Parliament, Thursday, 15 September 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements will this weekend, from 16 to 18 September 2022, hold public hearings on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill in the Northern Cape. The hearings in the Northern Cape are part of a nationwide public hearings programme the committee is conducting, with three sessions scheduled in each province.

Public consultation and participation is a constitutional requirement that Parliament is obliged to undertake as part of its decision-making processes. “These hearings are in line with Section 59 (1) (a) of the Constitution, which urges for the public involvement in the legislative-making process of the National Assembly. Also, the committee is hopeful that as the primary beneficiaries of the protections proposed by the Bill, participants will present qualitative inputs aimed at improving the Bill to ensure that it meets daily challenges,” said Ms Machwene Semenya, the Chairperson of the committee.

At the heart of the Bill is the intention to solve the many challenges South Africans have within the home building environment, such as homes built on unsuitable land, inadequate inspection of houses, the utilisation of home builders that are not registered and trained adequately which exposed consumers to unmitigated risk. This Bill aims primarily to regulate and streamline processes to ensure consumer protection within the home building environment. Through this Bill, it is hoped that home owners will benefit by appointing registered builders, which will ensure quality housing, as well as adherence to building standards.

The Bill proposes these protections by repealing the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act of 1998 thereby providing strengthened protections for housing consumers, the registration of home builders, the continuance of the home warranty fund and sets out framework to claim against the fund as well as the continuance of the National Home Builders Registration Council as the council responsible for the implementation of the Bill. The Bill’s main intention is to broadly protect the consumer and ensure that they are able to access warranty cover should the need arise.

Also, an important pillar of the Bill is its transformative posture which seeks to empower builders and downstream the consumers. This protection is proposed through the Bill’s call for proper training for builders, which will enable full economic participation. Furthermore, a database of registered home builders and their grading would assist the sector in knowing what builders were available, and at what level.

Last week, the committee held hearings in Mpumalanga where participants highlighted the importance of the Bill in protecting RDP beneficiaries against unscrupulous constructors who build substandard houses. Many residents called for the Bill to regulate against the selling of poor quality building materials, especially in poor communities. Also, there was a view that the Bill provides the necessary push to small businesses to thrive and thus transform the construction industry.

The committee invites all individuals and interested organisations to come and make inputs on the Bill, to ensure that the final product is reflective of their will and aspirations.

Details of the Hearings (Day 1) 
Date: Friday, 16 September 2022
Time: 10:00
Venue: Piet Thole Community hall, Upington 

Details of the Hearings (Day 2)
Date: Saturday, 17 September 2022
Time: 10:00
Venue: Wrenchville Community Hall, Kuruman 

Details of the Hearings (Day 3)
Date: Sunday, 18 September 2022
Time: 10:00
Venue: Kimberley Town Hall, Kimberley 

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS. MS MACHWENE SEMENYA.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:

Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
E-mail: mmolepo@parliament.gov.za