Building plan approval for Fuel Stations in South Africa

Starting an independent filling station

South Africa petrol stations fall into two categories, independent and franchise operations, both of which are funded in the same way.

Independently owned garages still play a big roll in the South African economy. According to South African Petroleum Retailers Association (SAPRA), who represents all the stakeholders in the petroleum industry, before a new filling station can be opened, three sets of approvals, authorisations and licenses are needed.

  • Land use rights for purposes of a filling station;
  • An environmental authorisation; and
  • Site and retail licenses.


In terms of the Petroleum Products Act, 1977 (PPA) as amended in 2006, and which is administered by the national Department of Energy, one cannot apply for a site and/or retail license before you have both land use rights and an environmental authorisation.

Existing filling stations are in a particularly strong position because of the PPA which controls the energy authorities to ensure that the number of filling stations is appropriate to local sales volumes and does not exceed the optimal number for an area.

Fuel station environments have become retail experiences capitalising on the opportunity to provide what people need in one-stop. With their mix of fuel, retail & motorist services, petrol stations definitely deserve special consideration as specialized destination brands.

We follow a very methodical and unique approach to Fuel Stations Design, which includes concept design and initial feasibility reports, environment assessments as well as resource consents. We also handle Design Compliance Certificate documentation, engineering drawings & construction and provide comprehensive services such as:

  • Full architectural solutions
  • Site layout planning
  • Contract-drafting service
  • Electrical, civil & structural drawing services
  • Commercial & retail designing fit-outs
  • Project & contract management
  • Design Compliance Certificate documentation
  • As-built documentation
  • Site surveys
  • Pipe and tank works
  • Construction
  • Equipment procurement and installation
  • Commodity procurement & management