The Students Union of Namibia (SUN) has expressed dissatisfaction with delays in the enactment of the Rent Control Bill.
The bill seeks to regulate rental fees.
The bill has been worked on by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development since 2017 and was delayed due to pending regulations.
In the meantime, Namibians will continue to feel the pinch of exorbitant rent rates, particularly students who are left with no choice and resort to degrading means to have accommodation, says the union.
The president of SUN, Benhard Kavau, says, "For example, male students are forced to be in relationships with sugar daddies to sponsor their accommodation. Female students are also being forced because of the challenges of accommodation, dating sugar daddies, and taxi drivers. Just imagine someone living in squatter camps in Havana; you expect them to study with so much noise from 3 to 6 am, and this person is expected to perform very well."
The secretary of gender and social welfare at SUN, Hilma Amadhila, says, "The N$2400 is not sustainable; imagine you are paying N$2000 and you are expected to buy food, and most of our parents are not working; they are struggling. And the closer you are to campus, the more expensive the rent is."
"The tenants increase their prices, which is not fair as they are going through so much: academics, food, taxi fare, and struggling with the printing of assignments; it's just too much. So the government must just come in and bring the bill," says Loide Shituula, the deputy SG of SUN.
They are unhappy that the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is still reportedly silent on the matter.
The student union is therefore calling on Minister Erastus Uutoni to table the bill by next year, or they will occupy the ministry's building for accommodation.
In his response, Minister Uutoni informed nbc News that a team of experts, including lawyers and town planners, has been appointed and is still scrutinising and fine-tuning the draft bill.
This, he says, will require ample time, but he has requested that the bill be submitted as soon as possible.