By Sanette Viljoen
How many people with a swimming pool are aware of the safety measures required by legislation and regulations for a swimming pool? The National Building Regulations set out the following measures that have to be adhered to should there be a swimming pool on an erf:
The erf must be fenced so that there is no unauthorised access to the swimming pool from the street or any adjacent property. This rule also applies to complexes.
The wall or fence may not be lower than 1,2 metres. It may also not contain an opening that is large enough for a ball with a circumference of 100 mm. The construction of any steel fence or gate must comply with South African National Standards (SANS).
Owners may however also go further and install additional protective measures, e.g. a net over the swimming pool. This additional protection must also comply with SANS. It could possibly also count in the owner’s favour in the defence of any case of negligence.
However, it is important for owners to make sure that there is no defect in the fence or gate that could allow any unauthorised access to the swimming pool, e.g. the gate has to lock properly, should not open easily, there has to be no gaps in the fence or it should not be so weak that it could break easily etc.
Should the rules as set out in these National Building Regulations of SANS not be complied with, it will be considered a misdemeanour and the owner will be sued for negligence if any negligence was present and someone sustained harm as a result of the regulations not being complied with.
It is important to also mention that certain municipalities have additional safety requirements and it is the duty of every owner to acquaint himself with the stipulations of his municipality.
An owner cannot therefore just try. He is compelled to enclose his swimming pool and to not allow uncontrolled access.