The National Home Builders’ Registration Council (NHBRC) Disciplinary Committee has fined the eThekwini Municipality R1.2m for failing to enrol 60 subsidy houses that were under construction at Inanda.

According to the NHBRC, the municipality, which was the developer of the Umqhawe project, commenced with the construction of 60 residential units without enrolling the homes with the council. This is in contravention of the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998, which requires all new homes to be enrolled with the NHBRC, 15 days prior to construction.

Home enrolment insures consumers against poor building practises and permits the NHBRC to conduct building inspections at key stages of construction, prior to the commencement of construction.

In a statement on Wednesday, 19 August, NHBRC acting chief executive officer Songezo Booi said the municipality has pleaded guilty to all 60 charges proffered by the prosecution. The municipality was accordingly found guilty as charged by the disciplinary committee.

The committee further imposed the following:

  • Counts 1 – 60: R25,000 per count, of which R5,000 per count is suspended on condition that the developer is not found guilty of a similar transgression within the next two years; and that the developer complies with the late enrolment requirements within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the written ruling.
  • A sum of R300,000 is suspended, subject to the conditions as aforementioned.
  • Should the developer re-transgress and be convicted of a similar transgression by the disciplinary committee within the period of suspension (i.e. two years) and/or fail to late enrol the units in question, the suspended portion of the fine will come into operation.

Booi said the municipality has paid the R1.2m, which is a record single payment to date, and a first from an organ of state operating in the subsidy sector.

“We are happy with the sanction imposed, as it shows that such contraventions will be dealt with harshly in order to deter similar conduct in future and we hope that going forward, the municipality will be proactive in ensuring compliance and not wait for enforcement and disciplinary sanctions by the NHBRC,” Booi said.