On 13th of August 2019, Cabinet approved publication of the Housing Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 for public comments, prior to being recommended to Parliament for final approval and promulgation.
The proposed Bill has now been published in the Government Gazette (See attached) and information sessions will be held with interested stakeholders, throughout the country. Once approved, the new Bill repeals the current Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (Act No. 95 of 1998) and ushers-in a new dispensation for the NHBRC to realise its mandate of being a true champion of housing consumers!
Since the promulgation of the Act on 4 June 1999, the National Home Builders Registration Council has identified a number of challenges with certain key provisions of the Act, which impact negatively on the efficient execution of the Council’s mandate.
The Bill seeks to ensure adequate protection of housing consumers and effective regulation of the home building industry by, inter alia, strengthening the regulatory mechanisms; expanding the protection to housing consumers; introducing effective enforcement tools and prescribing appropriate penalties/sanctions to deter non-compliance by home builders.
In addition, the Bill creates an enabling environment for new entrants into the home building industry through the introduction of contractual provisions that ensure their sustainability in the market.
The economic transformation of the industry is also addressed by the introduction of provisions such as the surplus fund which can be utilised towards human settlements’ developmental programmes.
As part of this law making activity, public participation hearings will be held across the country. The process is promoting and encouraging an all-inclusive and meaningful engagements that will assist the Department of Human Settlements in fulfilling its Constitutional obligation, which requires that all interested parties or institutions that will be affected by the Bill must make or submit written comments.
In order to empower yourselves and be able to advise key stakeholders on the proposed Bill, colleagues are implored to read and familiarise yourselves with the its content. You are also called upon to invite affected stakeholders in your area and to attend, when possible, these information sessions, as per the following schedule.
I look forward
to engaging with affected parties as we cross the length and breadth of our
country in order to solicit their inputs as we enrich this Bill as we endeavour
to reach a win-win scenario.
Acting Chief Operations Officer