Parliament, Sunday, 6 November 2022 – Worcester residents called for the inclusion of a clause in the Consumer Protection Bill regarding the protection of backyard dwellers. They said both the provincial and the national departments of human settlements are quiet about backyard dwellers.

The residents highlighted this point during public hearings on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill at the Vanhysteen Laan Indoor Sport Centre, in Worcester. Residents argued that the Bill must offer protection also to those who live in backyard structures. The Bill seeks to repeal the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act of 1998, by regulating the registration of builders and protecting housing consumers.

Participants who came from Stellenbosch, De Doorns and Worcester in the Cape Winelands District supported the Bill and highlighted that the Bill is silent on houses that still have asbestos in their roofs. They told the committee that their local municipalities are not willing to assist them to remove the asbestos from their roofs. They informed the committee that those who stay in houses that are built with asbestos were diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The Bill was supported by an overwhelming majority in Worcester during the public hearings. Participants told the committee that the lack of building and inspectors for inspection of houses also contributed to the delivery of unsafe houses to the people. They called for the National Home Builders Registration Council to provide more inspectors on the ground to check if building regulations are being adhered to during the building phase.

The committee also visited the area where 652 RDP houses are supposed to be built in the Breede Valley Municipality to assess progress after a petition on the project was submitted to the Office of the Speaker in the National Assembly. In trying to resolve the matter, the committee had previously called several meetings between the national and provincial departments of human settlements, but nothing has been done on all the 652 sites, no house has been built.

The committee will conclude its public hearings on the Bill in Pacaltsdorp Community Hall in George at 10:00 and that will mark the end of the Western Cape leg of the public hearings on the Bill.

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

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Jabulani Majozi (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 083 358 5224
E-mail: jamajozi@parliament.gov.za