Parliament, Sunday, 18 September 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements was urged by Kuruman residents to ensure that the Housing Consumer Protection Bill has strong preventative and enforcement regulations to fight corrupt tendencies that could compromise the effective implementation of the Housing Consumer Protection Bill within the construction industry.

The committee was in Kuruman in the Northern Cape where it concluded the second leg of its three-day public hearings programme in the province and where Kuruman residents filled Kuruman’s Wrenchville Community Hall to express their views on the Bill.

A concern was highlighted that the main cause for the construction of substandard houses arises from the deepening and corrupt tendency of the use of bribery to secure contracts by building contractors. As a result of that bribery, participants argued, contractors are left with limited resources to undertake the actual construction of houses. To stop this problem, participants called for the incorporation of strong preventative measures in the Bill.

Furthermore, concerns were raised by participants that corrupt tendencies within the construction industry render the registration certificates issued by the National Home Builders Registration Council untrustworthy and regarded as being purchased. Participants called for stronger regulations in the Bill to avert these disturbing tendencies.

Despite these concerns, the Bill was supported by an overwhelming majority which called for the Bill to be a catalyst for transformation in the building construction sector. The support was also based on the urgent need for the capacitation of the small and medium construction players in the construction industry.

There was also a call for the reduction of red tape in the processes of the NHBRC to ensure easier and quicker registration and enrolment of houses. The lack of visibility and accessibility of the NHBRC was also highlighted as a problem that required immediate rectification.

Also, participants underscored that Kuruman is generally a dolomitic area with a stringent requirement from the NHBRC of geotechnical and engineering studies before building occurs. Concerns were that this is extremely expensive which would make it difficult for the poor in the area to pay for those studies which will negatively impact on the ability to enrol their houses. There were calls for the Bill to force municipalities to provide Geotech services to ensure that the poor only focuses on the building of houses.

The committee appreciated the qualitative inputs made by residents and assured them that it will consider their inputs as it processes the Bill.

The committee will today continue with the public hearings on the Bill in Kimberley. It 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 2)
Date: Sunday, 17 September 2022
Time: 10:00
Venue: Kimberley Town Hall


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