Standard Bank: Group Compliance
7 September 2007
COMMENT ON THE SOCIAL HOUSING Bill (B29.2007)
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important legislation. We trust that our comment may be of use in the further development of the Bill.
Section 2(1) (i) (xv): The sub-section relates to the promotion of viable and independent housing institutions. The introduction to Section 2 places the responsibility for the provisions also on social housing institutions", It is not clear what the role of social housing institutions will be in the promotion of "viable and independent housing institutions. Are the latter institutions separate from social housing institutions?
Section 4(1) (l) (ii): It is not clear what is meant by "accredited" in the sentence. Please consider use of the word "designated", to reflect "designated bank account",
Section 6(1) (c): "...access to guarantees for loan funding" - "guarantees" is not defined. It is suggested that the term be defined to prevent any possible confusion.
Section 10 (1) (a): We submit that the term "necessary activities" is somewhat vague and can perhaps be more closely described, or a suitable cross-reference made.
Section 11 (4): We respectfully submit that the costs of compliance and the sources of funding of such costs should be considered when prescribing compliance (and reporting) responsibilities. It is submitted that onerous compliance costs and responsibilities may hinder the promotion of institutions wanting to take up the development of social housing. Please consider this comment where compliance responsibilities are referred to elsewhere in the Bill.
Sections 13 (5) and 14 (1) (d): Reading these sections together, and with specific reference to social housing institutions registered as companies under the Companies Act, 1973, it seems that such companies will be Section 21 Companies (not-far-gain). Clarity is needed that this reading is correct.
Section 14: The section makes reference to the "merger" and "separation" of social housing institutions. It is submitted that these terms should be clarified.
Section 14 (1) (c): We submit that the reference to "quality living environments" is somewhat vague. The evaluation of what constitutes "quality" is subjective.
Section 14 (1) (i): The meaning of this sub-section is not clear to us and we suggest that the intention he clarified, or perhaps the paragraph split to enhance the meaning.
Section 14 (1) (j): The provision indicates that the approval of the Regulatory Authority is required for any merger between social housing institutions. Consideration should perhaps be given to include reference to tile role of the Competition Commission in this regard.
Sections 14 (1) (k) and 14 (1) (I): Reference is made to "prescribed documentation" and "prescribed matter". It is anticipated that these will be described in any future Regulations.
1.2 Other matters
All legal agreements entered into between the social housing institution and the occupant must have the approval of the Regulatory Authority. There are yet no guidelines as to the form of the agreements or the process involved in the approval process. Perhaps consideration can be given to include such guidelines in any future Regulations.
M Connolly: Manager: Regulator Services