Department of Human Settlements takes Housing Consumer Protection Bill to communities

The Department of Human Settlements will this month visit different communities in various provinces across the country to allow public comment and participation in the formulation of the Housing Consumer Protection Bill.

In August, Cabinet approved the publication of the Housing Consumer Protection Bill for public participation and comment. The Bill repeals the current Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act, 95 of 1998. The Department of Human Settlements will conduct public information sessions in all provinces as recommended by Cabinet.

The new Bill, once passed into Law will allow the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), an agency of the Department of Human Settlements, more efficiency in holding builders and contractors accountable and ensure they abide by set standards and regulations. It will also strengthen Government's efforts to curb the rise of unregistered builders.

Housing consumers who wish to build or buy new homes are advised to verify builders' registration credentials and home enrolment beforehand with the NHBRC in order to be covered by the warranty fund.

This month, officials from the Department will visit numerous provinces among them Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal as part of ensuring that more South Africans become accustomed to the content and purpose of the Bill.

The aim of the Bill is to ensure adequate protection of housing consumers and effective regulation mechanism by expanding the protection to consumers.

It also aims to introduce effective enforcement tools and prescribing appropriate penalties or sanctions to deter non-compliance by home builders.

Each of the forthcoming coming sessions are meant to reach many consumers in the provinces. The targeted stakeholders will include both public and private institutions, members of the public, civil society and community-based organizations.

Members of the media are requested to attend the sessions to help ensure that more people across the provinces get all the necessary information about the Bill.

Source: Department of Human Settlements

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