A construction work permit is a formal procedure that is required by a client to submit to the Department of Labour. It is required when a development of a project exceeds the value of R60 million CIDB grading 7, 8 or 9. So, the question is why is this necessary? Well, larger projects usually involve higher working risks, therefore it is required that the client provide specific documentation to ensure all safety measures are in place. The permit ensures that all the legal aspects of a future project are addressed and that it is safe for its intended use. It ensures that the project is conducted safely, meets the building regulations and is compliant with the updated legal standards.

Requirements for a Construction Work Permit

The client is required to apply for a construction work permit when the construction carried out will exceed 365 days and will involve more than 3600 persons days of construction work. The tender value limit grade is 7, 8 or 9 of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) which is anything above sixty million rands. The application must be done at least 30 days before construction commences.

For more information, download the 2018 Exemption of CR2014.


The application for a construction work permit is compiled into a document called annexure 1, which is comprised of a health and safety specification, health, and safety plan & a baseline risk assessment. Not only does this section require the health and safety specifications. But it also requires the contact details of the client, the registered construction safety agent, the principal contractor, designers, construction manager, construction health and safety manager and officer. The physical address of the construction site is also required along with the nature of the construction work. Other detail will include the expected start and end dates. The number of construction workers and the number of contractors on site accountable to the principal contractor are also included in the document.

However, this is not the only document that is required to be submitted to the Department of Labour for the construction work permit. Several items are also required for a successful application.

Proof of appointment of a registered construction health and safety agent is required (registered with the SACPCMP).

Following these documents, is also required that regulation 5 has been complied with, namely:

  • Provide the designer with the health and safety specification contemplated in paragraph (b – prepare a suitable, sufficiently documented, and coherent site-specific health and safety specification for the intended construction work based on the baseline risk assessment contemplated in paragraph (a)).
  • Ensure that the designer takes the prepared health and safety specifications into consideration during the design stage.
  • Ensure that the designer carries out all responsibilities contemplated in regulation 6.
  • Include the health and safety specifications in their tender documents.
  • Ensure that potential principal contractors submitting tenders have made adequate provision for the cost of the health and safety measures.
  • Ensure that the principal contractor to be appointed has the necessary competencies and resources to carry out the construction safely.

The designer’s appointment outlining the duties has been agreed upon as stipulated in CR 6 (1) – The duties of the designer. The temporary works designers’ appointment duties have been agreed upon in terms of CR 6(2). Accompanied by evidence that the site-specific health and safety specification was included in the tender documents. It is also required that the contractor has made the needed provision for the cost of the health and safety of the project and that the needed competencies have been provided to carry out safely of the project. The last 3 items include a letter of good standing for the appointed principal contractors, with the written appointment letters for the selected principal contractors. Lastly, the principal contractor’s health and safety plan should be submitted that has been approved by the client.  

Approval or Dismissal 

Once the application has been handed into the Department of Labour, it is stated that the provincial director must issue a construction work permit within 30 days of receiving the application. The written approved permit can only be granted if all the documentation is correct and compliant with the regulations. When the application has been successful, a site-specific number will be allocated to the project and is required to be conspicuously displayed at the entrance of the site. An important note – no construction work may commence or be carried out if the application and site number have not been approved, issued, and assigned.

There are numerous reasons why an application could be rejected, namely that the needed documentation has not been submitted properly or that some of the requirements have not been met. 

The above-mentioned is a summary of the required documentation for a construction work permit application, along with a brief description of what a permit entails. The client does have an enormous task when it comes to the responsibilities indicated within the regulations. However, there are solutions to remove some of the workloads from the client, by appointing a representative to submit the documents on behalf of the client as well as ensuring that the duty of the client is being safely carried out on a construction site. 

Our Services

Cairnmead Industrial Consultants offer these services, we simply and easily assist our clients with the relevant, hands-on application of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulations and associated South African National Standards.

Contact us to find out more:

Christof Lourens

CEO Cairnmead Industrial Consultants (Pty) Ltd

Tel: 012 346 5752 | Email: christof@cairnmead.co.za

Follow us on our social media pages:

You may also like

Transport of Dangerous Goods Thumbnail v1

Transport of Dangerous Goods

21st February 2023
Lateral Support in Construction

First Aid Levels

23rd November 2022