During the fourth quarter (January 2021 - March 2021) of the 2020/21 financial year, the Western Cape Rental Housing Tribunal (WCRHT) made significant progress in addressing its backlog, by reducing its cases from 1 167 to 898. This is a reduction of 269 from the third quarter.
Further to this, 576 complaints wre entered, 850 cases were closed, while 1 325 remain open. In the previous quarter, between 1 October 2020 and 31 December 2020, the WCRHT reduced its cases from 1 635 to 1 167.
In terms of the Rental Housing Act No 50 of 1999, the Rental Housing Tribunal is legislated to finalise matters within 90 days.
The WCRHT is working diligently to not only assist the residents of the Western Cape, but also to reduce its backlog - an initiative which we are monitoring closely. Having to contend with various challenges during the past year, none more so than the various coronavirus alert levels, which made their task more challenging, the WCRHT is not letting up in providing its service to the people of this province.
I am pleased to note that the entity has embraced the use of technology, and virtual hearings are being conducted. Furthermore, the very first WCRHT web and mobile app solution, which forms part of the WCG e-Service Portal, was also completed. This solution enables citizens to register and track a complaint online.
All citizens needing this service are encouraged to register on the following website https://westerncapegov.custhelp.com/ and follow the simple instructions.
The effort by the WCRHT to conclude their cases, clearly demonstrates their commitment to assisting the residents of the Western Cape, where landlords and tenants might have disputes that requires a form of intervention. I'd like to thank the Chairperson, Mr. Lionel Esterhuizen and the entire Tribunal for their professionalism and relentless efforts to assist our people, and urge them to continue this very important initiative to reduce their backlog as quickly as possible.
As the WCRHT was established to serve the residents of the Western Cape, I'd like to encourage landlords and tenants who might be in need of this free service, to utilise it optimally. The type of disputes includes, for example:
Failure to refund deposit
Unlawful notice to vacate
Exorbitant increase in rental
Failure to accept notice
Failure to provide municipal services
Failure to pay rental
Failure to do maintenance
Unlawful eviction / illegal lockout
Unlawful seizure of possessions
At this stage, the Rental Housing Tribunal can be contacted as follows:
Monday to Friday 08h00 - 16h00
Tel: 021-483 5020; 021-483 0645; 021-483 2396