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Fool with a pool

Swimming pools enhance a house aesthetically and are a fantastic feature to add to a house which increase its value, is a source of exercise and for entertainment purposes amongst many other reasons. But before going ahead with the process of erecting a swimming pool, it is important to understand the implications of such a decision. The reality is that as much as there are advantages to having a swimming pool, the greatest disadvantage is the safety risks that it poses especially when the owner of a property with a swimming pool is unaware of these risks and associated regulations.

Why safety regulations?

These regulations are found in Part D Section 4 of the South African National Building Regulations entitled Public Safety. (SANS10400-Building Regulations South Africa, n.d.) The regulations address the safety risks associated with swimming pools and ensure the safe operation of swimming pool areas. (Coetzee Attorneys. ,2017) They reduce the probability of incidents as a result of negligence through the implementation of regulations.

What are the safety regulations?

The intention of the building regulations related to swimming pools is to firstly convey to the owner of a property containing a swimming pool that there are safety risks involved. The minimum requirements as specified by the National Building Regulations for swimming pools are as follows:

There must be an enclosing wall or fence around the perimeter of the swimming pool such that no person can access the swimming pool from any street or public space or through a self-closing/self-latching gate or an adjoining building forming part of the enclosing wall. The enclosing wall or fence should not be less than 1,2 metres high from ground level and openings should not be more than 100mm apart. The construction materials used to construct the fence should comply with the requirements as set out by the SANS 1390. Additonal safety measures include pool nets and covers as well as warning devices such as signage which should be supplied by a SANS compliant supplier to ensure compliance.(Coetzee Attorneys. ,2017) Local Authorities in each region will then determine the extent of the safety measures to be taken with the provision of dimensions, distances and additional safety requirements.

What are the risks?

Owners should ensure that they comply with the municipal bylaws which are region specfic and detail much stricter safety measures regarding private swimming pools. The additional safety measures for swimming pools should thus be inquired from the Local Authorities and implemented to ensure complete compliance. (Coetzee Attorneys. ,2017) Failure to comply is a criminal offence and punishable by law. (SANS10400-Building Regulations South Africa, n.d.) Even if all safety measures are in place, negligence can still exist should an incident occur. The owner of the property containing a swimming pool will be held responsible and can be additionally sued for negligence in the event of an incidence. (Coetzee Attorneys, 2017)

Thrown in the deep end? Contact the team at We Do House Plans and allow us to come to your rescue. Let us ensure that your swimming pools are compliant and approved.


Coetzee Attorneys. (2017). What safety requirements must my swimming pool comply with? [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 May 2022]. (Coetzee Attorneys. ,2017).

SANS10400-Building Regulations South Africa. (n.d.). Public Safety. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 May 2022]. (SANS10400-Building Regulations South Africa, n.d.)

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