“Beneficiaries of a housing subsidy may not sell their houses for eight years after acquiring their properties.”
Section 10A of the Housing Act of 1997 requires those wishing to vacate the property before eight years must offer it back to the local provincial housing authority, who is then deemed to be the title holder.
So, technically, and practically the person never owns the property, cannot sell it, or dispose of it as one would do normally. The exception noted in the report is the Western Cape where the property can be disposed of upon a waiver from the MEC. Conveyancers would charge approx. R1 000 to obtain a waiver. The Act is messy, resulting in the Courts unable to make a clear ruling.
“The insistence by policymakers that their command can in any way control what households do with their own properties in the face of a vibrant informal property market is curious,” says the TSC. The recommendation of the TSC is “to remove Sections 10A and 10B to enable future sales… a mechanism is required for such changes to apply to any sale concluded while the law was in force. This would enable the formalisation of informal transactions that have taken place in the past in violation of the Act.”