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Consultations on Housing Consumer Protection Bill Underway

September 16, 2019

Department of Human Settlements

16 September 2019

The human settlements department is conducting consultations on the Draft Housing Consumer Protection Bill in various provinces over the next month.

The draft bill was published for comment at the beginning of September 2019.

It aims to:

• provide for the protection of housing consumers;
• provide for the continuance of the National Home Builders Registration Council as the National Home Building Regulatory Council;
• provide for the registration of homebuilders;
• provide for the enrolment of homes in order to be covered by the home warranty fund;
• provide for the regulation of the conduct of homebuilders;
• provide for the continuance of the home warranty fund;
• provide for claims against the fund;
• provide for the funds of the Council and for the management of those funds;
• provide for procurement and contractual matters in relation to the building of a home;
• provide for the enforcement of this Act;
• repeal the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act, 1998, and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The proposed legislation will apply to the building of a new home and any addition to, alteration, renovation or repair of, a home involving the submission of building plans to a municipality.

Some of the objectives of the envisaged Council include representing the interests of all housing consumers; regulating the entire home building industry; ensuring structural quality of homes; promoting housing consumer rights and providing information relevant to stakeholders in the home building industry.

The Council will be expected to set up and maintain an integrated database able to integrate with the database contemplated in section 6 of the Housing Act and which consists of a register of homebuilders and developers; a register of enrolment of homes; and any other register that the Council considers appropriate.

Detail is also provided on the composition of the board; term of office; disqualifications, vacation and removal from office; fiduciary duties and disclosure; meetings of board; committees of board; contents of register; requirements for registration; register of enrolments; funds and fees; compulsory information and contractual matters; adjudication of contractual disputes; enforcement and Home Building Manual.

In a statement, the department pointed out that the proposed legislation, once passed into law, will allow the Council “more efficiency in holding builders and contractors accountable and ensure they abide by set standards and regulations. It will also strengthen Government’s efforts to curb the rise of unregistered builders”.

Consultations kicked off in East London today and will end on 11 October in Emalahleni.