Speech on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill [B10D-2021] and report of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements thereon
ACDP MP, Wayne Thring

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

Housing Consumer Protection Bill welcomed

May 9, 2024

Honourable House Chairperson, 

The ACDP extends its condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the collapsed building in George. Those responsible for flouting regulatory and building safety standards, must be held to account.

We note that the Housing Consumer Protection Bill is essentially a bill which aims to protect the consumer by regulating people who are in the business of home building. To achieve this, builders who erect homes must register with the National Home Builders Registration Council, pay annual fees, and enrol every home that they have contracted to build.

Building standards have been a particular concern of the ACDP, as many disadvantaged South Africans have been exposed to substandard housing and poor-quality building materials, resulting in substandard RDP houses.

The ACDP understands that this Bill regulates building “installation, renovation, alteration, repair or extension” of a ‘home’, excluding shacks, caravans, hotels and motels, and introduces many far-reaching changes to the existing system of consumer protection. The Home Warranty Fund, where a builder has failed to meet their customer’s claim obligation for maintenance claims, roof leaks, and major structural defect claims, needs wider publicity. 

The ACDP calls on  the Council to improve its communicating with consumers and stakeholders as many home-owners don’t know of its existence.

The Bill imposes significant new obligations on estate agents, conveyancers and the Registrars of Deeds. Some of these relate to conveyancers when registering transfers of property or mortgage bonds. 

The legal firm STBB notes that it appears that, inadvertently, the conveyancer will be required to police compliance with the municipal requirement to obtain approved building plans, for the benefit of the local authority and the purchaser! This, they say, is likely to cause long delays in the registration process. 

The ACDP has heard the S.O.S. of millions of South Africans voting for us on 29 May. They call for Service, Order and Safety. Hence the ACDP welcomes additional consumer protection and supports the amendments, which prevent unscrupulous builders not registered with the NHBRC, from building sub-standard homes. 

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