16 November 2018

Namibia: Transnamib Wants to Evict Workers From Windhoek Houses

TRANSNAMIB is threatening to evict 10 families living in two company houses in Eros, Windhoek, by the end of this month if they don't pay the outstanding water and electricity bills.

The families who have been staying at the houses since 2012 owe TransNamib close to N$210 000.

Some of the families spoke to The Namibian on condition of anonymity, explaining that when they moved into the houses, they were told that the rentals included electricity and water.

The families also said TransNamib started asking them to pay for water and electricity in 2017, and that the bills are too high.

"We enquired with them about this, and the company said the water and electricity bills are this high because the houses are in a business district," they added.

Another tenant, who denied falling behind with payments, said TransNamib deducts the rentals from their salaries every month.

The tenant also said they used to have prepaid electricity, but TransNamib installed metered electricity units in March 2017.

She went on to say that it was after this that the residents started receiving the eviction notices because the company claimed that if they can't pay the bills, then they must move out.

"The thing with these big bills is that we don't know where the extensive usage of the water and electricity comes from. We asked TransNamib, but they also couldn't give us a straight answer," she added.

Another tenant said if TransNamib evicts them, it will devastate her family because her daughters walk to a school nearby.

She observed that TransNamib wants them to move out of the house, but that the company doesn't pay them a sufficient salary to be able to afford accommodation elsewhere.She further said TransNamib accommodated train drivers and their assistants in the houses close to the station, for convenience.

"My husband is a train driver. He rarely has time off. T

hey are told to come in at random times, and it puts a strain on them," she stressed.

According to the tenants, TransNamib claimed that some neighbours complained about them making noise, and that that was part of the reason the company wants them out of the houses.

"TransNamib's executive of properties, Alynsia Platt, told us that our Chinese neighbours and the kindergarten opposite our home were complaining about us being a nuisance in the street," one neighbour said. The Namibian visited these places to confirm the accusations against the TransNamib tenants.

Platt refused to comment on the issue, saying: "They are accusing me in my capacity as an employee of TransNamib, and not in my personal capacity, so please direct all your questions to the public relations department."

Last week, The Namibian visited Bahnhof just outside Rehoboth, where TransNamib had also disconnected water and electricity supplies because some of its workers had not been paying. Bahnhof tenants likewise claimed that TransNamib was overcharging them.


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