Land Survey Regulations

Non-Cadastral Survey and Mapping (Fees and Charges) Notice 1996


[Section 39]

Arrangement of Regulations



   1.   Title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Licence

   4.   Notification of postal address

   5.   Units of measure and conversion factors

   6.   Survey fees

   7.   Surveyor-General to be taxing officer

   8.   Fees of office


   9.   Surveyor-General may have field work checked

   10.   Testing of doubtful surveys


   11.   Information to be obtained prior to survey

   12.   Testing of instruments

   13.   Land surveyors to have a field book

   14.   Observations of horizontal angles

   15.   Surveys to be based on trigonometrical stations or reference marks

   16.   Determination of position of trigonometrical stations

   17.   Surveys by traverse

   18.   Surveys by triangulation from measured base

   19.   Devious connections

   20.   Survey stations and traverse points

   21.   Reductions of measurements

   22.   Orientation and position

   23.   Determination of azimuth by astronomical observations

   24.   Field checks

   25.   Classification of surveys and standards of accuracy

   26.   Verification of existing beacons and adoption of existing data

   27.   Line beacons

   28.   Accepted curvilinear boundaries

   29.   River boundaries from aerial photographs

   30.   Topography

   31.   Allowable difference between original and subsequent surveys


   32.   Beacons required

   33.   Beacon specifications

   34.   When beacon not required

   35.   Indicatory beacons

   36.   Restoration of missing or dilapidated beacons

   37.   Beacons to be numbered

   38.   Beacons and boundaries of parcels of land


   39.   Survey records required

   40.   Computations

   41.   Co-ordinates of a point on a straight line

   42.   Comparison of data

   43.   Report

   44.   Working plan


   45.   When required

   46.   Materials, size, margins and accuracy

   47.   Scales

   48.   Symbols for beacons

   49.   Co-ordinate grid

   50.   Title

   51.   Co-ordinates required

   52.   Statement of co-ordinates

   53.   Co-ordinates not required

   54.   Data required

   55.   Contiguous parcels of land

   56.   True North

   57.   Radius

   58.   Locality plan

   59.   River boundaries and topography

   60.   Connecting data

   61.   Description of beacons and stations

   62.   Dilapidated and untidy general plans

   63.   Signature and date

   64.   Amendments

   65.   Colours

   66.   Limits of inconsistency

   67.   Compiled general plan


   68.   Form, quality, size of paper and margins

   69.   Ink

   70.   Figure, scale, information and general style

   71.   Beacon letters and verbal definition

   72.   Numerical data

   73.   Official designations only to be shown

   74.   Geographical positions

   75.   Photographic and other copies


   76.   Surveys from aerial photographs

   77.   Unqualified assistants

   78.   Revocation of Land Survey Regulations





[Regulations by the Minister]

SI 99 of 1971,

SI 156 of 1976,

SI 33 of 1978,

SI 179 of 1982,

SI 182 of 1990,

SI 95 of 1991,

SI 158 of 1992,

SI 33 of 1994,

SI 66 of 1996,

SI 103 of 1998,

SI 8 of 1999,

SI 19 of 2004.


1.   Title

These Regulations may be cited as the Land Survey Regulations.

2.   Interpretation

In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires—

“angle”, when used in relation to a figure on a diagram or general plan, means the value of the interior angle within a closed figure made by the intersection of two contiguous straight boundary lines of such figure, or by the intersection of a straight boundary line with a theoretical line joining consecutive beacons of the figure between which the boundary is curvilinear or by the intersection of two such contiguous theoretical lines;

“arc of observation” means two successive rounds of horizontal observations taken in opposite directions to each other with the telescope reversed for the second round;

“figure of regular shape” means a rectangle, a right-angled triangle, or a right-angled trapezium, whether or not one or more of its corners is cut off by a right-angled triangle;

“left bank of a river” means that bank of the river which is on the left side of the watercourse when facing downstream;

“middle of river” means the line midway between the right and left banks;

“the Act” means the Land Survey Act;

“parent diagram” means the diagram of a parent parcel of land;

“parent parcel” means a parcel of land which is sub-divided or a portion of which is subject to easement rights;

“original diagram” means the registered diagram of a parcel of land which is to be superseded by a new diagram for the purposes of rectification or consolidation of title;

“registered diagram” means the diagram to which the current registered title of a parcel of land relates;

“registry” means the Registry of Deeds established under the Lands and Deeds Registry Act;

“right bank of a river” means the bank of the river which is on the right side of the watercourse when facing downstream;

“side” when used in relation to a figure on a diagram, general plan or deed plan, means the length of a straight boundary line represented thereon, or the length of a theoretical line joining consecutive beacons between which the boundary is curvilinear;

“sub-division” means a portion of a parcel of land, which parcel of land is represented on a general plan or diagram deposited with the Surveyor-General;

“trigonometrical station” means any station established in the systematic geodetic survey of Zambia;

3.   Licence

Every licence to practise as a land surveyor issued by the Board in accordance with the provisions of section 9 of the Act shall be in the form set forth in the First Schedule.

4.   Notification of postal address

Every land surveyor shall furnish the Surveyor-General with a permanent address in Zambia to which all correspondence dispatched to him by mail is to be sent and shall promptly notify the Surveyor-General of any change of such postal address.

5.   Units of measure and conversion factors

   (1) The units of measure in all calculations and on all plans and diagrams shall be—

      (a)   the metre for linear distances;

      (b)   the hectare or square metre for areas;

      (c)   sexagesimal measure for angles and angles of direction:

Provided that the Surveyor-General may authorise the use of English measure for any surveys commenced before the date of commencement of these regulations and for a period of six months thereafter:

Provided further that diagrams approved before the date of commencement of these Regulations shall remain effective.

   (2) To convert from English feet to metres the conversion factor to be used will be—

1 English foot = 0.304799472 metre.

6.   Survey fees

Unless a land Surveyor and his client have agreed to other charges, the fees to be paid for surveys undertaken by a land surveyor shall be in accordance with the Second Schedule.

[Am by SI 156 of 1976; 179 of 1982;182 of 1990.]

7.   Surveyor-General to be taxing officer

Subject to the provisions of regulation 6, the Surveyor-General shall exercise all the functions of a taxing officer in relation to fees charged by a land surveyor under the tariff of fees prescribed in the Second Schedule.

8.   Fees of office

The fees of office to be paid to the Surveyor-General shall be in accordance with the Third Schedule.


9.   Surveyor-General may have field work checked

The Surveyor-General may at any time depute a land surveyor to—

      (a)   check in the field any survey made by another land surveyor under the Act or any information recorded in connection with such survey; or

      (b)   test any surveying instrument or measuring bands used by another land surveyor; or

      (c)   inspect and report upon the erection and maintenance of beacons in accordance with the provisions of the Act and these regulations.

10.   Testing of doubtful surveys


      (a)   Whenever the Surveyor-General has reason to suspect that the accuracy of any survey is not within the limits prescribed in regulation 25, he may, in writing, call on the land surveyor responsible to admit or deny the suspected inaccuracy within a period of thirty days from the date of such writing.

      (b)   If the land surveyor admits the inaccuracy he shall, without delay, take the appropriate steps to rectify his error as required by paragraph (d) of sub-section (1) of section 10 of the Act.

      (c)   If the land surveyor denies the inaccuracy he and the Surveyor-General may agree upon another land surveyor, who may be an officer of the Government, to be appointed to test the accuracy of the survey in question; should the Surveyor-General and the land surveyor fail so to agree, the Board shall appoint another land surveyor to test the survey.

      (d)   The land surveyor whose survey is to be tested may be present at his own expense during the testing of the survey.

   (2) Should a land surveyor, when called upon by the Surveyor-General in pursuance of paragraph (a) of sub-regulation (1), fail either to admit or deny the inaccuracy of his work, the Surveyor-General may, without further reference to such land surveyor, appoint another land surveyor to test the survey.


      (a)   In the event of the test survey proving to the satisfaction of the Surveyor-General that the accuracy of the survey so tested is not within the prescribed limits, the Surveyor-General may reject the whole or any portion of the survey and charge the cost of the test to the land surveyor responsible for the inaccurate survey.

      (b)   Should the test survey prove to the satisfaction of the Surveyor-General that the accuracy of the survey he had doubted is within the prescribed limits and that the survey has been carried out in accordance with these regulations, the land surveyor responsible for the survey shall not be liable for any portion of the costs of the test survey.


11.   Information to be obtained prior to survey

   (1) Before carrying out any survey a land surveyor shall provide himself with all available information in respect of any previous surveys of the parcel of land to be surveyed, and of all adjoining parcels of land.

   (2) The Surveyor-General will furnish this information to land surveyors free of charge if it is available at his office.

12.   Testing of instruments

   (1) Every land surveyor shall ensure that all measuring bands used by him are properly standardised at least once a year under the direction of the Surveyor-General, and also that his theodolite and other instruments are in a proper state of adjustment.

   (2) The Surveyor-General may call upon a land surveyor at any time to submit to him any of his measuring bands or other distance measuring instruments for testing, and a land surveyor may, if he so wishes, submit any of his measuring bands for testing at lesser intervals than one year; such testing will be done free of charge.

   (3) The Surveyor-General shall assign a distinctive number to each of the measuring bands tested under his direction and, in the field notes of every survey, the land surveyor shall quote the respective number or numbers so assigned to the measuring band or bands used.

   (4) The Surveyor-General may condemn any instrument or measuring band which he considers unfit for survey work, or he may prescribe on what class of work any particular instrument may be used.

13.   Land surveyors to have a field book

   (1) When carrying out a survey, every land surveyor shall keep and maintain a field book, in such form and in such manner as the Surveyor-General may require, in which he shall record the following information in connection with such survey—

      (a)   the type and other particulars of the odolites and other instruments used, the official numbers of the measuring bands used, the tension applied to the measuring bands in taking measurements and, where sag corrections are to be applied, the weight of that particular measuring band;

      (b)   all angular observations, linear measurements, and the slope, temperature and length involved in corrections for sag; when a measurement of length exceeds the length of the tape used, each tape length shall be recorded in the field book;

      (c)   the date on which the observations are made at each observing point, entered above the column of readings;

      (d)   any special circumstances which may affect the quality of any observation, noted in an appropriate position and, if possible, on the same page; and

      (e)   a full description of all beacons, whether placed or found, and other marks used in the course of the survey; it shall be clearly stated whether each beacon was found or placed, and in the former case a description of its condition, as found and as left, shall be given.


      (a)   All observations and measurements made in the field shall be recorded in the field book clearly and legibly in pencil at the time of making such observations; the contents of each page in the field book shall be shown in an index thereto.

      (b)   Any entries in the field book, other than those of actual observations or measurements made in the field, shall be written in ink unless under exceptional circumstances this is impracticable; entries of data for placing new beacons shall be written in ink and cross-referenced to the pages containing the computations by which such data were determined.

      (c)   On no account shall erasures be made in the field book; any alterations must be made in the field, as the result of actual direct re-observations or re-measurements, at the time of such re-observations or re-measurements, and by drawing a line through the erroneous entry in such a way that the original remains legible, the correct value of the entry being written outside the erroneous entry and never across it.

   (3) A field plan, not necessarily drawn to scale, with calculated data written in ink, or a print of the general plan, may be used to record the placing of the internal beacons of a block of stands in township, the actual measurements and observations made in the field being recorded thereon in pencil.

14.   Observations of horizontal angles

   (1) Observations of horizontal angles shall be made with the telescope in both the direct and reversed positions for all rays longer than 300 metres, and on at least two arcs where any ray is longer than five kilometres and these observations shall be separately entered in the field book.

   (2) Rounds of observations from any point shall be observed and fully recorded alternately in clockwise and anti-clockwise order.

   (3) Wherever practicable in the first round of observations at any point, the readings recorded in the field book shall be approximately in the system of direction angles adopted for the whole survey.

[Am by SI 156 of 1976.]

15.   Surveys to be based on trigonometrical stations or reference marks

All surveys are to be based on trigonometrical stations or reference marks whenever practicable, and shall be on such system or projection as the Surveyor-General may direct.

16.   Determination of position of trigonometrical stations

The position of a trigonometrical station or reference mark which is not used on a survey shall be determined precisely in relation to the beacons of the parcel of land being surveyed when it is on that parcel, or outside the parcel but within 300 metres of the nearest beacon or station used in the survey.

17.   Surveys by traverse

   (1) The direction angles of rays used for orienting and adjusting the direction angles of traverses shall be determined by independent closed traverses, or by triangulation, or by direct astronomical observation.

   (2) In any traverse—

      (a)   the direction angles shall be controlled and adjusted at intervals not exceeding fifteen kilometres measured along the traverse lines;

      (b)   when the traverse is an extension from an existing survey system and is closed on to its starting point without any other control rays, at least two rays shall be used for orienting and closing the traverse direction angles and the length of one of those rays shall not be less than either 200 metres or the direct distance between the starting point and the point furthest from it in the traverse, whichever is the less;

      (c)   when the traverse extends more than three kilometres between the stations controlling the direction angles, the angles or angles of direction shall be the mean of at least two arcs taken at each station.

   (3) When two traverse lines in the same survey are in very close proximity to one another each line shall be measured entirely independently of the other including the vertical angles for slope corrections.

18.   Surveys by triangulation from measured base

   (1) If in any survey it is necessary to measure a base line for the initiation of a local triangulation system, the length of the measured base used for such triangulation shall not be less than 10 per centum of the perimeter of the land containing the beacons determined from such base:

Provided that—

      (i)   the length of the base need not exceed 1,000 metres; and

      (ii)   the Surveyor-General may, in exceptional circumstances, approve the use of a shorter base.


      (a)   A base line used for any triangulation survey shall be measured at least twice, in opposite directions, or once in two sections, not necessarily in the same straight line, the lengths of which sections shall be compared with each other through subsidiary triangles. The angles of slope shall be independently observed for each such linear measurement.

      (b)   Should a difference greater than 1:10,000 between any two base line measurements result after all corrections have been made, the base line shall again be measured until the resultant difference between any two measurements does not exceed that limit.

      (c)   A check base not less than one-third of the length of the base line shall be measured when the distance between the extreme triangulation stations exceeds twenty kilometres:

Provided that a traverse may be used as a check base, in which case the direct distance between the traverse terminals shall not be less than one-third of the length of the base line.

19.   Devious connections

In a survey of one or more parcels of land exceeding 10 hectares in extent the sum of the lengths of the traverse lines of the shortest surveyed connection between any two beacons or stations marked in a permanent manner shall not exceed 5d where d is the direct distance between the two points.

20.   Survey stations and traverse points

All favourably situated triangulation and traverse stations used in a survey which are not likely to be disturbed shall be marked in a permanent manner preferably by iron pipes or pegs or wire nails not less than 150 millimetres long.

21.   Reductions of measurements

Except when otherwise required by the Surveyor-General, all linear measurements shall be adjusted for standardisation, temperature, tension, slope and sag, and only those measurements made in the course of a survey, which is based on trigonometrical stations, shall be reduced to sea level and corrected for projection enlargement.

22.   Orientation and position

When the survey of a piece of land is not based on trigonometrical stations, the direction of true north shall be determined as accurately as possible by astronomical observation or, if not derived from other sources and at the discretion of the Surveyor-General, by magnetic needle. The manner in which the true north has been determined shall be recorded in the field book and stated in the report on survey.

[Am by SI 156 of 1976.]

23.   Determination of azimuth by astronomical observations

   (1) Any azimuth determination by astronomical observation with a theodolite for purposes of orienting or closing the direction angles of a traverse or orienting the direction angles of a triangulation scheme of a survey shall be the mean of the computed results of an equal number of separate sets of observations taken on opposite sides of the meridian.

   (2) The sun instead of stars may be observed only if weather conditions preclude observing at night.

   (3) The final result shall be the mean of the separate determinations of at least two sets of observations taken on each side of the meridian; unless otherwise authorised by the Surveyor-General, no such determination shall be used if they vary by more than ten seconds of arc from any other determinations used from the same side of the meridian.

   (4) Pairing of East and West stars in regard to altitude is to be obtained to a reasonable degree to the satisfaction of the Surveyor-General.

24.   Field checks

   (1) Every land surveyor shall perform sufficient field work to enable him to apply a thorough check to every part of his survey.

   (2) Unless checks considered adequate by the Surveyor-General are applied the position of no point shall be determined by—

      (a)   a single triangle when the angle at the point being determined is less than 30 degrees or greater than 150 degrees;

      (b)   resection from less than four favourably situated points;

      (c)   a single direction and measured distance from a survey station or beacon;

      (d)   intersection by less than three suitable rays.

   (3) When the position of a point is determined by a single triangle the angles or direction angles used in the calculations shall be the mean of at least two arcs taken at each point and the angles deduced from the final co-ordinates after the point has been calculated, shall be compared with the angles derived from the second arc as recorded in the field book in order to guard against gross error.

25.   Classification of surveys and standards of accuracy

   (1) Surveys shall be classified as follows—

Class A refers to surveys to determine the position of township control or reference marks;

Class B refers to surveys in townships;

Class C refers to surveys not included in Class A and Class B.


      (a)   The misclosure in a traverse shall not exceed—

      (i)   for Class A, 1:12,000

      (ii)   for Class B, 1:8,000

      (iii)   for Class C, 1:4,000:

Provided that a reasonable misclosure shall be allowed in the case of short traverses.

      (b)   The misclosure for a traverse made solely to survey a curvilinear boundary or a photo-control point shall be commensurate with the plottable accuracy that can be achieved at the scale of the final plan.

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