Consumer help: building and housing

Don’t get ripped off by your home builder or renovator, or by an electrical or other contractor. Here are the links you need for up-to-date advice and consumer protection.

South African consumers can turn to professional bodies for help in housing or construction disputes. (Image: World Bank)

Brand South Africa reporter

National Home Builders Registration Council

A statutory body. By law, all home builders have to be registered with the council, and have to comply with its building quality standards. Check the website to check if your builder is registered, or whether he has been suspended or deregistered.

There is also a warranty scheme in place, which covers “major structural defects” caused by poor workmanship. Noncompliance and deviation from plans and specifications is also covered.

The council has offices in all provinces. You can lodge a complaint via the council’s website.

Master Builders Association

Offers a range of services to the public, either free or for a reduced fee. If you feel a builder has provided you with unsatisfactory workmanship, the association offers advice, inspections and mediation. The website carries impartial contractual documents, as well as contact details for provincial and regional partners, some of which carry member directories.

Electrical Contractors Association of SA

An employer organisation, the association represents around 3 000 electrical contractors, manufacturers and distributors of electrical components and equipment. It provides training, advice and support.

The Institute for Timber Construction offers advice, inspections and certification of contractors. (Image: Matthew F)

Institute for Timber Construction

Ensure that your roof trusses are correctly designed and safely manufactured and erected by ITC-certified members. The institute also offers an inspection service.

South African Bureau of Standards

Oversees clay bricks, cement and other building materials as well as the national building regulations. Click on “Building and construction” on the SABS website for more information.

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