Parliament, Monday, 7 November 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements has successfully concluded its public hearings on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill in the Western Cape in the Garden Route District. The Bill received overwhelming support from residents of the City of Cape Town, Cape Winelands and Garden Route district municipalities.

The Bill seeks to, among other things, repeal the Housing Consumers Protection Act of 1998 in order to provide protection to housing consumers. In George, participants appealed to the committee for the Bill to become law and for it to be implemented. They said they are looking forward to it ending the historical tendency to provide substandard housing to disadvantaged South Africans.

They said that all spheres of government are failing in the area of human settlements and that it is normal for the government to deliver houses that have floor space amounting to no more than 30 to 40 square metres. Participants told the committee that when the Bill becomes a law, its implementation must be retrospective to cover remedying the poor and defective government houses delivered to the people.

Participants called for the inclusion of a clause in the Bill calling for the eradication of asbestos and mud houses in their communities. They urged the committee to ensure that housing projects that have stalled over the years because of corruption and other reasons do not disappear before they deliver houses to the people.

In welcoming the Bill and supporting it, participants called for the involvement of ward committees in community development programmes. They reiterated their rejection of foreign developers and called for the appointment of only local contractors. They said the Bill must clearly specify the type and quality of building materials to be used to build houses to avoid sub-standard houses.

Participants in the construction industry said information pertaining to registration on the National Home Builders Registration Council’s database is not known to all in the industry. It therefore needs to be publicised more widely.

The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Machwene Semenya, expressed a word of appreciation for the meaningful inputs made by the people of the Western Cape on the Bill. She said the committee will deliberate on the Bill and submit it to the National Assembly for its consideration and refer it to the National Council of Provinces.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, MS MACHWENE SEMENYA.

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