City Green Building Requirements


The cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Tshwane and eThekwini have made a commitment to developing local policies and bylaws to promote smart, healthy, energy-efficient buildings powered by clean energy sources – and this process is already underway.

The goal for each of the participating cities is to guide urban development so as to reduce harmful carbon emissions associated with the design, construction and operation of buildings. (Read more about carbon emissions and climate change here.)

Each of the cities is working on local policies to reduce buildings’ carbon emissions to net zero over the coming years. The cities have all opted to develop bylaws – a type of law managed by municipalities – as their main instruments for achieving these policy goals. They will also provide support through technical assistance and incentive schemes, where possible, to encourage and enable the uptake of the new building requirements.


Top policy goals

Reducing energy use as much as possible through building design and improvements

Ensuring any remaining energy needed to power a building/building activities is supplied by renewable energy sources such as solar power


Key policy principles

Bylaws will be simple and easy to use

Bylaws will map onto South Africa's national green building regulations (SANS 10400 XA) and improve them

Bylaws will be based on global best practice but draw in local experience


The policy timeline

The policy requirements will be scaled up over time


Your participation is important

Look out for your city's bylaw to participate.

South Africa is a participatory democracy, and that means every citizen can have their say before new laws, regulations and policies are passed by our government. This public participation process is incredibly important – it’s like a two-way street between those who make decisions and the communities who are affected by those decisions.

By taking part, you can help to ensure that the proposed green building bylaws in Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini serve everyone’s needs. The more voices are heard during the participation process, the better the cities’ understanding of the issues at hand – especially at the grassroots level, where the impacts of any policies are often felt most strongly. Your input can help decision-makers to get a clearer picture of what’s at stake, and to consider a broader range of community concerns. This makes the final outcome a better and fairer one.

So how does public participation work?

The process is usually made up of several stages that allow citizens to acquire knowledge about a proposed law or policy, and the opportunity to engage with decision-makers and provide input.



Do you have questions or comments about the proposed bylaws in your city?

We want to hear from you! Fill out the form below and have your say in shaping the future of green buildings in South Africa.

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