If Benediction Zubane were clueless about building, his house would have been built on poorly laid foundations.
His house plan was not approved and its construction was not registered with the National Home Builders' Registration Council (NHBRC).
Builder Riaan van Wyk Schlebusch allegedly used Zubane's R200 000 to complete other people's houses.
Zubane discovered this after reporting the builder to the NHBRC. The council suspended Schlebusch from its membership, but could do nothing about recovering Zubane's money because the law is toothless, Zubane said.
Zubane's bank suspended its financing until the foundations met the required standard.
Zubane said Schlebusch agreed to build him a house worth R710000 within three months. He paid R200000 for building materials while his bank processed his bond application.
Zubane said he stopped the construction work when Absa refused to finance a house assessed by a blacklisted engineer.
"An independent engineer picked up more faults, which they refused to correct," he said.
An NHBRC spokesman said the council had asked the builder to enroll the property as a late enrolment, but Schlebusch could not confirm that he had the funds to do so.
Schlebusch has not responded to Consumer Line enquiries for three weeks.