What safety measures are now officially required for swimming pools?

The SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) SANS 10134 states:

Every private swimming pool that can hold more than 30 cm of water should be surrounded by a child-proof fence and also be fitted with a safety net or a solid safety cover to prevent children drowning.  Such a net or cover  must be fitted by an "accredited responsible party."

The recommended Standard for a solid safety cover for pools is as follows:

  • When closed, the safety cover does not allow any object measuring 114mm in diameter to be forced under the cover / gain access to the water.
  • The cover's fastenings / securing points must not be workable by a small child.
  • The cover must have a tensioning / locking system.
  • The cover must bear the weight of 220kg.
  • No water should pool on top of the cover. After rainfall or if garden sprinklers are used, the water must drain off unaided and the cover must be dry within 5 minutes.
  • The safety cover must be installed by an accredited / trained industry supplier.
  • The cover should form a complete barrier over the water.

It is the responsibility of the owner of a pool to ensure it has both a fence or wall and a net or cover.

Walls and fences

The standard requires walls or fences to be at least 1.2m tall, to be sunk into the ground at least 50cm deep, to be very hard for children to climb, and with gates difficult for children to open.

Read the full document, as at Dec 2018: SABS SANS 10134