Seychelles Housing Development Corporation Act
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CONSOLIDATED TO 30 JUNE 2012
LAWS OF SEYCHELLES
SEYCHELLES HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ACT
(1st January, 1981)
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I ? CITATION, COMMENCEMENT AND INTERPRETATION
1. Short title
PART II ? THE CORPORATION
3. Seychelles Housing Development Corporation
4A. Creation of debentures and bonds
PART III ? THE MINISTER
5. Powers of Minister
PART IV ? THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS AND STAFF OF
6. Board of Directors
7. Remuneration of Board of Directors
8. Meetings of Board of Directors
9. Disclosure of interest
10. Directions by Board
11. General Manager
12. Notification of appointments etc. in Gazette
14. Officers and staff
PART V ? FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
15. Funds and property of Corporation
16. Vesting of Government assets etc. in Corporation
17. Vesting of Special Funds
18. Assignment of housing loans
19. Financial year
21. Estimates and Accounts
23. Annual report
24. Exemptions etc.
Schedule Special Funds.
PART I ? CITATION, COMMENCEMENT AND INTERPRETATION
1. This Act may be cited as the Seychelles Housing Development Corporation Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires ?
"Board" means the Board of Directors constituted under section 6;
"Chairman" means the person for the time being appointed as Chairman of the Board under section 6;
"Corporation" means the Seychelles Housing Development Corporation established under this Act;
"Deputy Chairman" means the person for the time being appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Board under section 6;
"Director" means a person appointed as a member of the Board under section 6 and includes the Chairman;
"General Manager" means the person for the time being appointed as General Manager under section 11;
"housing" means a building the whole or part of which provides or is intended to provide a dwelling and includes related utility services;
"Minister" means the Minister appointed by the President to supervise the Corporation;
"Secretary" means the person for the time being appointed as Secretary of the Corporation under section 13;
"subsidiary" means a body corporate or enterprise wholly owned by the Corporation or a body corporate or enterprise in which the Corporation owns more than 50% of the voting power or is entitled to appoint more than 50% of the board of directors.
PART II ? THE CORPORATION
3. There is established by this Act the Seychelles Housing Development Corporation, which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession.
4. (1) The functions of the Corporation shall be ?
(a) to ensure the provision of housing in Seychelles in accordance with the policy of the Government as set out from time to time in the National Development Plan or as communicated to it by directions under section 5(1)(a); and
(b) to advise the Minister on housing policy.
(2) The Corporation may do anything which a body corporate may lawfully do and perform and which is calculated to facilitate the discharge of its functions.
(3) In particular, but without prejudice to these general powers, and subject to the provisions of this Act, the Corporation may –
(a) build or improve housing for sale or rent;
(b) make grants or loans in money, materials, equipment or services for the acquisition, building or improvement of housing or land for housing;
(c) provide assistance to persons promoting housing developments;
(d) promote, finance or undertake by itself or in association with the Government or other persons the development of villages or housing estates including related facilities for the economic or social benefit of inhabitants of the villages or housing estates;
(e) undertake investigation of or research into building techniques or other subjects in furtherance of its functions;
(f) acquire, buy, sell, dispose, rent or hire, exchange, pledge or mortgage any movable or immovable property or interest therein;
(g) subject to the approval of the Minister, borrow or lend money (other than in terms of paragraph (b)) or guarantee any financial obligations of any subsidiary or other person;
(h) accept gifts and donations;
(i) subject to section 20, make investments of money;
(j) charge interest on any loans and make such charges for its services under this Act as the Board thinks fit;
(k) subject to the approval of the Minister, establish, form or take part in furtherance of its functions in a body corporate or enterprise with other persons and dissolve or voluntarily wind?up any body corporate so established or formed other than itself or any such enterprise;
(l) undertake such other activities in furtherance of its functions as the Minister may allow by order published in the Gazette;
(m) carry out the functions assigned to it by or under the Tenants' Rights Act.
(4) The Corporation shall not take part in a body corporate or enterprise which is not wholly owned by it unless the body corporate or enterprise is incorporated under the Companies Act.
4A. (1) Subject to the approval of the Minister, given with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for Finance, the Corporation may create and issue debentures and bonds and the debentures and bonds so created and issued shall in this Act be referred to as “SHDC debentures” and “SHDC bonds” respectively.
(2) The SHDC debentures and SHDC bonds shall be issued, transferred, dealt with, redeemed and cancelled in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Corporation and approved by the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for Finance.
(3) The Government may guarantee the repayment of the principal sum and the payment of interest on any SHDC debentures and any SHDC bonds.
(4) Any sum required for the settlement of a guarantee provided by Government under this section shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.
PART III ? THE MINISTER
5. (1) The Minister ?
(a) may from time to time, after consultation with the Corporation, give to it directions in writing of a general character on the policy to be followed by the Corporation or its subsidiaries;
(b) shall be entitled to be informed by the Corporation of any matter relating to the affairs of the Corporation or a subsidiary which appears to him to be in the public interest and for this purpose may further direct an audit or other enquiry to ascertain if the Corporation or subsidiary is being properly conducted; and
(c) may make regulations prescribing any matters that are required or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.
(2) The Corporation shall give effect to directions given by the Minister under subsection (1)(a).
(3) If the Minister acts under subsection (1)(b), the Corporation and a subsidiary to which the matter relates shall give the Minister the information he requests and shall cooperate in an audit or enquiry.
(4) The Annual Report of the Board under section 23 shall set out any direction given by the Minister under sub? section (1), unless the Minister has notified the Board that in his opinion it is against the interests of state security to do so.
PART IV ? THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS AND STAFF
OF THE CORPORATION
6. (1) There shall be a Board of Directors of the Corporation, which shall, subject to this Act, be responsible to the Minister for the policy, control and management of the Corporation.
(2) The Board shall consist of ?
(a) a Chairman who shall be the Principal Secretary of the Department responsible for housing unless another person is appointed as chairman by the President; and
(b) such other Directors, being not less than four nor more than eight, as the Minister may appoint.
(3) The General Manager may be appointed as a Director.
(4) The Minister may appoint a Director to be Deputy Chairman of the Board.
(5) A Director shall hold and vacate his office in accordance with the terms of his appointment and shall, on ceasing to be a Director, be eligible for re?appointment.
(6) A Director shall be deemed to have vacated office if he is absent without the permission of the Board from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which he has had notice in terms of section 8(7).
7. The Corporation shall pay to the Directors such emoluments and allowances as the Minister may determine.
8. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board.
(2) If the Chairman is, for any reason, unable to exercise the functions of his office, the Deputy Chairman shall have all the powers of the Chairman.
(3) In the absence of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman from any meeting of the Board, the Directors present shall elect from among themselves a Director to preside at that meeting and the Director so chosen shall, in relation to that meeting, exercise the functions and have the powers of the Chairman.
(4) The Board shall meet at such intervals as the Directors may decide, but not less than four times in each year.
(5) The Chairman may at any time and shall, at the request in writing of any two Directors and without delay, convene a special meeting of the Board.
(6) A notice convening a special meeting of the Board shall state the purposes for which it is convened.
(7) Except for a special meeting convened by the Chairman on his own initiative, not less than three working days notice of a meeting shall be given to Directors.
(8) Three Directors shall constitute a quorum.
(9) Questions before the Board shall be decided by a majority of votes of the Directors present and voting at the meeting.
(10) The Chairman or other Director presiding at a meeting shall have a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, shall also have a casting vote.
(11) Subject to this Act, and to any directions by the Minister under section 5(1)(a), the Board shall regulate its meetings and proceedings and the conduct of the Corporation as it thinks fit.
9. (1) A Director who is or whose family is in any way directly or indirectly interested in a matter proposed for discussion by the Board shall disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the Board and unless the Board otherwise decides the Director shall not take any part in any deliberation or decision of the Board with respect to that matter.
(2) A Director who fails to comply with section (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of R.10,000.
10. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or of any other laws, the Board?
(a) shall transmit to a subsidiary a direction from the Minister which relates to that subsidiary or which the Minister has directed should be transmitted;
(b) may issue to a subsidiary a direction, regulations or standing orders on the policy or conduct of the affairs of the subsidiary.
(2) A subsidiary shall give effect to a direction, regulations or standing orders received by it under subsection (1).
11. (1) The chief executive of the Corporation shall be a General Manager appointed by the Board, subject to the approval of the Minister.
(2) The General Manager shall be responsible to the Board for the effective operation of the Corporation.
(3) In the exercise of his functions under this Act, the General Manager shall act in accordance with such directions as he may, from time to time, receive from the Board.
(4) The General Manager shall hold office on such terms and conditions and at such remuneration as may be determined by the Board, subject to the approval of the Minister.
(5) Remuneration payable under this section shall be paid by the Corporation.
12. All appointments, resignations and vacation of membership of the Board shall be notified by the Secretary of the Corporation in the Gazette.
13. The Board shall appoint a Secretary of the Corporation who, in addition to any other duties conferred upon him shall be responsible for convening all meetings of the Board, the proper recording of its decisions and the communication of those decisions to those who are required to act on them.
14. (1) The Corporation shall appoint or employ such other officers and staff as may be reasonably necessary for the purposes of or in connection with its functions under this Act on such terms and conditions as the Corporation may determine.
(2) The Corporation may provide for the training, career development and discipline of its officers and staff.
(3) The officers and staff shall be under the administrative control of the General Manager.
PART V ? FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
15. The funds and property of the Corporation shall consist of ?
(a) money appropriated by an Appropriation Act and paid to the Corporation;
(b) rights, interests, assets or liabilities of the Government vested in the Corporation under section 16;
(c) rights and obligations under charges or mort? gages in favour of the Government in respect of housing loans assigned to the Corporation under section 18;
(d) money paid to the Corporation by way of grants, subsidies, donations, loans, fee, sub? scriptions, rent, repayments of principal, interest and royalties;
(e) money derived from the sale of property held by or on behalf of the Corporation;
(f) sums due on any investment made by the Corporation in exercise of its powers under this Act;
(g) other money and property lawfully received by the Corporation for the purposes of the Corporation; and
(h) accumulations of income derived from any money or property of the Corporation.
16. (1) The President may authorise the vesting in the Corporation of any rights, interest, assets or liabilities of the Government.
(2) The Minister shall thereafter take any further action necessary to vest or transfer to the Corporation the rights, interests, assets or liabilities authorised to be vested under subsection (1) and any titles thereto.
(3) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, where under subsection (1) the President has authorised the vesting in the Corporation of a loan to the Government, the Minister shall have power, subject to the terms of the loan, to assign the loan to the Corporation.
17. Assets of the Government vested in the Corporation in terms of section 16 may include assets and liabilities from the dissolution of the Special Funds set out in the Schedule and the Public Finances (Control and Management) Act, shall have effect.
18. (1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the rights and obligations of the Government under charges or mortgages in favour of the Government in respect of housing loans may be assigned to the Corporation in terms of sections 16 and 17.
(2) A charge or mortgage in favour of the Government is one in respect of a housing loan if the Minister certifies that in his opinion the loan was granted by the Government for the purposes of housing.
(3) An assignment in terms of subsection (1) shall be made by the Minister by notice in the Gazette and shall take effect from the date of assignment intimated in the notice.
(4) The transfer of rights and obligations in respect of a housing loan in terms of this section shall not prejudice or alter the rights and obligations of the borrower or guarantor under the charge or mortgage.
(5) When the Minister makes the assignment in terms of subsection (3) he shall cause the Principal Secretary of the Minister responsible for housing to intimate to the Land Registrar and to the Registrar of Deeds a list of the charges and mortgages assigned and the Land Registrar and the Registrar of Deeds shall register or inscribe the Corporation as chargee or mortgagee as the case may be in place of the Government in respect of those charges or mortgages.
19. The financial year of the Corporation shall end in each year on the date appointed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.
20. Subject to directions by the Minister under section 5, current surplus funds shall be invested as the Board thinks fit.
21. (1) For each financial year the Board shall prepare and submit to the Minister, not later than such date as the Minister directs, estimates of the income and expenditure of the Corporation, including its capital budget, for the coming financial year and for any longer period required by the Minister.
(2) The Board shall cause to be kept all proper books and records of account of the income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the Corporation.
(3) Where funds have been received by the Corporation for a special purpose, the estimates and accounts of the Corporation shall show the application of those funds.
(4) The accounts of the Corporation shall show in such manner as the Minister may approve arrears outstanding for more than six months in repayments of principal or interest of housing loans.
22. (1) At the end of each financial year the accounts of the Corporation shall be audited by an auditor appointed by the Minister after consultation with the Board.
(2) The auditor shall satisfy himself that the accounts of the Corporation have been properly prepared in accordance with sound accounting principles and he shall either ?
(a) state in his report that ?
(i) the accounts have been properly prepared in accordance with the books and records of the Corporation;
(ii) the books and records of the Corporation contain information adequate for the purposes of his audit;
(iii) the balance sheet and income and expenditure account of the Corporation give a true and fair view of the Corporation's financial position; and
(iv) the financial affairs of the Corporation have been properly conducted; or
(b) notify the Minister that he is unable to complete his report as provided in paragraph (a), giving his reasons therefor.
(3) The auditor shall submit his report to the Minister and shall forward a copy of his report to the Board.
23. (1) Within six months of the end of the financial year the Board shall submit to the Minister ?
(a) an Annual Report dealing with the operations of the Corporation during that year; and
(b) the accounts of the Corporation for that year audited in terms of section 22.
(2) The Corporation shall publish the Annual Report, accounts and auditor's report.
24. (1) The Corporation shall not be subject to the Companies Act.
(2) The Corporation shall not be liable to any taxation imposed by law in respect of income, whether gross or net, or profits.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), no duty or fee shall be chargeable under the Stamp Duty Act, the Land Registration Act or the Mortgage and Registration Act in respect of any instrument executed by or on behalf of, or in favour of, the Corporation.
(4) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, stamp duty under the Stamp Duty Act and fees under the Land Registration Act or under the Mortgage and Registration Act in respect of a charge or mortgage in favour of the Corporation for any housing loan shall be borne by the charger or mortgager, as the case may be, and not by the Corporation.
SCHEDULE Section 17
SPECIAL FUNDS FROM WHICH MONEYS MAY BE VESTED IN THE CORPORATION
Housing Improvements Loans Fund
Housing Loans Fund
Housing (Self?Build) Loans Fund
Site and Service Revolving Loans Fund.
NO SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION