Media Statement - 23 February 2011
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has piloted two new pieces of legislation which could fundamentally change the lives of people living in high-rise flats, inner city buildings, townhouse complexes and other gated communities.
The two bills – the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill – were passed by the National Assembly yesterday (22 February 2011).
“These bills will contribute to good governance and improved administration of sectional titles and community schemes,” Sexwale said. ““They will also minimize the negative actions of some corporate bodies which may want to ride roughshod over the interests of individual members.”
Sexwale said more and more South Africans are beginning to look for shelter in these areas – particularly young people, many of whom have just left tertiary institutions or are starting their first job.
The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill provides for the establishment of bodies corporate to manage and regulate common property in sectional titles schemes, and the establishment of an advisory council to advise the Minister.
The Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill establishes an ombud service to resolve disputes emanating from within community schemes.
“An increasing number of community schemes are being developed, within which there is governance by the community involved, shared financial responsibility and common land and facilities.
“Quite often, the cordial relations among members of these bodies corporate may deteriorate, giving rise to problems and disputes among the participants because they involve control and administration of finances, facilities and behaviour which require effective resolution.
“Currently, there is no effective and affordable dispute resolution mechanism available to parties involved in community schemes. The Community Schemes Ombud Service is aimed at addressing this weakness,” Sexwale said.
Enquires: Chris Vick-Special Advisor to Minister Tokyo Sexwale on 083 556 7644/
Mandulo Maphumulo on 079 6995145