When a building plan application is submitted, it’s processed by the NMBM Building Inspectorate, circulated and if in accordance with the title & zoning conditions, National Building Regulations and municipal by-laws, it’s approved. Copies of the drawings are stamped and returned to the applicant with a Notice of Approval. Amongst other conditions, the notice stipulates that the plans will laps after 12 months, unless the building work commences within that period.

Therefore, if the proposed construction doesn’t proceed during the one-year period, the approved building plans laps. If the work proceeds and continues uninterrupted, the approved building plans remain valid.

The applicant can apply for a 6-month extension to the validity, by written request to the local authority, before the validity period expires.

If the approved building plans lapse, they can be re-submitted to the local authority and the submission fee will be 50% of the original fee.

When commencing construction, the owner, designer, or contractor must contact the appropriate Building Inspector for an inspection, as the commencement of construction is only activated with the inspection. Even if the owner starts building within a year, without an inspection the plans could lapse.

If a building is constructed without an inspection, the Building Inspector can’t verify that the foundations and construction are in order. They may request an engineer’s report, or other documentation to verify that the construction complies, before an Occupation Certificate can be issued.

Property owners who would like advice regarding building plans can contact me, or the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality:

Building Inspector, Tracy-Leigh Stephen:

Tel.: 041 506 2120


Senior Building Inspector (Admin), Mrs. Christelle Marais:

Tel.: 041 506 2188