Durban – October 14, 2015 – Newly appointed members of the National Home Builder Registrations Council (NHBRC) recently assessed building standards at two of Durban’s largest building projects Cornubia and Clermont.
As part of the Council Members oversight mandate, the purpose of the inspection by these senior officials was to highlight the importance of regulation in the housing industry.
NHBRC’s Provincial Manager for KZN, Gary Olckers said that repairing poorly constructed houses had in the past years cost South Africans billions of rands. With a multi-billion project such as Cornubia, ensuring quality becomes vitally important, he said.
Olckers said that each of the thousands of units have to be assessed at various stages of construction to ensure that problems are identified early and rectified as soon as possible. Instead of trying to correct possible issues after the house has been built, compliance is tested throughout the duration of the project, he said.
NHBRC Member of Council, Ms. Hlaleni Dlepu expressed, however, that the NHBRC role goes beyond this, A home or a housing development that is registered with the NHBRC automatically falls under a warranty against construction-related defects, she said.
She added that many homeowners are unaware that building contractors and sub-contractors are required by law to register all building projects with the NHBRC.
Members of the South African public have a right to demand that their builder or contractor is registered with the NHBRC, and the council members are conducting unannounced site visits in KZN and the Western Cape, she continued.
Olckers acknowledges that since the NHBRC obtained responsibility as a regulator there had been significant improvements in housing quality standards.
Lack of proper skills is one of the major reasons that a contractor’s work may not be up to standard, he continued.
He added that other reasons may be the use of inferior materials and through the NHBRC interventions, builders get to know the implication of using materials that are not of the right standard.
Regulation plays a vital role, as it ensures contractors and homeowners recognise that they too have a part to play. As a regulator we work closely with contractors and builders to ensure compliance in building standards, Olckers concluded.
Member of Council Phetola Makgathe says that the Councilors were satisfied that work on the sites was progressing smoothly and in keeping with the required standards. Our inspectors are here on a regular basis and working in conjunction with the eThekwini Municipality to ensure compliance at every stage of the building. We are very pleased at what we saw, he said.
Other members of the council who participated in the unannounced site visits included Mr Goolam Manack and Ambassador Sam Kotana.
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FOR THE EDITOR:The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) is a statutory body with the responsibility to provide protection in terms of the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (Act No.95 of 1998). It is mandated to provide protection for housing consumers and to regulate the home building industry. For more information: www.nhbrc.org.za