Contractual and Legal Documentation

Standard Forms of Contract

Standard Forms of Contract

Master Builders South Africa has developed a number of useful model agreements for a variety of applications. The use of Master Builders South Africa contract documents is not restricted to members of Master Builders Associations and the documents are available to members of the public.

There are advantages and disadvantages of using standard form building contracts. In South Africa, there are several standard form construction contracts developed by the JBCC, Master Builders South Africa and other industry bodies. Below is a summary of benefits of using standard form construction contracts in any construction project, which include the following:

  • Contract terms are generally well understood by parties involved in the project due to wide use of these standard form of construction contracts in the industry;
  • The cost of contracting is reduced by eliminating the need for custom contracts for individual tenders;
  • Exploitative practices by unscrupulous professionals and clients /employers are reduced;
  • Save time and speeds up the bidding and contracting process by eliminating the scope for elongated negotiations;
  • Reduces disputes and un/necessary litigation while providing alternati ve dispute resolution mechanisms in the event of a dispute;
  • Easy to use and understand as users become familiar with the terms of standard contracts of the industry;
  • Consistency in contracts means less room for deviation from the terms set out in the contract. It prevents contractors from making any changes to the contract without informing their clients;
  • Over time, standard form contracts establish a body of case laws that can be referred to by parties in the case of a dispute. This benefits the entire industry.

For advice on the appropriate standard form construction contract for any project and to determine whether a contractor is a member of an Association affiliated to Master Builders South Africa, please contact the local Master Builders Association.

Users of contract documents are advised that, although amendments and alterations are sometimes made to model agreements, such amendments are not recommended. If amendments or alterations have to be made they should be listed under the relevant clauses in the agreement and should be carefully assessed by all parties, specifically the effect of the amendments or alterations on the rest of the agreement. The following Standard Forms of Contract for use on different types of building projects are available from any of the Master Builders Associations.

  • House Building & Small Contracts Agreement, March 2005 Edition
    Suitable for use with or without an Agent
  • Domestic Subcontract Agreement, March 2014 Edition
    Intended for use in conjunction with the JBCC Principal Building Agreement Edition 6.1 – March 2014
  • Labour Only Subcontract, February 2006 Edition
    Intended for use in cases where the Contractor supplies all materials to the Labour Only Subcontractor
  • Agreement for Renovation and Refurbishment Work to Existing Premises, February 2006 Edition
    Recommended for use where an existing building is to be repaired, renovated or refurbished