... and poor service delivery, resulting in substandard and very inadequate housing for black people in South Africa. The postapartheid era in South Africa ushered in a wide range of legislation and policies, which aim to guarantee and protect the right of individuals to adequate housing.
Human Settlements played a pivotal role in infrastructure development, because whatever the country did, it had to think about where people lived first as they could not live on freeways and in harbours. We want people who are credible, people who pay attention to detail, people who have the know-how and who can provide the ANC-led government with quality work. The ANC wants taxpayers to feel that it is worthy to pay their taxes.
Over 90% of municipalities in the country have developed their municipal turnaround strategies, which have now been integrated into their integrated development plans and municipal budgets.
The issue of quality housing in Human Settlements cannot be compromised. The government established the National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC, under the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act, Act 95 of 1998. The NHBRC's mandate is to regulate the house building industry and protect housing consumers. The regulatory aspect involves ensuring the registration of builders. In attempting to ensure housing consumer protection, every house should be registered by the NHBRC prior to construction.
The NHBRC is mandated to represent the interests of housing consumers by providing warranty protection against defects in new homes; to regulate the home building industry; to provide protection to housing consumers in respect of the failure of home builders to comply with their obligations in terms of the Act; and to establish and promote ethical and technical standards in the home building industry.
Once the house has been registered, the NHBRC is bound to inspect that house. With regard to the nonsubsidy sector, four inspections prior to the completion should be done, whilst for the subsidy sector, one inspector for every 200 houses built is provided. Once the house has been completed, the municipality concerned issues an occupation certificate.
South Africa is one of the countries where issues of accountability and good governance take centre stage in the running of the country. Through the constitutionally created institutions such as the office of the Auditor- General, every department is required to provide information on its performance on a regular basis. Parliament also plays a major role through its oversight mandate to hold the departments accountable on their performance. The Audit Committee also commends the department for progressively dealing with issues raised by the Auditor-General. The Audit Committee is responsible to monitor progress, and to advise and report on the matter annually. The department has established a Risk Management Committee, RMC. However, this committee was not optimally functional due to lack of participation and commitment from the risk owners, and this was discussed both in the RMC and Audit Committee. Management was advised to put measures in place to address them.
The Auditor-General noted in his report on the investigation into housing subsidies that there are 600 outstanding Special Investigation Unit, SIU, red flags where investigations have been finalised. These cases have been assessed and identified as possible acknowledgement of debts, AODs, where the government is likely to make further recoveries - that is for money lost through fraud and corruption; all labour matters such as disciplinary cases involving government employees, national and provincial, were referred to the respective premiers for the institution of progressive disciplinary procedures; and labour matters involving municipal employees could not be resolved or pursued because affected municipalities argued that the alleged fraudulent activities were not orchestrated or related to the scope of employment of their employees.
The issue of good governance should not be compromised. Parliament seeks to combat crime and corruption by encouraging whistle-blowing by employees regarding improprieties such as unlawful and irregular conduct. Employees who take such actions are to be protected from victimisation by their employers. The intention is to create a culture that will facilitate the disclosure of information by employees relating to criminal and other irregular conduct in the workplace, in a responsible manner by providing comprehensive statutory guidelines for the disclosure of such information, but where the employee will be still be protected against any reprisals as a result of such disclosures.
In South Africa the Protected Disclosures Act, Act 26 of 2000, has done much to alleviate the worst fears of those who blow the whistle in good faith on wrongdoings and malpractices. We want to build corruption-free and efficiently run municipalities through the launch of Operation Clean Audit 2014. The ANC supports the Budget Vote No 31. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]