Committee Legacy Report; NCOP Amendments on Housing Consumer Protection Bill

Human Settlements

27 March 2024
Chairperson: Ms R Semenya (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements met in a virtual meeting to discuss its legacy report, which served as a handover report for the new, incoming Parliament. The report consisted of a summarised version of the Committee's work during the Sixth Parliament, from 2019 to 2024.

While Members appreciated the report, they pointed out that several important aspects had been omitted. They said the report should be structured so that incoming Members who looked at it would be able to understand it. A decision was reached to redraft the report, and that it would be adopted next week.

The Committee also considered and adopted the amendments by the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements, on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill [B10D-2021], and the minutes of its three meetings during March.

Meeting report

Proposed Select Committee amendments to the Housing Consumer Protection Bill [B10-2021]  

Adv Thiloshini Gangen, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, took the Committee through the minor changes.

Both Mr Sisa Makabeni, State Law Advisor, and Mr Paul Masemola, Acting Chief Director: Legal Services, Department of Human Settlements (DHS), said that Adv Gangen had covered everything.



Mr A Tseki (ANC) supported the amendments, and was seconded by Mr C Malematja (ANC).

The Chairperson said that Ms Kholiswa  Pasiya-Mndende, Committee Secretary, and the legal team were supposed to draft a report for Parliament that stated that the Committee agreed to the amendments.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende asked for 30 minutes to draft the report that stated that the Committee agreed to the amendments by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The Chairperson asked if Members were in agreement that the meeting should be adjourned for 30 minutes.

Mr Tseki agreed.

Adv M Masutha (ANC) suggested that the Committee continue with other work while the report was being drafted.

The Chairperson indicated that it was the same people who were doing the report that would have to be present for consideration of the minutes.

Adv Masutha asked if there were two people, or only one.

The Chairperson said that it was only Ms Pasiya-Mndende.

Adv Masutha said that he would agree with the majority.

The Chairperson asked if Members should use the same link.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende said they should.

The meeting was adjourned until 11h00.

Committee Report

The Chairperson said there had been a 30-minute break to allow the Committee Secretary to draft the Committee report on the amendments by the NCOP on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill.

The Committee, having considered the proposed amendments by the NCOP to the Bill, agreed to the amendments and adopted the amended Bill.

Mr Tseki asked whether the report should not refer to the minutes of this meeting.

The Chairperson asked why the clauses were not in the report.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende said that she did not understand. Was the Committee asking to insert the proposed amendments in the report?

Mr Tseki said yes -- or to refer to it.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende asked Mr Makabeni to assist.

Mr Makabeni asked what the issue was.

The Chairperson asked whether the proposed amendments should be added to the report, or perhaps there should be reference to the minutes of this meeting.

Mr Makabeni said that the obligation of this Committee was to pass the amendments. It was not the amendments of this Committee, but those of the NCOP, so there was no need to insert them into the report.

Mr Tseki said it was fine, and he understood. He moved for the adoption of the report, which Ms M Makesini (EFF) seconded.

The report was duly adopted.

Committee Minutes

Minutes of 6 March

The Chairperson initiated some changes under the heading resolutions. She explained that it was not the Breede Valley housing project, but rather the Nelson Mandela 652 housing project. The petitioners had not accepted the 50m2 house offer, so the minutes should not refer to "land."

Ms Makesini moved the adoption of the minutes, with the amendments.

Dr Z Mkhize (ANC) said that his initials were Z L, but seconded the motion to adopt the minutes.

The Chairperson informed Ms Pasiya-Mndende that the issue with the initials had been raised numerous times.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende apologised for the mistake.

The minutes were duly adopted.

Minutes of 13 March

Under the heading of recommendations, the Chairperson said that it was the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and not just land, and that the formalisation of the township establishment at Ga-Rankuwa should be inserted.

Mr Tseki moved the adoption of the minutes.

The Chairperson said that the City of Tshwane and North West province should submit action plans with timelines for all the units to be constructed.

Ms Makesini seconded the motion to adopt the minutes.

The minutes were duly adopted.

Minutes of 20 March

Ms N Sihlwayi (ANC) initiated the adoption of the minutes, which Mr Tseki seconded.

The minutes were duly adopted.

Committee Legacy Report

The Committee Content Advisor was not in the meeting to present the legacy report to the Committee.

The Chairperson asked whether Ms Pasiya-Mndende would be going over the legacy report.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende took the Committee through the report sentence by sentence.

Mr Tseki suggested that since Ms Pasiya-Mndende could not prepare for the report, and in the interest of time, she could acknowledge the headings and then the Members could decide to adopt the report.

Members agreed to the suggestion.

The report reflected on the Committee’s programme per year, which included achieving public hearings on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill, oversight at all the provinces, attending numerous human settlements-related conferences, and the involvement of community-based organisations such as the Development Action Group. The report referred to the lack of involvement of the researcher and content advisor, who were expected to provide research documents and advise on emerging issues.

The report encapsulated the Committee's work during the Sixth Parliament under the leadership of Ms Semenya. The Committee had focused on considering legislation referred to it, the initiation and amendment of legislation, exercising oversight over the DHS, its entities and implementing agents, and had considered its annual reports, international agreements referred to it, the budget vote, facilitated public participation processes and appointments of statutory bodies, considered all matters referred to it, conducted oversight visits to provinces and international study tours, and participated in international programmes or activities.

It also outlined key areas for future work in the Seventh Parliament, including following up on the Housing Consumer Protection Bill, conducting study tours at appropriate times, ensuring continuous support of community-based organisations, and conducting oversight on the governance of the DHS and its entities.

The report also outlined key emerging challenges, such as those in the procurement environment.

It concluded with recommendations such as pre-visits to oversight locations to ensure that issues were identified, and advising the Chairperson before the Committee oversight visits, and robust discussions or workshops on the human settlement sector.

The draft legacy report provided a thorough analysis of the Committee's activities and recommendations, its functions, areas visited, study tours, entities and petitions.


Ms Makesini asked about the issue of oversight between the legislature and the National Parliament. There should be a recommendation that, in the future, such a relationship should be established. This was also something that had been identified by the Auditor-General (AG).

Ms Sihlwayi raised the issue of building homes. The DHS had been building homes, but no roads, electricity or water had been provided, and it was a concern that the necessary amenities were not provided. There had been a budget provided for this now. There had been this long outstanding cry, and the Sixth Parliament had managed to respond to that cry, and it had also raised the issue of priority development areas, where people were allowed to build houses in the sites identified by the government, with park infrastructure. Had these areas been filtered into the legacy report?

Mr Tseki said that several areas were missing in the legacy report. He suggested that the report be reworked, and then brought back to the Committee for adoption.

Adv Masutha said he was trying to wrap his head around the overall structure and approach of the legacy report. This report was supposed to allow anyone who looked at the report afresh to be able to find it easy to work with and usable as a tool for future planning, to avert some of the blind spots that this Committee had fallen into. He was a bit critical of the Committee, despite not being much in attendance due to joining the Committee in mid-term. He had lost a lot of the work and background context that had taken place prior to his joining the Committee. It had taken time to understand the various institutions. There were historically some legislatively busy committees, such as justice, finance, trade and industry. If a comparison had to be made with this Committee, a bit of benchmarking had to be done. The Committee had to look at the pieces of legislation passed, and the several areas that still needed significant legislative and policy reform. Over the period of five years, this Committee may have taken too long on individual tasks, such as petitions. The same issues kept on coming back to the Committee. In the interest of the Committee's time, there should have been a more efficient way of disposing of some of these issues. There had not been enough time to process legislation. There might be a lot of criticism if one looked at the number of bills passed, compared to the number of Committee meetings. The Committee should be jacked up, and should not be doing editorial work during meetings. It was an inefficient utilisation of this Committee’s time.

He agreed with Ms Makesini that there should be coordination between national and provincial, but it should also include municipalities. If the Committee then did oversight in the future, there would be coordination and a comprehensive picture and response when there was interaction with communities and departments at both the local and provincial levels. Although the Committee had to look at the national perspective holistically, it needed somehow to converge this different perspective of joint planning. For instance, in the Housing Consumer Protection Bill in some municipalities, there was no provincial or municipal representation, although the delivery was happening at that level. This created a situation where there were grievances which could be best addressed at those levels. It was ignorant of what was going on there, and the people concerned were not there to defend themselves or to explain themselves and clarify these issues. It created a problem, and there was no consistency of participation at that level. Labour had to be divided because doing things at the same time with everyone was an inefficient utilisation of time. If one or two people were represented in those oversights, it would help.

The white paper was ultimately the vision forward. The Seventh Parliament should be given time to reflect on the white paper. The white paper should not be finalised or passed in the current administration. The legacy report may come in handy in evaluating whether some of the challenges of a policy nature had been, or could have been, further addressed in the white paper. Going forward, the fundamental issue was to decide whether the way things had been done in the last 30 years was the only and best way in terms of delivering and ensuring equal access to housing for all South Africans. In another meeting, the concept of a welfare versus a developmental state was discussed. The Committee was able to get a sense of the developmental state of housing in the white paper.

How developed was the overarching policy on housing? He agreed with Mr Tseki that the Committee should reflect more on both the structure and content of the legacy report, if time allowed. This was ultimately the Committee’s signature on the work that had been done. The content was not as critical, because it was reflected in the minutes which had officially been tabled in Parliament and was available. The report should be more strategic and not too long and cumbersome. The report should include the challenges, proposed solutions, where they had been implemented effectively, where they were lacking, and the way forward. There should be a strategic relook of approaches. In the interest of time, he said that there was more that could be elaborated on.

The Chairperson said that the report should be reworked, and the format should be restructured.

Mr Malematja agreed with Mr Tseki’s proposal that the report should be reworked.

The Chairperson said that the report now had to be taken back, because the person who was supposed to draft the report was not here. She requested the Committee Researcher to assist with reworking the legacy report. The report had to be restricted and reformatted, and the issues that need to be followed up should be included. There were issues which should not be forgotten when reworking the report.

Insofar as the Housing Consumer Protection Bill was concerned, the new Committee must be able to look at the regulations. Sometimes, the regulations were overlooked. The new Committee should be able to invite the DHS to present on the regulations -- this should be captured in the legacy report. She agreed with Adv Masutha on the white paper. The Cabinet might have adopted the white paper. The new Committee needed to look at the act that governs human settlements and see if there were issues that could be addressed in the white paper/bill. All of this must be captured for the new Committee.

The Committee had been presented with the Human Settlements Development Bank, and the process had just disappeared. This must be captured as well. The issue raised by Ms Makesini was important. There should be collaboration between the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures. The issues raised by the Auditor-General were repeat findings, because there had been no follow-up. There was no oversight by Parliament on the issues to ensure that there was implementation by the provinces. There should be a collaboration between spheres of government, including municipalities, as Adv Masutha indicated. She asked the researcher if he was available to assist with the legacy report.

Mr Tshepo Makhanye, the Committee Researcher, said that he was available to assist Ms Pasiya-Mndende.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Makhanye for his assistance. As soon as the legacy report had been amended, the Committee should adopt it before the rising of Parliament, which was on 29 May. The minutes of this meeting should note the Committee’s disappointment with the behaviour of the Committee Content Advisor, who was supposed to be in this meeting to present the report but had decided to disappear this whole week. The Committee Secretary and the Researcher now had to rework the report. There was usually a management meeting. This matter would be raised with the management of Parliament, but the minutes should reflect the disappointment of this Committee. This should be reported so that the new incoming Committee was not affected by the sufferings of this Committee. The Chairperson asked how much time was needed to rework the report. Would the Committee be able to convene next week?

Mr Makhanye said that the report should be done by next week.

The Chairperson asked if this was the last item on the agenda, and wished Ms Pasiya-Mndende good luck with the legacy report.

Ms Pasiya-Mndende confirmed that it was the last item on the agenda.

Closing remarks

The Chairperson said that this was supposed to be the last meeting so she would allow parties to say something before the meeting was adjourned.

She called upon Ms A Buthelezi (IFP), but there was no response.

Mr Tseki asked what item on the agenda this was.

The Chairperson repeated that she was giving parties the chance to say something before the meeting was adjourned.

Ms Makesini also asked what was happening.

The Chairperson repeated herself.

Ms Makesini was very unclear -- it seemed that there were some connectivity issues. She thanked the Committee and the staff for all their efforts.

The Chairperson called upon Ms Buthelezi again, but to no avail.

Adv Masutha asked if he could come in, because he was rushing to catch a flight.

The Chairperson agreed.

Adv Masutha expressed his profound gratitude for the support he had received from the Committee, particularly from the Chairperson and the Whip. He had been through a difficult journey of recovery from a terrible health situation which had affected his ability to fully participate in the work of the Committee. It was a pity that his new heart was coming to full performance on the eve of the end of the term. He expressed his profound appreciation for the stewardship of the Committee, with the support of the Whip and the staff. He had found Members really paid attention to issues that mattered, and their contributions had been adding value. This should be taken as a compliment from someone who had been in the institution for almost a quarter of a century, and had seen it all over that length of time. This had been his most pleasant committee to work with. He wished the Members all the best for 29 May, and hoped that the ANC kept 80% and the rest was spread amongst the smaller parties.

The Chairperson called Ms Buthelezi again, but she did not respond.

Ms Sihlwayi appreciated the opportunity for Members to present their views on the road that had been well travelled from 2019 until now. There had been some bumps along the road. She had come from the legislature to the national Parliament, but had not been aware of the processes and procedures. However, with some indulgence and patience, she learned a lot about how Parliament works in addressing the issues of communities. She felt value in having a leader such as the Chairperson, where the ideal of better service to people had been developed. The Chairperson had managed to develop some officials. There were huge challenges with some of the department officials who did not understand their roles. However, the Chairperson’s approach, resilience and patience to make the officials know their role had developed them. Sometimes, she listened to how officials speak in meetings, and just smiled while remembering how the Chairperson had nurtured them to be better.

She appreciated the enthusiasm of her ANC colleagues because no one would be able to carry the mandate of the ANC alone in a committee. The assistance of Members to the Chairperson said a lot about the communities that had put the Members there as a part of Parliament. Members would leave Parliament with joy and great value. She believed that because of the human settlements programme, the ANC was going to win the elections on 29 May. Housing was a critical matter, and it dealt with many issues that were needed by communities, such as the remarks made earlier about the legacy report having to include that housing should come with the necessary amenities, such as water and electricity.

She thanked the Chairperson for her leadership and stewardship, which was something she would always appreciate and think about. There was no other organisation like the ANC that would be able to give a better life to people. This Committee was very critical for delivery to the people of South Africa. The same words could be said about the Whip, although he was not on the platform. He was a leader who had the enthusiasm to assist the communities in having a better life. She reiterated her appreciation for the Chairperson’s assistance in developing officials.

The Chairperson asked Ms Buthelezi if she had something to say, but she did not respond.

Mr Tseki concurred with what Ms Sihlwayi had said, although he believed the Committee could have done more. The Committee had started on a high note, and then COVID-19 happened and some of the programmes had got derailed. The ANC, in particular, had to follow up on tracking its resolutions. The Committee had asked the DHS to do everything in their power to deal with the matters, but unfortunately, there were always postponements. Some of the progress could not be realised. He suggested that outside of this platform, there should be a follow-up. This could contribute to the success of the future Committee. Members had worked well with the staff. He hoped that this would continue with the future Committee.

The Chairperson asked if Mr Malematja had anything to say, but he did not respond.

Chairperson's closing remarks

The Chairperson said working with mature and educated people had been a pleasure. She was leaving Parliament as a better person. It had been a privilege to work with advocates and doctors. She had learned a lot from the Members of Parliament. It had been a pleasure to work with the staff, and if they ever felt undermined or under-utilised, it was not the intention of the Committee.

In the beginning, the DHS was a huge department that included water and sanitation. In one of the very first meetings, the budget was R16 billion, and there had been irregular expenditure and accruals. This had been navigated and had shaped the sector, but the decision was taken to separate human settlements. It had resulted in a better learning curve, and this skill set should be utilised in community work whether Members were coming back or not.

She thanked Dr Mkhize, stating he was like a real father in the Committee. She was not trying to isolate others, but explained that Dr Mkhize was always there and clarified himself even outside meetings. He would say when he was unhappy with things, and gave his input. She hoped that all political parties would continue with their services and continue doing well in the Seventh Parliament. She thanked some of the staff who had joined the Committee late. When the Committee started with Zoom meetings, one would press the microphone button and the sound would just disappear. Members were now able to open the computer in the morning. COVID-19 had brought another set of experience, and Members were now more computer and gadget-friendly.

The meeting was adjourned.

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