Human Settlements Ombudsman

 

OBJECTIVES

2.1 Improve openness and transparency in the Human Settlements Sector
2.2 Increase public confidence in Government,
2.3 Improve efficiency, effectiveness of government operations as it relate to Human Settlements,
2.4 To provide an accessible mechanism for redress in the Human Settlements Sector (as opposed to time-consuming, costly judiciary processes)
2.5 Drastically reduce (and ultimately eliminate) the number of human settlement related complaints directed to:
      2.5.1 The Minister of Human Settlements directly; and
      2.5.2 External parties (Presidential hotline, Public Protector, courts)
2.6 Promote constitutional right to housing


SCOPE OF WORK
3.1 Resolve disputes in the human settlements sector:
    3.1.1 Community / individual/ service providers complaints against municipalities / provinces
    3.1.2 Complaints between spheres of government in the human settlements sector
    3.1.3 Complaints between government entities and their service providers in the human settlements sector
    3.1.4 Home ownership disputes in respect of houses provided by government (title restoration)
    3.1.5 Complaints between individual homeowners and the government entities
    3.1.6 Complaints between the EAAB and real estate agencies
    3.1.7 Complaints between CSOS and body corporates


LEGAL BASIS
1.1 Section 26 of the Constitution: State has constitutional obligation to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve progressive realisation of right of access to adequate housing.
1.2 Section 195 of the Constitution - Public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution.
1.3 Khumalo and Another v MEC For Education: Kwazulu Natal (CCT 10/13) [2013] ZACC 49; 2014 (3) BCLR 333 (Cc) (18 December 2013
    Public functionaries, as the arms of the state, are further vested with the responsibility, in terms of section 7(2) of the Constitution, to “respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.”      As bearers       of this duty, and in performing their functions in the public interest, public functionaries must, where faced with an irregularity in the public administration, seek to redress it. …Section 195 lays a compelling basis for       the founding of a duty on the functionary to investigate and, if need be, to correct any unlawfulness through the appropriate avenues.

1.4 Sec 2(1) of Housing Act: National, provincial and local spheres government must
    1.4.1 ensure that housing development is administered in a transparent and equitable manner, and upholds the practice of good governance;
    1.4.2 promote education and consumer protection in respect of housing development;
    1.4.3 observe and adhere to the principles of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations referred to in section 41(I) of the Constitution.
 

1.5 In terms of section 3(4) of Housing Act the Minister may, for the purposes of performing the duties imposed by subsections (1) and (2) take any steps “reasonably necessary to create an environment conducive to enabling provincial and local governments, the private sector, communities and individuals to achieve their respective goals in respect of housing development.”