A thatched roof is one that is constructed with timber and then covered with grass or reeds. Thatch has been a traditional roofing material over the centuries in South Africa. See Roof types.
Thatching. In South Africa this is usually Cape reed (see Dekriet), in the winter rainfall regions or thatching grass in the Summer rainfall regions (see Tambookie Grass Thatching). Thatching grass is usually of the Hyparrhenia species,'Tambookie Grass' (Hyparrhenia tamba) in the Eastern Cape, or on the Highveld Hyparrhenia hirta. For best durability grass should frost before reaping, so as to have the sugars converted to cellulose. In contemporary thatching the underside is often covered by a spread layer (Afr. spreilaag), usually of Cape reed, and often having an insulating membrane above.