This branch undertakes field survey operations on behalf of client departments within Council. Types of work include CADASTRAL, TOPOGRAPHICAL, MONITORING and CONTROL surveys. The branch also provides a project management service for topographical survey work undertaken by private survey firms. An important aspect of the branch is its ability to provide assistance on all aspects of Land Survey including the conversion of coordinates from one system to another.
 
Topographical
Topographical surveys are undertaken to provide plans showing existing features of an area. These plans are used by Engineers, Planners and Architects as a basis for their design work. Output formats include Civil Designer, AllyCad , AutoCad and DXF . Digital formats in two and three dimensions as well as paper and plastic film copies are available. The branch has established a set of Survey Specifications together with Standard Symbols to be used - see link provided. The branch project manages surveys undertaken by private survey firms.
 
Monitoring
Various structures including bridges, walls ,buildings and embankments together with natural slopes throughout the city need to be monitored for movement. This requires the use of special survey techniques and equipment . The branch undertakes this work on a regular basis.
 
Control
Establishment of reliable survey control is an essential requirement for Council to ensure that all survey work is based on a common system. The branch has a programme for establishing this control in areas where it is most needed. There is a dearth of quality survey control in many areas of the city - especially height control. This branch uses the latest techniques including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) together with more traditional Total Stations and Precise Levels combined with specialized networking software to provide reliable solutions. The branch maintains a database of survey control. A coordinate extraction programme which is based on this database is available on request.
 
Other
Detailed records are kept of all work undertaken or controlled by the Branch. Digital information is archived and a visual index of all survey work is maintained. The Survey Branch produces legal notices for the purposes of road closure , removal of restrictions and the sale of land. Notices are erected and removed by the branch and, where necessary, certificates are produced. Speed timing locations are surveyed and the relevant certificates produced. The branch designs and sets out grave sites in various cemeteries throughout the city. The branch undertakes the survey of features (and their attributes) for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This branch together with the Map Production Branch undertakes the correction and updating of various GIS data sets.
 
Equipment
The branch has specialized survey equipment which enables us to deal with all types of land survey work.
GPS dual frequency receivers : used for high precision networking and general survey work
GPS satellite correction receiver : used for GIS data capture (sub metre accuracy)
GPS navigation receivers : accurate to approx 10m - used for navigation and rough position fixes.
Total Stations with Psion data recorders : used for general survey work
Precise levelling equipment : for all levelling requirements including monitoring work.
Networked PCs with various software including: Surpac, Civil Designer, AutoCad, AllyCad, ArcView, Mapserver and Trimble Geomatics Office.
A0 and A3 inkjet plotters.
 
The Department has an interesting display of old survey instruments dating back to the early part of the 20th century. They are displayed in a glass cabinet near the public counter on the 4th floor of the Engineering unit building.

Manager: Mlungisi Myeza. 
Phone number: 031 311-7234
Mlungisi.Myeza@durban.gov.za
M Seedat: 031 311-7235 & T Eddy: 031 311-7251