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Rent Control back to drawing board

Rent Control back to drawing board

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Tjekero Tweya said this week that the rent control board relies on old legislation that will have to be updated.

The definition of what constitutes “reasonable rent” will also be changed. Tweya said, “specifically when one reviews the 7.5% which is defined as interest which the building societies may charge on mortgage bond loans.”

A government directive to regulate the rental market and prevent the exploitation of tenants by landlords produced eighty nine resolutions adopted by the Special Cabinet Committee on Land Related Matters (SCCLRM).

This outdated legislation in the form of a Rent Ordinance, Tweya said, means that the President must assign the functions of the Ordinance to a Minister to make appointments for persons to serve as members and secretaries to the Rent Boards.

Of pariticular interest, Resolution 61, tasked yhe Government through the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to find a suiting legal framework. The ministry identified the outdated Rent Ordinance Act as the most suitable legislation to effectively regulate rent control.

However should the act not be changed, any decision that has to be taken pertaining to the administrative functions of the ordinance will be made by the five members of Cabinet designated for the rent control board.

Tweya’s announcement regarding rent control follows the trade ministry’s decision to request nominations for persons to serve as members and secretaries to the Rent Boards from institutions such as Local Authorities, Shack Dwellers Associations, the Magistrates’ Commission, the National Youth Council and the Affirmative Repositioning movement.

This initiated a process to provide guidelines for the Rent Boards by focusing on the drafting of a Rent Bill which will take into account the current Namibian constitution and the varied social and economic standing of citizens.

“The outcome of this work was that the Ordinance [was found] to be an obsolete [piece of] legislation which, if applied in its current form, will render the work of the rent boards of no force or effect.” Tweya said.

Using the outdated Ordinance as a legal tool in its current form means that the Rent Control Bill will not take into consideration the different rent control conditions for Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Oshakati and Rundu among other factors such as regional and international benchmarks on affordable housing.

“Before independence, it made sense for an Executive Committee to preside over matters pertaining to the Ordinance but in an independent Namibia, there are systems and processes in place which are equally capable to administer and implement the Ordinance. Thus section 2 has to be amended to vest the executive power to establish Rent Boards in an existing and legally recognised functionary of the executive” he said.

About The Author

Freeman Ngulu

Freeman Ngulu is an Entrepreneur, into data journalism and is an aspiring content marketer. He tweets @hobameteorite.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.