Simsi Group – Nozala Trust: Women’s Internship Programme:

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Simsi Group – Nozala Trust: Women’s Internship Programme:

An eLearning Course on the South African Building Envelope

Presented by SAHITA


Welcome to the Simsi-Nozala Women’s Internship Programme and to the South African building inspection industry. The objective of this eLearning course is to equip you the student with sufficient knowledge to be able to:

  • Understand the basics of the various laws (legislation) and building regulations, as well as any other applicable legislation that is governing the construction of homes  in South Africa
  • Understand the basics of building houses in South Africa
  • Understand the different elements and components of a house and understand how these elements interact with each other
  • Inspect, assess and quality control the building process with the goal of providing good quality houses which are compliant with the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act as well as Norms and Standards for houses in South Africa

You are entering the building industry at an opportune time because building inspection in South Africa is in the process of being restructured as a formal profession aligned to a new National Building Inspector qualification at NQF levels 5, 6 & 7.  

Building inspectors employed at local government, national and provincial government and in the private sector will be benchmarked in terms of this new qualification.  The work of a building Inspector is, but limited to:

  • Evaluate building plans;
  • Inspect and assess the condition of new and existing buildings;
  • Measure compliance with all applicable legislation and relevant regulations;
  • Advise stakeholders on building requirements.
  • Make legal submissions to Courts in case of litigation.

Building inspectors are, by definition, “generalists” rather than specialists. The  “Specialist” are more likely from your Building Control Officers (BCO’s) and higher. notwithstanding the fact that BCO’s are also under the umbrella name of Building inspectors.

Building inspectors need to have a broad understanding of the laws and regulations relating to building compliance in South Africa.  Building inspectors also need to know something about every component and field of expertise which is involved in building a home.

It is important to remember that a building inspector is not a specialist and will not be expected to know as much as the various specialists in each particular field of the built environment.   Such specialists include people like structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, waterproofing experts, roofing engineers, electricians, plumbers, paint manufacturers, installers of various systems and many others.

You will be assisted with your eLearning by a team of experienced facilitators who are there to guide you and answer your questions.

These facilitators will also accompany you on regular visits to the building sites of the Siyazama Housing Project in Nongoma.  Here you will observe practical examples of the theory which you are leaning in the online SAHITA course. You will also be given the opportunity to interact with the various professions who work on building sites.

Once you have completed the careful study of each online module you will be required to pass an online comprehension test with a minimum pass mark of 80%.  

These are open book multiple choice tests, which are designed to ensure that you have properly read and understood the material in each module.  

A word of advice, in order to get the most out of this course, do not attempt these tests until you have studied the module material several times.  If you fail, don’t retake the test immediately – rather re-study the material carefully before attempting the test again.

I wish you well as you start your journey, which I hope, will lead you into a career in the building industry.  

You may decide to further your studies to become a  building inspector, working in the public or private sectors.   Or perhaps this internship will lead you to decide to study further to enter one of the building professions as an engineer, architect, or land surveyor, or maybe you will want to become a project manager or an entrepreneur (building contractor).

Whatever your choice, I hope that you enjoy and benefit from this internship programme.

John Graham [email protected]
SAHITA Principal
Cape Town March 2019


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The SAHITA course is endorsed by HouseCheck, South Africa's leading home inspection company.

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