WINDHOEK - Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya yesterday announced the members of Rent Control Boards in the regions of Oshana, Kavango East, Erongo and Khomas.
The appointments are in accordance with the Rent Ordinance of 1977. For now, the board members will only serve the towns of Oshakati, Rundu, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.
Tweya added that the appointed members will serve for three years or until the review process of the Rent Ordinance of 1977 results in a new law, whichever comes first.
The announcement of the appointments came after the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement recently dragged the minister to court for failure to implement the regulation of the Rent Ordinance 13 of 1977, as amended.
AR subsequently said that their lawyers were approached by government to seek an out-of-court settlement in the rent control case that challenged government to implement rent control.
Making the announcement at his ministry yesterday, Tweya said the appointment process of the Rent Control Board members was stalled for various reasons.
“On the 25 October 2018, the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development verified whether all nominees were still available by approaching local authorities, Shack Dwellers Association, the Magistrate Commission (Judiciary), the National Youth Council and the Affirmative Repositioning group,” said Tweya.
Upon the request of AR and other civil society organisations two years ago, President Hage Geingob instructed the Cabinet Committee on Land-Related Matters to introduce measures aimed at regulating the rental market, with a view to prevent the current exploitation of tenants by landlords.
During a meeting with AR in April 2016 government agreed to implement the Rent Control Board, which will be spearheaded by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. It was agreed at that meeting that the operationalisation of the Rent Control Boards should have been effected at the beginning of August 2016.
In view of this directive, the ministry of industrialisation was tasked by the President, through the Chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on Land-Related Matters, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandu-Ndaitwah, to undertake the review of the Rent Ordinance, 1977 and establish whether the ordinance will effectively regulate the rental market in the country.
In adherence to the directive to introduce measures to regulate the rental market the ministry requested local authorities, the Shack Dwellers Association, the Magistrate Commission, the National Youth Council and AR to nominate persons to serve on the Rent Control Boards.
“Nominations were received, however, the process stalled due to circumstances beyond our control,” Tweya said.
“The President subsequently appointed the executive committee according to Section 2(2) of the Ordinance, comprising of members of Cabinet namely, the Prime Minister (Chairperson), Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission, Minister of Urban and Rural Development and Attorney-General, assigned to establish the Rent Control Board,” Tweya explained.