The vision of the NHBRC is to be a world-class home-builder’s warranty organisation that ensures the delivery of sustainable and quality homes. Mnyani wants to lift the NHBRC to the next level and believes that his experience can help him do so. “I have an understanding of how the industry operates and I see my appointment as an opportunity to grow and to contribute to the Council.”
Achieving that next level will be no easy task, but Mnyani is confident that the NHBRC can be transformed so that it is once more a well-respected brand. His primary focus is for the Council to enhance its reputation among key stakeholders, clients and government. “Our role is mostly to protect our clients, and, with this in mind, we will be making every effort to ensure that all our clients and various stakeholders receive a quality service. Therefore, it is important that delivery on our core mandate not be compromised,” he says. The NHBRC is seeking to ensure that it becomes very visible, so that consumers are aware that there is someone championing the protection of their rights. “This is my personal goal for all nine provincial offices,” says Mnyani, “and the next step is to give technical support in respect of the human settlements programme in order to ensure that the units comply with the applicable standards. We also want to grow the Warranty Fund so as to protect ourselves against any unforeseen claims.”
The NHBRC further wishes to create awareness as to what consumer’s rights are and to safeguard consumers by assuring them that builders registered with the NHBRC comply with the strictest standards. “There will be an internal focus on the norms and standards of policies and procedures that need to be addressed, but all the necessary changes will come into effect in due course. Our main goal at this stage is to guarantee the highest standards of service delivery and to have builders deliver quality workmanship.”
Mnyani understands that it might be difficult to assess the value of NHBRC membership and to develop confidence in the organisation. However, he insists that, as a regulator, the NHBRC is creating an ethical and law-abiding industry that will ensure consumer confidence. “We are busy with various outreach programmes to educate consumers on what their rights and responsibilities are. We are also becoming more visible through our signage at construction sites. If any members of the public have any queries, they should direct these to us and we will be most willing to assist.”
The NHBRC will be playing a major role at a national level by assisting the Department of Human Settlements to ensure that Reconstruction and Development Programme houses are built to the correct specifications and that unethical practices are rooted out. “It is unfortunate that people do not adhere to standards and processes, and it will therefore be a joint effort on the part of the NHBRC and government, to overcome the challenges faced with regard to houses that are not built, to last in the line with approved norms and standards.
“As a valued customer, we urge you to ensure that your builder is registered with, and licensed by, the NHBRC. In terms of the Housing Consumers Protection Measurers Act, any person in the business of building homes is required by law to register with us. The NHBRC certifies builders who meet the industry criteria concerning technical, construction and financial capabilities,” emphasises Mnyani. Registration with the NHBRC ensures that the consumer is not exposed to poor building practices, and quality building inspections ensure that homes will not suffer structural failure. Mnyani believes that homes should be built with the same integrity that they were 100 years ago and should last even longer than 100 years.
Site inspections will include investigating the materials used and validating the skills within the industry for home builders, as well as process-flow inspections. These are but some of the forms of quality control that the NHBRC will be undertaking regularly. “If we work together in a transparent and honest manner, everyone will be happy at the end of the day,” says Mnyani. Although the NHBRC does have a major role to play, he points out that, ultimately, it is what the Minister and Parliament expect, that needs to be accomplished. Mnyani, a family man, enjoys watching his children play in various sports tournaments. He himself is trying his hand at golf so as to ‘debrief’ once in a while, not to mention the obvious networking benefits the game offers. “I feel that golf is now part of my job description,” and jokingly adds that his lessons are coming along well.
Mnyani manages his staff through an open-door policy, whilst providing them with the space to grow and enhance their potential. “I am the type of person who believes that you must empower people, while they themselves must, as individuals, acquire the knowledge they might not have. Everyone has an important role to play at the NHBRC, and they need to know that and need to respect one another so that we can continue to carry out our mandate,” Mnyani points out. The years 2013 and 2014 will prove to be a very busy time for the NHBRC, but with Mnyani at the helm, the organisation is in good hands. He believes that it is not asking a lot to deliver what the housing consumers expects of the Council. The industry is a very dynamic one which, with the correct networking and competency skills, will guarantee that the end users have a product that they are happy with and can be proud of. A certificate from the NHBRC must mean something and must be protected, and this, in the final analysis, will be the driving force behind the brand’s achievements.
Established in 1998, in accordance with the provisions of The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (Act No. 95 of 1998) the NHBRC’s mandate is to protect the interests of housing consumers and to ensure compliance to regulated building industry standards.
New Direction for the NHBRC
The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) appointed Mongezi Mnyani as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 March 2013.
His wealth of experience that equipped him for this position include being Director of Communications and Information in Gauteng’s Department of Provincial Safety and Liaison, Chief Director of Communications and Customer Relations in Gauteng’s Department of Housing, and Head of Gauteng’s Department for Local Government and Housing. The NHBRC is a regulatory body serving the home-building industry and assists consumers who have been exposed to contractors that deliver housing units of substandard design, whose workmanship is poor or that use material of inferior quality. All consumers are assisted, no matter the size or value of the home.
CASE IN POINT | NHBRC
by Shalane van Rensburg