New property and building laws planned for South Africa

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements will hold public hearings into the Housing Consumer Protection Bill.

At the centre of the bill is regulating and streamlining processes to ensure consumers’ protection within the home building environment.

“Through this bill, it is hoped that home builders will benefit by appointing registered builders, which will ensure quality housing, as well as extend protection through the extension of warranty cover,” said committee chairperson, Machwene Semenya.

The bill proposes these protections through the repeal of the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act of 1998, by providing protections for housing consumers, registration of homebuilders, continuance of home warranty fund, and sets out the framework to claim against the fund.

The bill also provides continuance of the National Home Builders Registration Council as the National Home Building Regulatory Council.

“Also, an important pillar of the bill is its transformative outlook, which seeks to improve builders and downstream the consumers. This protection is proposed through the bill’s call for registration of builders, which will require proper training for builders, which will enable full economic participation.

“Furthermore, a database of registered builders and their grading would assist the sector in knowing what builders are available and at what level,” Semenya said.

The public hearings are scheduled to take place in the Eastern Cape from 22 to 24 April 2022.

Semenya emphasised that the public consultation and participation are a constitutional requirement that Parliament is obliged to undertake within its decision-making processes.

“These hearings are in line with Section 59 (1) of the Constitution, which urges for public involvement in the legislative making process of the Assembly. Also, we are hopeful that as the primary beneficiaries of the protections proposed by the bill, [we] will present qualitative inputs aimed at improving the bill to ensure that it meets daily challenges,” Semenya said.


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New property and building laws planned for South Africa