Building Guidelines in the Overstrand Municipal District

3 May 2011

Welcome to the Hangklip area. The villages of Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, and Betty’s Bay are located in beautiful surroundings and have become conservancies registered with CapeNature. As residents and property owners here we are very proud of being part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. We embrace the responsibility of nurturing the diverse components of the natural environment that make this area one of the most beautiful areas in the country and worldwide. It is this very aspect that contributes significantly to our property values. It is presumed and expected that prospective owners and residents joining the community assume this responsibility for the same reasons.

While the National Building Regulations are applicable to all municipal areas, local conditions and needs necessitate that these regulations be supplemented by appropriate guidelines and requirements. Your attention is therefore drawn to the guidelines and requirements listed hereunder that should be borne in mind when you are planning, designing, costing and undertaking construction in this area
1 Preliminary considerations
1.1 Design, building methods and techniques as well as utilization of the plot area should take into account that these townships are situated in a registered Biosphere Reserve.
1.2 It could be a requirement that, if the plot forms part of an environmentally sensitive area, e.g. a natural wetland, or is located within 100m of the high water mark, etc., an Environmental Impact Assessment has to be undertaken in terms of the National Environmental Management Act No. 107 of 1998 (NEMA), before finalizing the design. Contact the local authority to assist in determining if your property is subject to this law before proceeding with planning of new building. Plot clearing should not be done before it is determined if an assessment is required.
1.3 It is a legal requirement that plans have to be prepared by registered architectural professionals and it is recommended that they be made aware of these Guidelines and Requirements.
1.4 Because of the situation of the townships in the natural environment and the detrimental effect of light pollution, the number, wattage and placement of outside lights should be kept to a minimum. Such lights should be of the downwards-sloping louvre or eyelid type to limit horizontal light projection.
1.5 This area is prone to extraordinarily extreme weather conditions. Design parameters must provide for prevailing winter and summer gales, and the required structural detail, positioning and orientation of the building is critical. If any doubt exists as to the adequacy of the structure or design to withstand the abovementioned weather conditions, the municipal authorities may require a report by an independent ‘Competent Person’ as defined in the National Building Regulations.

1.6 The installation of rainwater tanks for garden irrigation is encouraged. It is preferable to construct permeable surfaces for driveways, yards, patios, etc. as this allows for gradual replacement of groundwater and minimizes problematic run-off of storm water. In suitable locations, ‘grey water’ may be discharged according to Municipal by-law (see municipal website - Water supply and sanitation services, part 6.44)
1.7 Owners must budget to complete building to the satisfaction of the local authority. Half-built houses derogate from the value of surrounding properties. (According to the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (103/1977) Section 11)
2 Procedures prior to building, and supervision
2.1 When building/extending or renovating, you or your agent should ideally be on site frequently in order to have full control of daily operations.
2.2 It is advisable to appoint a registered builder who has previously worked in the area and is well recommended for both quality and environmental sensitivity.
2.3 Meet personally with the builder on site prior to preparations, hand over this list of restrictions pertaining to building in the Hangklip area / Biosphere Reserve and ensure that they are understood and accepted.
2.4 You are respectfully advised to ensure that sufficient funds are available to keep the building process running through to completion with no breaks exceeding 3 months duration. Refer to National Building Regulations and Standards Act (103/1977) Section 11.1 & 11.2

3 Site demarcation

3.1 In order to ensure correct positioning of the building the owner and builder are to indicate the erf pegs, boundaries and building lines clearly. If any doubt exists as to peg positions, a Land Surveyor must be appointed.

3.2 If the building site becomes hazardous because of construction activities, e.g. excavation, earth moving or hoisting equipment that is being used, hazard tape and non-language signage (pictograms) must be provided.

3.3 Where construction takes place on slopes, adequate measures need to be taken to prevent materials and equipment from slipping off the site. Making good damage to other property and injury to individuals will be to the account of the owner.

4 Environmental protection

In the Fynbos eco-area it is suggested the owner obtains advice from authoritative
sources such as Conservancy committee members, Harold Porter National Botanical
Garden, Conservation officers, et al. as to the number and rarity of species of plants and the fauna that such fynbos supports on the property, before construction commences.

4.1 Please do NOT clear the entire erf of vegetation in order to establish the demarcation of the building footprint. Not only is coastal fynbos slow-growing, but it is becoming increasingly threatened by development. If excessive clearing takes place winds carry off top soil and sand (much to the annoyance of your neighbours.)

4.2 It is strongly recommended that a storage area for building materials and rubble and a work platform for ground work be designated, preferably in areas that will remain disturbed or in use after construction is completed. e.g. the future garage or driveway. Shipping containers, stores and all temporary buildings must be removed immediately after completion of building activities.

4.3 This designated space and footprint of the building area (plus a 1 -1,5 meter working margin) should be marked off with stakes and tape so that the rest of the erf is left undisturbed in order to retain the surrounding fynbos. Labourers should not be allowed to destroy the fynbos outside the designated area.

4.4 By law, certain protected species may not be pruned, defaced or removed, e.g. white milkwood (Sideroxylon inerme). Other species may be red-data listed or the erf may constitute a large portion of their range. (A plant rescue drive can be initiated by the property owner so that the plant-aware members of the community can advise on how to conserve certain plants in order to re-establish them again after construction or relocate those plants which will have to be removed).

4.5 Rocks and natural outcrops that fall outside the building’s footprint and immediate surrounds should also not be defaced or damaged in any way.

5 Excavation and demolition

5.1 Topsoil removed from the building area should be conserved and stockpiled on site for rehabilitation of the site once construction is complete.

5.2 Excavated soils and materials stockpiled on site should be adequately protected from the wind.

5.3 All other excavated material and rubble must be disposed of at approved Municipal sites only.

5.4 No explosives may be used without prior approval of the appropriate Municipal authorities and the relevant permits being issued. The Nature Conservation officer and all property owners who might be affected must be informed of the intention to use explosives, and when approval is obtained, 24 hours notice must be given to all concerned.

6 Building material stockpiles

6.1 By-laws make it illegal for building materials or building rubble to be dumped / stored on the road verge. Verges belong to the Municipality, not to the erf owner. All materials and rubble must be stored on the site within the demarcated area.

6.2 All building materials must be stockpiled and contained in such a manner that they do not constitute a threat to the health and safety of residents, staff, visitors and fauna. Sand and other materials that could be lifted by strong wind need to be covered and anchored. Bricks, rocks, roof tiles, steel girders, etc need to be properly stacked to ensure compliance with Health and Safety regulations.

6.3 No road may be obstructed by storage of building material and/or construction operations. No material may be stored on other residents’ properties without their written permission specifying which materials may be stored. All regulations pertaining to a building site then apply to that property.

7 Waste and pollution control and water management

7.1 To prevent poisoning of the groundwater and vegetation (fynbos is acid-soil adapted and cement is alkali-based), all liquid or semi-liquid wastes (cement-contaminated water, paint, oil, fuel, chemicals, cement slurries, etc.) are to be contained on site and if required by the Local Authority, stored in watertight containers prior to disposal at approved sites. The onus is on the contractor to acquaint himself with the list of approved disposal sites.

7.2 The use of harmful chemicals and cleaning agents should be kept to a minimum and none should be allowed to run off the site into the surrounding vegetation. Owners will be held responsible, restitution/rehabilitation will be required, and fines will be imposed on offenders.

7.2.1 Rain run-off from the site shall be channelled and contained so as not to transport any pollutants off site.

7.2.2 Earthworks and/ or features created on the site may not cause drainage or flooding problems on neighbouring sites as a result of channelled rain or stormwater.

7.2.3 Channelled rain or stormwater may not cause any off-site soil erosion.

7.3 As water is in short supply, water usage should be conservative at all times.

7.4 Plastic pollution kills many species of sea life, food waste attracts scavengers and vermin, and cement dust poisons plants and ground water. All refuse (such as cement bags, wire and plastic webbing, food remains, food packaging, cans, bottles, plastic and paper, etc.) shall be contained in wind and scavenger proof containers. Contractors will be subject to all relevant ‘littering fines’ applicable to the area.

7.4.1 To limit rubble build-up and make transport easy, cement bags could be filled with rubble and stacked neatly prior to removal from site.

7.4.2 As wind scatters rubbish, work sites should be cleaned and cleared before departure every night.

7.5 Builder’s rubble and refuse collected on site is to be removed at least once a week to the appropriate disposal sites, not the local residential waste trailer. Loads (incl. bushes) must be covered during transport to prevent items falling onto the road where they will endanger motorists.

7.6 Recyclable items may be placed in the designated igloos, but only in moderation as the use of these facilities is for the convenience of residents.

7.7 No refuse of other waste materials may be burnt on site or anywhere in the area.

7.8 Any temporary structures such as huts used as site offices or staff common rooms and toilets etc. are to be tethered securely against the wind and must be positioned so as to minimize inconvenience to neighbours.

7.9 Regulations demand that toilets be provided on site for the use of construction staff and that they be properly maintained. It is recommended that the conservancy tank be commissioned at the commencement of work so that the site toilet can be connected directly into the tank. If doubt exists as to the availability of a suitable fall from the future finished floor level to the proposed tank position, do not install the tank until accurate levels have been established. As an alternative, a chemical toilet should be provided. Bucket or pit toilets are not permitted.

7.10 No dumping of excess materials is allowed anywhere in the area. Excess concrete, sand, stone etc, has to be removed to approved disposal sites.

8. Site re-instatement and damage repair

8.1 Contractors will be responsible for re-instating damaged off-site vegetation on road verges and adjoining properties. The onus is on the contractor to inform purveyors of materials that many of the narrow village roads are not suitable for large and heavy trucks and that a weight and size restriction is being considered. If conditions dictate, deliveries must be made on smaller trucks.

8.2 Identifiable damage to road signage, kerbstones, gateposts, driveways and road surfaces by construction vehicles will be to the contractor’s and owner’s account.

8.3 Soil around the site compacted as a result of trampling or the operation of construction vehicles or equipment is to be returned as closely as possible to its original state (if necessary, by scarifying to min 150mm deep and protecting from wind erosion by a suitable cover material) to the satisfaction of the Local Authority officer before refunding of Builder’s Deposit.

8.4 On completion of the construction work, the site and surrounds must be completely cleared of all rubble and excess building material. Any items being retained by the owner must be tidily and safely stored on site.

8.5 In the event that a construction site is abandoned, the owner is responsible for restoring the site as closely as possible to its original state. Exposed soils should be protected from wind. Displaced bulbs and other vegetation that can be rescued should be re-instated. (Advice can be sought from members of the local Conservancy). All unsightly building material and rubble must be removed from the site. Building materials being retained for future use must be tidily stored.

9 Staff controls

9.1 It is the responsibility of the owner to inform the contractor who, in turn, has the responsibility to inform all his staff of building and environmental restrictions applicable to eco-sensitive areas.

9.1.1 Poaching or damage to plants and fauna, or the removal and defacing of any natural features, is prohibited. Environmental, municipal and littering as well as vandalism laws will be applied.

9.1.2 Poaching of wildlife, e.g. antelope, francolin, porcupine and marine animals is prohibited. The contractor and staff must make themselves aware of open and closed seasons and permit requirements for certain species. Poaching laws will be applied.

9.1.3 A toilet is required by law to be commissioned on site prior to commencement of work. Staff must use this facility and not the bush, rocks or dunes as toilets. Public toilets are not to be used as laundry facilities or as staff ablutions. It is advisable to use a weekly-serviced chemical toilet until the levels of drainage have been determined and the conservancy tank is installed.

9.1.4 In order to conserve the fynbos, staff should be instructed to walk on demarcated footpaths and not to create new ones.

9.1.5 Baboons that may visit the site are not to be harmed but may be dispatched by yelling and chasing. The use of firearms is illegal. Staff must be informed not to feed baboons.

9.2 Construction crews may not overnight in the area except with written permission from the Municipality and in compliance with SANS 10400 Part F10. Neighbours should be given prior notice. Preferably only one night watchman should be on site. The owner’s and builder’s attention is drawn to the Local Authority’s lighting control requirements on the approved plan; these restrictions also apply during the construction phase.

9.3 The contractor is responsible for his crew and must at all times comply with Department of Labour requirements. Staff particulars must be available on site to any qualifying authority requiring this information. The contractor must be contactable at all times in case of problems or incidents on site.

9.4 Construction crews shall clean up after each meal and securely dispose of packaging or leftovers to ensure that baboons and other scavengers are not attracted to human food and habitation.

9.5 As fynbos is so flammable, no cooking fires are permitted. Any cooking should be done on gas cookers. All fire prevention precautions must be observed.

9.6 Neither the contractor nor his staff will be permitted to keep livestock or pets of any description on site or in the area.

9.7 Unreasonable levels of noise must be avoided. The use of sound equipment on site or in the area, such as radios, tape recorders, CD players, musical instruments, etc. at a volume which disturbs neighbours is not permitted. The limitations detailed in SANS 10400 Part F6 must be complied with.

9.8 The operation of machinery, equipment and vehicles on site, subject to SANS 10400 F6, must be performed by suitably trained and qualified staff and in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (85/1993). The contractor is liable for any damage to vegetation and/or injury to any person/fauna etc.

10 Advertising and information boards

10.1 Only official site notice boards approved by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession may be erected on site.

10.2 The names and contact telephone numbers of the contractor and supervisor/foreman shall be available on site at all times.

SEAWATCH: 082 994 9300



Disposal sites:

Karwyderskraal landfill site is the only site where dumping of building rubble is permitted. A permit must be obtained from the Overstrand Municipality’s Operational Services in Kleinmond (tel. 028 271 8435) upon payment of the required fee. This office must also be contacted regarding the disposal of contaminated fluids, solids and chemical waste.

The Transfer Station in Betty’s Bay may be used only for garden refuse and branches and the Transfer Station in Kleinmond only for household refuse, garden refuse and branches.

Residential waste trailers may not be used for the disposal of any material from building sites.