About the Thatcher's Associaton of South Africa

Since 1996

The Thatchers Association of South Africa was first established in 1996. The association became dormant for several years due to the lack of national standards for the thatched roof construction industry. However, as a national standard has been introduced, namely the SANS 10407 (THATCHED ROOF CONSTRUCTION), which regulates the industry, this provides the Thatchers Association with renewed purpose and reason.

Our vision has always been to become known and accepted as the national voice for the professional trade of thatched roofs in South Africa. We also strive to achieve international bargaining power for our members, while also manifesting competitiveness, skills and products.

Let us help you connect with the best thatched roof construction professionals trading in the industry today. The Thatchers Association of South Africa is also a founding member of the International Thatching Society.

Our Mission

Our mission remains to become a national representative along with an internationally accepted structure through the maintenance and practicing of standards of unmatched quality. These standards of supreme quality for all involved parties.

The objectives of the association include:

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Why the Thatcher's Associaton of South Africa

Our vision, mission, and objectives

Our Vision

To be the national voice for the professional trade of thatched roofs in South Africa.

Our Mission

To be nationally representative with an internationally accepted structure through the practicing and maintenance of standards of supreme quality.

Our Objectives

To achieve this, the following goals are imperative:




Contact us to learn more about the association, and for expert advice and information regarding thatched roofs in South Africa.

More information

Anything else you would like to know about the Association


Over the last 15 years with my involvement with TASA the biggest question in my mind always been:
“Are we on the right path with TASA?” and I think this way of critical thinking is important for TASA – in the past and
on the way forward!

To answer this question in context I would like to look at the heigh and low points during the 15 years.
1. The passion that we all share for what we do always amazed me – national and international; when we agree and
disagree – we are passionate about what we do.
2. The new friends I made – in SA and through ITS.
3. New knowledge and perspective that not only developed me as person, but also open up new business
4. The inspiration and motivation every time we got together and shared our successes.
5. I learned form mistakes made by others – and saved the school money!
6. The publication of SANS 10407 – and the re-publication after it was withdrawn at some point.
7. The publication of TASA Guide.
8. The involvement with ITS and the highly successful ITS 2014 conference in Stellenbosch that was a huge team
9. To know that TASA plays I vital role to keep the thatching trade alive.
10. To work with dedicated TASA executives.

And on a personal level – the ITS trips with SA friends to Denmark, Sweden & Japan.
So what are the low points and the goals that we could not achieved?

1. The involvement of the SA Thatchers – Despite huge efforts there are still a lot of relevant role players that are
not affiliated with TASA.
2. The inclusivity of TASA – we need to find a way to include thatchers from all walks of life.

Clearly the upside outnumbers the downside by 10 – 2 !!!
It was a wonderful journey of meeting new people, seeing new places and getting inspiration and new ideas.

Long live TASA and the legacy of what has been achieved the last 15 years.


2006 The first National Management

Natasha Still (Dolphin Coast Thatching)
Abrie Visagie (Lucas Quality Thatchers)
Elzabie Meintjes (TASA)
Pat Wilson (Micon Coatings)

2007 First Photo Competition


Most aesthetic structure
Largest thatched roof
Funniest thatching photo


The final draft of the SANS 10400-T:2008 came to our attention. It was with dissatisfaction and astonishment that we noticed that TASA’s objections were not only ignored but the specification had been changed to the utmost detriment of the Thatching Industry if it was promulgated in that form. Members and role players in the Industry were informed of TASA’s objections and suggestions to the Technical Committee of the SABS. Negotiations with the SABS continued.

2009 The First National Thatched Roof Competition held for Architects and Architecture students were so successful that the competition was repeated in 2010

2009 Winners of the Architectural Design Competition
Best Design: Walker Smith Architects

Most Aesthetic Design: WJA Architects


First National Thatched Roof Construction Competition

All the participants and judges of the first Thatched Roof Construction Competition


During October, a delegation of eight TASA members attended the International Thatching Society’s Congress in the Netherlands and Germany, during which it was decided to hold the 2014 Congress in South Africa.

2013 The TASA Constitution and Source documents had been revised.
U- and R-Values – Energy Efficiency in Buildings 

All thatched roofs must comply with the SANS 10400-XA and SANS 204 Standard requirements. The correct U values must be available to the Industry. Air permeable roofs like thatched roofs, were not provided for in the above Act. Discussions were succesfully held with the various relevant authorities such as The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), various Committees of the SABS, representatives of the Thermal Test Laboratory, etc.


One of the events arranged for our international visitors was a visit to Robben Island

During 2014, certification of TASA members was established by SATAS (South African Technical Auditing Services).


On behalf of SATAS, we extend our heartiest congratulations to TASA for completing 15 glorious years of success. You have always been on the top of the list for serving the industry with your unselfish services.

Companies like yours and particularly the dedication of Elzabie Meintjes can only aim for high results. Working with TASA has been a real honour and we value the working relationship.

With your service, commitment and sincerity you have time to time proved your worth and have gained the much-deserved recognition in the industry.

We wish you all the success for many more years to come.

Abe Stears



Fltr: Morné Smit, JC Steenkamp, Abrie Visagie, Cobus Maritz, Christiaan Munnik, John Smith, Kobus Strydom, KosieTheunissen, A Theunissen, Bertus Nieuwenhuis, Hendrik v Zyl, Kobus Landman and Liesl Schoonraad

This Annual General Meeting will be remembered for the sense of belonging and the spontaneous spirit in which
discussions took place regarding the “A Guide to Thatch Construction in South Africa“.



The four National Chairmen over the past ten years with the President Nigel Turton and Vice President Michael Andersen of the International Thatching Society

Back: Kosie Theunissen, Abrie Visagie and John Smith
Front: Bertus Nieuwenhuis, Michael Andersen and Nigel Turton

2016 Ten years of uninterrupted TASA membership

Back: Cobus Maritz (Waterfront Thatchers), Shaun Smith (Biggarsberg Thatchers), JC Steenkamp (Highveld Cape Thatchers), Abrie Visagie (Lucas Quality Thatchers), Kobus Strydom (Firelab), Bill Bragge (Ronayne Thatch and Decking Services), Jason Lucas (Lucas Quality Thatchers), John Smith (Biggarsberg Thatchers), Sias Hoffman (Hoffman’s Thatching Specialists), Mike Hull (Hull Consulting Engineers) and Johann la Grange (Thatchscapes).

Front: Bruce Breedt (SAWPA), Kosie Theunissen (Theunissen Thatching), Abe Stears (SATAS), Elzabie Meintjes (TASA), Andre Friis (Letaba Thatchers), Andre Fivaz (Hantam Thatchers) and Bertus Nieuwenhuis (Recon Thatchers).

2016 The launch of the TASA’s “A Guide to Thatch Construction in South Africa“ 

The group that was mainly responsible for the establishment and publication of the “A Guide to Thatch Construction in South Africa” from left to right. Abe Stears (Certification and selection of TASA members – SATAS) Natasja Blok (sponsor – Thatch Risk Acceptances) Bruce Breedt (Sponsor – SAWPA) Liesl Schoonraad (Publication readiness), John Smith (Author of main content – Biggarsberg Thatchers), Elzabie Meintjes (Administrative Officer – TASA), Mike Hull (Hull Consulting Engineers).

2017 The TASA’s “A Guide to Thatch Construction in South Africa” is being translated into Setswana and isiZulu and can be downloaded for free from the TASA website. The translation was sponsored by SAWPA. The “Pros and Cons in the Thatching Industry” also saw the light of day. 


The South African Wood Preservers Association (SAWPA) would like to congratulate the Thatching Association of South Africa on their 15 year anniversary celebrations. As a relatively young organisation, TASA and its members have taken great strides and reached several achievements in the past 15 years. Among these are undoubtedly the goal to strive for quality and excellence in thatch roof construction, which we believe contributed hugely to the development and publication of “A Guide to Thatch Construction in South Africa” in 2016. SAWPA is proud to be associated with TASA and we wish the Association and its members all the best for the future.

Bruce Breedt


2018 For the first time, chimneys and fireplaces are being addressed in the SANS 10400-V (Space heating) in thatched roofs as requested by TASA, and included in our Guide.

2019 TASA participated in the ITS‘s Congress in Japan


Back: John Smith, Bertus Nieuwenhuis and Abrie Visagie. 
Front: June Smith, Gloria Tkach (June’s sister), Cecilia Nieuwenhuis, Sanrie Visagie (Abrie’s daughter) and Andre Friis.


John Smith of Biggarsberg Thatchers

2020 The first year that an Annual General Meeting was not held due to the restrictions that applied during the lockdown period due to the Covid pandemic

Recognition of the TASA 

The Department of Architecture of the Steve Biko Campus in Durban asked TASA to made available to their department for learning and teaching purpose TASA’s “A Guide to Thatch Construction in South Africa“ and our “Pros and Cons in the Thatching Industry“.

2021 Our first Annual General Meeting was held by means of a zoom meeting and our SANS 10407 is reviewed

The current National Management Committee 

Messrs. Bertus Nieuwenhuis (Recon Thatchers), André Friis (National Chairman, Letaba Thatchers), Willie Coetzer (Vice National Chairman, Top Poles & Thatch), Conrad Myburgh (National Treasurer, Mycon Projects), Dawid Pretorius (Con-Thatch) and Mrs. Elzabie Meintjes (TASA‘s Administrative Officer).


My gedagtes gaan ver terug toe al die ”ou manne” by die WNNR bymekaar gekom het en om ‘n braaivleis vuurtjie geskerts en van al hul wyshede gedeel het. Ek dink Phillip Boardman (Alternative Structures) was toe die Voorsitter van die Grasdakvereniging van Suid-Afrika.

Kobus Strydom (Firelab) was die minister van braaisake. Pat Wilson (Micon Coatings) het baie energie in die bedryf ingesit. George De Ridder (paalstruktuur ingenieur) het so baie van ons geleer om veilige konstruksies te bou. Terry Wilson (Thatch-it) wat ons gehelp het met tegniese tekeninge.

Ek het vanaf Bloemfontein Pretoria toe gery om van 1700 tot 19h00 by die voete te sit van al die groot grasdakbouers en daarna weer teruggery Bloemfontein toe. Mense soos Jan Grobbelaar (Redruth Thatchers) Pine Pienaar, Andre Friis (Letaba Thatchers) dink ek het die meeste dekkers in die land opgelei.

Later toe die Dekkersvereniging van Suid-Afrika weer herleef het, het ek manne soos Abrie Visagie, toe nog van Lucas Quality Thatchers, ontmoet wat die DVSA aan die International Thatching Society (ITS) bekend gestel het.
Wat ‘n belewenis.

Ook John Smith (Biggarsberg Thatchers) wat hom daartoe verbind het om met ander lede se hulp die Dekkersvereniging se Gids te verwesenlik.

Ek wil elke lid bedank vir hul bydrae wat gehelp het en kennis gedeel het om hierdie Industrie van ons n Elite Assosiasie te maak wat deurgaans erken word as gespesialiseerde grasdakbouers.


We would like to thank our accountant, Carina Langner, for her faithful service over the past fifteen years.

It can be stated with the utmost confidence that every facet of the Thatchers Association of South Africa’s administration runs on oiled wheels.
1. The TASA’s registered trademark is in order.
2. The TASA’s name is registered and our Companies and Intellectual Property Commission fee is up to date.
3. South African Revenue Service return filed and completed.
4. TASA’s International Thatching Society membership fee has been paid.
5. The TASA’s Constitution and source documents are in order.

Last but not least! Our members without whose support and contributions the Thatchers Association could not continue to
exist. South African Auditing Services (SATAS), South African Wood Preservers Association (SAWPA) as well as Firelab and the committee members of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) can also not be omitted. The TASA’s success is truly due to teamwork.

We can look back with pride and satisfaction on the past fifteen years and what has already been accomplished in that time.

Kind regards

André Friis

Thatchers Association of South Africa
Private Bag X 1015

Fax 086 6409 151
Mobile 083 283 8429
E-mail address admin@sa-thatchers.co.za
Website www.sa-thatchers.co.za








National Chairman

Andre Friis

Letaba Thatchers


081 552 0490

National Vice Chairman

Willie Coetzer

Top Poles & Thatch


083 765 9475

National Treasurer

Conrad Myburgh

Thatch Co


083 765 9475

Executive Member

Bill Bragge

Ronayne Thatch and Decking Services


082 415 3861

Executive Member

Bertus Nieuwenhuis

Recon Thatchers

Free State

082 558 8484

Administrative Officer

Elzabie Meintjies



083 283 8429

TASA Representative

John Smith

SABS Committees


083 270 3826


Contractors must have built thatched roofs for at least two years.

SOUTH AFRICAN TECHNICAL AUDITING SERVICES (SATAS) must first be contacted to give an assessment of the roofs as all thatched roofs in South Africa MUST comply with the SANS 10407 (Thatched Roof Construction) Specification requirements which is part of the National Building Regulations SANS 10400.

A fee is payable to SATAS which is an independent certification body.

Upon receipt of SATAS’s assessment and depending on the result thereof, a membership application form of TASA is sent to the contractor. Details of what this assessment entails can be obtained from TASA.


The Members list is published on the TASA website

TASA members sign a Code of Conduct and Ethics in which they undertake to comply with the SANS 10407 (Thatched Roof Construction) specification requirements.

SATAS (South African Technical Auditing Services) does physical inspections of roofs of new applicants. Membership will only be confirmed after SATAS’ approval is received. SATAS will also act as an independent body should a dispute arise between client and contractor.

Please contact Mr. Abe Stears, Managing Director of SATAS at:

Office:  012 345 6646

Fax:  086 511 8524

Mobile: 083 632 3416

E-mail address:  stearsa@satas.co.za

Any member of the public, a bona fide Thatcher or a member of the Thatcher’s Association of South Africa may lay a complaint in connection with bad building practices regarding grass or reed thatched roofs.

It is imperative that a complaint must be submitted in writing i.e., letter, fax or e-mail. Complaints must contain the following:

  1. The address of the construction site.
  2. If possible, the contact information of the Contractor.
  3. The problem with the construction in accordance with the terms of the SANS 10407:2006 Edisie
  4. Specification
  5. Photos depicting the problem will assist.


The Thatchers Association of South Africa will direct a letter to the contractor within two days (2) on receiving the complaint. The name of the complainant will not be disclosed if so desired.

The contractor will be obliged to submit a written reply to the Thatchers Association within Seven (7) calendar days on receipt of the letter.

The complaint and reply will be circulated to the national committee members anonymously. Their reply in turn will reach the Chairman of the national committee for a final decision within seven days (7) of receipt thereof.

If the problem is such that it cannot be resolved unambiguously, or with the consent of both parties based on the advice of the Chairman of the national committee, the complainant will be referred to the web page of the Thatchers Association of South Africa in order to select an independent consultant for advice.

Should the complainant select to make use of a consultant so obtained. this action will be at the cost of the complainant and the Thatchers Association of South Africa will not act as arbiter or be involved in any way.

The complainant will be requested to submit the outcome to the Thatchers Association of South Africa.

To maintain the integrity of member’s accreditation, it is essential to maintain the integrity of the official Thatcher’s Association’s logo. This can only be accomplished if the logo is used properly. taking care to avoid any unauthorized or inadvertent misuse. For this purpose. we have developed a set of guidelines to clearly demonstrate the do’s and don’ts related to the logo.

  • The Thatcher’s Association of South Africa’s logo remains the property of TASA. and only TASA is entitled to authorize the use of this logo by its members.
  • Once you obtain TASA’s authorization. the logo is reserved for your exclusive use. You may not accept any remuneration from a third party for the use of this logo. regardless of the intended purpose.
  • The right to use the Thatcher’s Association of South Africa’s logo is granted for a fixed period. That is, for the current financial year ending on 28th February 2007. A member is entitled to use the logo during the next financial year only if his membership fee has been paid for the next financial year or installments have been made.
  • TASA permits the use of its logo to identify and promote the Association as well as its member’s activities.
  • The logo should never be portrayed as endorsing any specific product or service, but to promote the association as a whole and all its members.
  • If usage guidelines are not followed, TASA reserves the right to withdraw any right to the use of its logo
  • The logo should not be altered in any way by stretching, skewing, or cutting apart to change the size relationship. The logo must be scaled proportionally to maintain visual integrity.
  • Do not attempt to combine the logo with other art or logos.
  • The logo may not be used as a background element, part of a wallpaper background on a website or screened back behind type.
  • For readability and professionalism, do not use a low-resolution web version (jpeg file) of the logo in print. A high-resolution version (.tif file) of the logo is available that will print clearly.
  • The logo may not be altered or be incorporated into another logo or design, particularly background patterns, animated gifs or bullets on a website.
  • The logo should not be cropped with a box of color around it that is different than the background color of the page.
  • The logo shall under no circumstances be used for any purpose than your stationary such as letterheads and business cards unless written authority has been granted by TASA. It should not be copied or duplicated in anyway in any form or format and no alteration should be affected.

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