South Africa: MEC Mmoloki Cwaile Welcomes New Members of the Rental Housing Tribunal

press release

The MEC for Corporative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Mmoloki Cwaile officially appointed seven members of the North West Housing Tribunal in Mafikeng recently. The members whom most have legal background will be led by Adv Millicent Raborifi during their three years term.

The Rental Housing Tribunal is responsible for resolving complex rental issues across the North West Province. The Statutory Body is established in terms of the Rental Housing Act (Act 50 of 1999) which requires the MEC to establish the Tribunal which will facilitate conflict resolution as well as establishing sound relations between tenants and landlords in the rental sector.

According to MEC Cwaile, the Department will utilise their expertise in resolving conflicting issues between landlords and tenants, such as non-payment of rent, lock-outs, cutting of basic services i.e electricity, water and short notice to vacate the rented property, eviction without a court order, refusal to refund key deposit, any unfair practices within the rental sector and many others.

The MEC encouraged members to work as a team and called on the seven to work across the clock as conflicts happen from time to time. MEC Cwaile however assured them that they will have departmental support and that he has confidence in them in handling challenges that they will be confronted with during their three year term.

MEC Cwaile congratulated the seven on their appointment. "I believe in the empowerment of women and I have full confidence in the newly appointed Chairperson of the Tribunal Advocate Millicent Raborife. I believe in her capabilities that she will lead the team with diligence and mediate rental conflicts across the province together with her Deputy Chairperson, Matshidiso Mogale. Myself and the Head of Department Advocate Neo Sephoti will give the chairperson and her team the necessary support when executing their duties" he said.

The Tribunal sets out guidelines to be followed when parties enter into a rental agreement. The body is again tasked to promote stability in the rental housing sector by resolving disputes that may arise from time to time. Issues such as house rules set out by landlords, receipts for rental payments, services cut-offs' without a court order, withholding of tenants possessions, overcrowding and subletting, exploitative rents, service charges and damage to property are general conflicts that cause disputes between the landlords and tenants. Such challenges were mostly resolved through the Rental Housing Tribunal.

The North West Rental Housing Tribunal has previously successfully resolved conflicts within the housing rental sector. The majority of cases that the Tribunal dealt with were in Mafikeng in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District and Matlosana in Dr Kenneth Kaunda. This is probably because of the presence of Tribunal offices in both areas. However, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is the whole of the North West Province.

According to the Director responsible for the Housing Tribunal, Safira Moagi, residents should note that the Tribunal offers its services free of charge. Complaints lodged with the Tribunal must be in writing in the prescribed form available at the Tribunal offices. Complaints must be lodged by mail to the office of the Tribunal, at the relevant Rental Housing Information office within the jurisdiction of the local municipality in which the dwelling is situated, by delivery at the office of the Tribunal or by e-mail to the office of the Tribunal.

More information can be obtained from the North West Housing Tribunal offices at 018 388 5560/ 5529/ 5530 email: legodim@nwpg.gov.za \ mseate@nwpg.gov.za

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