City of Cape Town’s new integrated zoning scheme

Thinking of a Guest House in South Africa
Thinking of a Guest House in South Africa

Thinking of a Guest House in South Africa 

The City of Cape Town’s new integrated zoning scheme came into effect on 1 March 2013. From this date, a single and common zoning scheme for the entire metropolitan area will replace the 27 zoning schemes applicable in various parts of the metropole up until this date.

Where as Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfasts were often terms used interchangeably there is now a clear definition on both:

A B & B “means a dwelling house or second dwelling in which the owner of the dwelling supplies lodging and meals for compensation to transient guests who have permanent residence elsewhere”.

Therefore, the dominant use of a B&B property shall remain for the accommodation of a single family and the zoning scheme adds that no more than 3 rooms and no more than 6 paying guests shall be allowed per land unit. In additional to this, no more than 3 employees shall be engaged by the owner as part of the establishment.

A guest house in turn “means a dwelling house or second dwelling which is used for the purpose of supplying lodging and meals to transient guests for compensation, in an establishment which exceeds the restrictions of a bed and breakfast establishment, and may include business meetings or training sessions by and for guests on the property.”

The goal of any guest house should be to provide small to medium scale guest accommodation in a conventional residential neighbourhood setting and to generate income opportunities from a residential dwelling building.

This therefore exceeds the restrictions of a B&B establishment because more than 3 rooms can be operated per land unit. The maximum size of 30 persons or 15 rooms is permitted in a guest house establishment. More than 15 rooms would constitute a hotel or boutique hotel.

Key to both existing guest house owners and prospective new ones is that the planing regulations around each differ. Existing owners need to ensure they comply and prospective buyers need to ensure that the property in mind is deemed appropriate for zoning or already holds such zoning.

Using a property buyers consultant can assist you in safeguarding your purchase. SAHomeBuyers regularly assist buyers of guest houses and there guest house expert can be contacted via

If you are thinking of setting up a guest house in South Africa you can read more on our website.