DA blocks establishment of state-run insurance company

Today, the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements sat to finalise the Housing Consumer Protection Bill. This followed extensive public hearings across all nine provinces, and two weeks of clause-by-clause committee readings.

Until today, the draft Bill contained a clause that would see the Department of Human Settlements establishing a non-profit insurance company. This company, operating as a state-run financial services provider, would compete with the private sector in providing risk-based insurance cover to home owners.

Already the Department is failing to meet its basic Constitutional obligations, achieving only 41% of its formal housing delivery targets last year. Despite their inability to achieve their basic targets, they now intend to compete with banks and insurance companies, too.

The DA has no doubt that this state-sponsored company would become yet another vehicle for ANC patronage and looting. It would require hundreds of new employees and extensive financial resources. Looking at the ANC’s management track-record, such a company would no doubt also require bail-outs from Treasury in time to come.

Today, mounting a decisive set of arguments, the DA was finally able to achieve consensus from a majority of members that the establishment of such a company was indeed, undesirable.

As such, the state law advisors amended the final A-list to reflect that the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements will reject the inclusion of Section 39, in its entirety.

The DA extends its thanks to all rational members of the Committee who supported the ultimate rejection of this clause.

The DA furthermore extends its thanks to all external role-players who assisted in collating submissions to block this preposterous proposal.

The Bill will now proceed to the National Assembly for deliberation.