Kamatuka condemns auctioning of land

03 Feb 2015 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 03 FEB (NAMPA) – Windhoek City Councillor Gerson Kamatuka on Monday called on the City of Windhoek (CoW) management to withdraw the process of auctioning land here.
Instead, they must give preference to first-time buyers, he said during the monthly council meeting here during discussions on the public auction report of Academia Extension-1, Phase One.
“We are not allowed to auction land anymore, and preference must be given to the first-time buyers.
We have not completely catered for the first-time buyers in the city yet,” he charged.
The councillor noted that there are many Windhoek residents without houses, and who have been renting for many years.
Therefore, priority must be given to those who never owned land in the city in order to address the issue of land delivery in the capital, he added.
According to the Council Agenda document availed to the public during the meeting, a total of 143 erven were made available for sale to the 680 persons registered during the registration period last year.
The erven were sold at prices ranging between N.dollars 850 000 and N.dollars 1 325 000 to the highest bidders through an auction process.
A total of nine erven were cancelled after the auction due to various reasons such as that the bidders failed to sign the deed of sale on the auction day, clients couldn’t afford the erven, and the fact that bank valuations were often less than the bid submitted, which forced clients to raise the difference.
The erven were taken during a bidding, with prices ranging from N.dollars 900 000 to N.dollars 1 175 000.
In 2012, former Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister Jerry Ekandjo condemned the auctioning of municipal land, warning that his office will not approve such auctions.
Ekandjo proposed an amendment to the Local Authorities’ Act to prevent councils from selling erven on auction or by tender.
The City of Windhoek was, however, issued with a letter of approval signed by the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Sirkka Ausiku on 18 April 2013.
According to the letter, in terms of the provisions of Section 30 (1) (1) of the Local Authorities’ Act, 1992 (Act 23 of 1992) as amended, approval was granted to the council to sell Academia Extension-1 erven via public auction.
“The ministry is giving an exception to the City of Windhoek to this particular sale as the agreement was already reached before the instruction was made by the ministry to all local authorities to immediately stop the sale of immovable properties by way of public auction,” the letter reads.