Building in South Africa: what you should know
If you are not a resident of South Africa, then building a commercial or residential structure here may present a few more complexities than you might realise. As a reputable, bespoke residential and commercial construction compan, UKASA Construction can help you understand the key aspects in a better way. The main things that you should know about are:
- National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and banking institutions: Home owners should be aware that it is mandatory to register the construction with the NHBRC in South Africa. Only after this can the actual construction begin. This registration requires, apart from other things, council-approved building plans, an appointed engineer and engineer’s drawings. The link between the NHBRC and bankers makes it pretty much impossible for you to sell the building to any buyer who requires financing from South African banks if you have not registered it as required.
- BIBC (Building Industry Bargaining Council): This council is responsible for safeguarding the interests of the workers employed in the construction project. It offers, in particular, protection against unscrupulous employers and makes it possible for workers to exercise their rights. The Council was created under the Labour Relations Act of 1995. Its main functions are to negotiate an agreement between the employer and workers, to administer this agreement, to address labour disputes and to manage the social benefits funds for workers.
All building industry professionals who are engaged in construction activities are required to be registered with this Council and to follow its regulations. As the owner who is commissioning the construction of your building, make sure that your building contractor is registered with this council. At UKASA Construction, we take care of all these mandatory requirements without fail and also ensure that we follow all the regulations and requirements to the letter.
- Knowledge of by-laws: Construction is a complex process and at every stage there are laws that need to be followed. Unless your building contractor is aware of these and committed to following them, you, the property owner can be in some serious trouble. After all, failure to comply with law can have far reaching consequences well after your building has been completed too. A good example of this is the recent announcement by the City of Joburg of new swimming pool safety by-laws, which if ignored could have serious legal implications for property owners. Homes that are already built with swimming pools will need to get a certificate of compliance otherwise they cannot be sold. They will be inspected by officials to ensure that they are in line with the new by-laws. There are similar by-laws with respect to many aspects of the construction, such as demolition and working on public holidays and these should be followed strictly to avoid legal consequences.
Signing up with a reputable and experienced bespoke construction company like UKASA Construction is the simplest way for you to ensure that your construction project is being done in full compliance with the law.