Keep new parliament on hold, finish Mass Housing first: WRP

05 Feb 2015 14:20pm
WINDHOEK, 05 FEB (NAMPA) – The Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP) has called on Government to halt its plans to build a N.dollars 700 million-parliament building, and to rather address national issues as a matter of urgency.
WRP spokesperson Hewat Beukes said a new parliament building will be a waste of public funds while Namibians are suffering with unemployment in poverty, and without proper roofs over their heads.
“Why do we have to spend such money for no reasons? The parliament is adequate enough for its members.
Will they discuss new ideas or will they bring change, knowledge and thoughts to the citizens of this country in a new parliament?” he questioned in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday.
Media reports in January 2014 indicated that a feasibility study which was commissioned by the National Assembly (NA) estimated that government would have to fork out N.dollars 700 million for the construction of a new parliament building.
The Namibian newspaper quoted the Secretary to the National Assembly, Jakes Jacobs, as saying the new parliament building will be located behind the current one.
Beukes suggested that part of that money could instead be used for the Mass Housing initiative.
Government plans to build 180 000 houses in phases by 2030, with the first phase having started in 2014 and expected to run up to 2016.
The Mass Housing project under the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) is intended to make housing affordable to the masses.
“However, it is now too expensive to afford,” the WRP leader charged.
The NHE announced earlier this year that it still has to borrow N.dollars 2 billion from the private sector to continue with the project.
Some WRP members who attended the same interview claimed that the project is a ‘rip-off’ for Namibians, and a ‘cash-cow’ for only a selected few.
They feel that the City of Windhoek could also benefit from the funds to service land for its citizens, who are living in sub-standard and shack dwellings all over the country.
The mushrooming of shacks is the order of the day, and children as well as pensioners perish in fires quite frequently.
Some of the money could also be used to increase the monthly allowances for pensioners, the WRP suggested.
“Let us keep this new building on hold and finalise the Mass Housing project to the benefit of all Namibians,” Beukes added.