxation, increased bulk/coverage/height etc.) or similar proposals, in which case formal consultation is required.
How do I complain about illegal building work?
Deliver your complaint in writing to your nearest district planning office, by hand, fax or post. No anonymous complaints are accepted, as you may be required to give evidence. The written complaint must include your name and address, the name and address of the alleged offender and a detailed description of the alleged contravention.
What are the consequences of building without approved plans?
A building inspector may serve an order to stop any illegal building work immediately, which if ignored may lead to a fine or even further prosecution and a court order to demolish the structures concerned.
More information available on City website.
» Click here to go to Building Development Branch section on website.
» Click here for application forms and fees.