DA rejects deceitful appointment of NWest Housing Tribunal

All monies in terms of salaries and allowances that have been paid thus far, should be paid back

DA rejects deceitful appointment of the North West Housing Tribunal

8 April 2021

Note to Editors: Find attached soundbites in English and Sesotho by DA North West Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA), Freddy Sonakile. 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) noted the recent announcement of the newly appointed North West Housing Tribunal by the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA).

The Housing Tribunal is responsible for resolving issues pertaining to the renting of housing.  Its mandate includes resolving issues such as non-payment of rent, lock-outs, evictions, refusal to refund key deposits and any unfair practice within the rental sector. This is a service rendered to the public at no cost and plays an important part in the housing sector.

The Tribunal, which has been in office for over a month, was appointed without following the process as stipulated in the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999.

Section 9(2)(b) of the Act states that a Chairperson and Board cannot be appointed without consultation with the Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on COGHSTA, which is responsible for housing matters.

The fact that this crucial step was ignored, brings the entire appointment process in question. The failure to follow the correct procedure of appointment not only demonstrates the Department’s disdain for the Legislature and the people of North West, but also raises questions on why the appointments were made in such a cunning fashion.

We will request the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Aaron Motswana to summon the Department to account for this violation of legislation and also for misleading the public by declaring in a widely publicised media statement that such consultation indeed took place.

Having noted that the appointed Tribunal Members have been in office for longer than a month, we will request that all monies in terms of salaries and allowances that have been paid thus far, be paid back.

The individuals responsible for the sneaky appointments must be charged and the MEC, Mmoloki Cwaile, must also be held responsible for his lack of oversight over the process.

The DA will not fold arms while the laws of our country are being trampled upon by a Department that cannot even deliver on its most basic mandate of delivering adequate housing to the citizens of North West.

Issued by Freddy Sonakile, DA North West Spokesperson on COGHSTA, 8 April 2021