In terms of the Constitution of South Africa every person has the right to adequate housing. The right to housing is also closely linked to other human rights which include the right to sanitation and the right to water. As a result of these rights the Government has an obligation to take steps to ensure that the people of South Africa have access to housing. The Housing Act 107 of 1997, BNG Policy and National Housing Code provides for the facilitation of a sustainable housing process.
Many beneficiaries of BNG housing (previously known as RDP houses) are people from vulnerable groups such as women, children, pensioners and persons with disabilities. To ensure that these vulnerable groups continue to benefit from these housing subsidies the Housing Act impose certain conditions on the owners of these properties.
Any owner of a BNG property may not rent out or sell the property to another person within a period of 8 years from receipt thereof. Should an owner wish to rent out or sell their property they must first offer the property to the Department of Housing who will in turn ascertain whether they will consent to the sale or rental of the property. The decision made by the Department will depend on various factors and will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Any sale or rental of a BNG house without the consent of the Department is unlawful. In July 2022 the Provincial Minister of Infrastructure in the Western Cape issued a beneficiary of Highbury Park Housing Project in Kuilsriver with a notice to vacate her BNG house following the unlawful sale of the house.
In summary, yes you can sell or rent your RDP / BNG house unless you own the house for less than 8 years. If so, you must obtain the consent of the Department in order to rent out or sell your house.