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 swimming pool kid

However, there are certain safety requirements which must be complied with.

What are they?

A swimming pool can represent a very real safety risk, and many a swimming pool owner has experienced a near drowning.

It is for this reason that the legislature has seen fit to provide regulations that govern the safe operation of swimming pools.

Part D4 of the National Building Regulations (“the regulations”) require that: an owner of any site which contains a swimming pool must ensure that access to such swimming pool is controlled.

The regulations continue and state clearly that any owner who fails to comply with this requirement shall be guilty of an offence. Additionally, a homeowner can also be sued for negligence should someone drown in their swimming pool, depending on whether negligence was present at the time or not. A pool that however does not meet the required safety standards of the regulations or where those measures are not effective can, of itself, provide the necessary evidence of negligence on the part of the owner.


Part D5 of the regulations further states that an owner shall be deemed to have satisfied the necessary control requirements where access to the swimming pool complies with the relevant South African National Standards (“SANS”), as published by the South African Bureau of Standards(SABS).

In terms of SANS 10400-D the following requirements must be met for swimming pools and swimming baths:

1. A wall or fence must be provided by the owner of a site which contains a swimming pool or a swimming bath to ensure that no person can have access to such pool or bath from any street or public place or any adjoining site other than through a street or public place or any adjoining site other than through:

  1. a) A self-closing and self-latching gate, with provision for it locking into such wall or fence, or
  2. b) A building where the building itself also forms part of such wall or fence.

    A wall or fence shall be provided in any interconnected complex which contains a swimming pool or swimming bath to ensure that no person can have access to such pool or bath from any street or public place or anywhere within the complex other than through a self-closing and self-latching gate with   provision being made for the locking into such wall or fence.

    3. Such wall or fence and any such gate therein shall be not less than 1.2 metres high, measured from the ground level, and shall not contain any opening that will permit the passageofa100mmdiameterball.

    4. The constructional requirements of any steel fence or gate must comply with the requirements in SANS1390.

    Extra protection, such as pool covers, pool nets and warning devices can also be used in addition to a fence, with such protective measures having to meet certain SANS compliance standards. Make sure that if you use any of these, you enquire from the supplier whether it is SANS compliant.

    Owners should be aware that some municipalities may have by-laws that govern and may provide for even stricter safety measures regarding a private swimming pool, and the requirements of these bylaws will have to be adhered to. Make sure you find out regarding any local bylaws that may require additional safety measures for your pool.

    And lastly, it is important that any pool owner ensure that the safety measures in place are adhered to i.e. that the gate latch works and that the pool cover is secured, etc. Negligence can still exist where reasonable efforts are not taken to ensure that the safety measures are effective and you as the owner are responsible for making sure that no unfortunate incident happens at your pool. 

Please visit our website at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za or send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your legal questions.

About our author:

Hugh Pollard (Legal Consultant), has a BA LLB and 41 years’ experience in the legal field. 22 years as a practicing attorney and conveyancer; and 19 years as a Legal Consultant.

082-0932304 (Hugh’s Cell Number)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.legaladviceoffice.co.za

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