Housing watchdog gets tough on shady builders

 

The housing regulator has opened 122 criminal cases against home builders who have contravened the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (HCPMA).

“Our mandate as the housing watchdog requires us to take a stand against non-compliance with the act in order to protect housing consumers and to this extent‚ the NHBRC will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance and enforcement of the act‚” said National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) chief executive Mziwonke Dlabantu.

The NHBRC will open criminal cases against builders who carry on the business of building homes without having registered and those who have not enrolled homes with the NHBRC within 15 days before construction.

Dlabantu said that the NHBRC would continue to forge relations with various stakeholders such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)‚ South African Police Services (SAPS) and housing consumers to ensure understanding of the act and successful prosecution of these matters.

“Over and above this‚ the NHBRC suspended 211 and prosecuted 506 home builders/contractors and/or developers who transgressed the building regulations‚” Dlabantu said.

These include offences that relate to failure to rectify major structural defects‚ failure to rectify workmanship-related defects‚ failure to enrol a home and contravening the code of conduct for home builders.

“Provincial builder suspensions were recorded as follows: Gauteng‚ 70‚ the Western Cape‚ 66‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ 29‚ Limpopo‚ 16‚ Mpumalanga‚ 16‚ North West‚ 5‚ the Eastern Cape‚ 3‚ the Free State‚ 3 and the Northern Cape‚ 3.”

The NHBRC has the power to suspend a registered home builder’s registration with the council or refuse to enrol such home builder’s homes for the period that it deems necessary to investigate the matter or until the registered home builder has complied with the relevant provisions of the act.

The organisation has recorded prosecutions in all nine provinces.

In KwaZulu-Natal 141 builders were prosecuted‚ while 106 were prosecuted in Gauteng. The Western Cape recorded 84 prosecutions‚ Limpopo‚ 44‚ Mpumalanga‚ 39‚ North West‚35‚ the Eastern Cape‚ 28‚ the Free State‚ 26‚ and three in the Northern Cape.

The NHBRC’s disciplinary committee may impose the withdrawal of registration of a home builder; a fine not exceeding R25‚000.00 or a warning in instances where a home builder has been found guilty.

Nomahlubi Jordaan – TimesLIVE

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