The scope of the land surveying profession is very wide but can be, for the purpose of this brief explanation, be broken down into two simplified categories being engineering and cadastral surveying.
Engineering surveying deals with on-site measurements in order to accurately stake out; on land; what was planned in the office. Setting out the co-ordinated points in order for engineering professionals to correctly lay down electric cables, water pipes, storm water and drainage systems, roads, building foundations etc. The surveyor on site is also responsible for calculating volumes and as built surveys that is used to keep the construction process on track. Engineering survey work includes: detailed topographic maps for planning purposes, contour generation and digital terrain modelling (DTM).
Cadastral surveying deals with the law of property and include the principals of possession, holdership and ownership. The process of boundary demarcation in South Africa is governed by a number of Acts of Parliament. The main piece of legislation governing cadastral surveys is the Land Survey Act, Act 8 of 1997 to regulate the survey of land in the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith. Section 44 of this Act makes it clear that no person other than a professional land surveyor may alter, move, disturb or erect any property beacon. The Professional and Technical Surveyors Act, Act 40 of 1984 is unequivocal in stating that anyone not registered as a professional land surveyor may not act in that capacity. Cadastral Survey related work includes: beacon and boundary relocations, subdivision and consolidation surveys, servitude registrations/cancellations, land surveyor certificates, registration of diagrams with the Surveyor General.
Specialist Surveys, GIS and Mapping