Thirst for land: Councils ready

February 27, 2015, 8:03am

Thirst for land: Councils ready

Municipalities and town councils are braced to accept thousands of applications today, as part of a national campaign to facilitate land for ordinary Namibians.
The campaign, organised by suspended Swapo youth politicians Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, has evoked widespread reaction from the ruling party in the run-up to today.
It is known as Affirmative Repositioning’ and late last year over 14 000 people handed in their land applications to the City of Windhoek as part of the campaign.
Swapo Secretary-General Nangolo Mbumba has called on party members not to be involved in today’s demonstrations and land applications, saying it is being done to instigate the landless against the government, and eventually the ruling party.
Ongwediva Town Council spokesperson Andreas Uutoni said as per the communication they received from the organisers, over 500 applications will be submitted at their offices today.
Despite the large volumes of people who will be coming to the town council, it will be business as usual, Uutoni said. “We do not want this process to interrupt our work, so we will have a box for those who want to apply for land through repositioning, he said.
Uutoni said once all the land applications are received, they will go through the normal process of evaluation, scrutinising and processing.
Uutoni reassured those who have already submitted their land applications that their applications would receive priority.
“They should not panic. Their applications will still be considered, as they are already in our database. Our resolution is first come, first serve and there will be no shortcuts, said Uutoni.
Ondangwa Town Council Chief Executive Officer Martin Elago said they are willing and ready to receive the applicants today and do not foresee the situation turning violent. According to Elago, the Ondangwa Town Council is still trying to establish how the applicants will be arriving at their office, as that information has not yet been communicated to them.

“We don’t know if they are coming as a group, as demonstrators, in an individual capacity or whatever else. We don’t even know if they will need someone to address them.
We, however, do not foresee any challenges, because we will receive all their applications and document them accordingly, said Elago.
Coastal municipalities also said they are ready to receive land applications today.
Municipality of Walvis Bay spokesperson Kevin Adams said: “According to the organisers of the campaign, people will start handing over their applications from 11:00 at the Walvis Bay Town Hall. We are ready and have procedures in place to deal with their applications. We will receive their applications and will deal with it procedurally.
Aili Gebhardt Swakopmund Municipality spokesperson Aili Gebhardt said any Namibian is welcome to submit an application for
land.
“There are appropriate staff members available to receive such applications and they will be dealt with like any other application for land.
“I am unaware of any special arrangements between the municipality and the organisers of the campaign, she
said.
Arandis Town Council official Victory Haoses said she and Patrick Haushona have been delegated to receive land application forms from 11:00 at the SADC Complex situated next to the town council
building.

ONGWEDIVA/WALVIS BAY MERJA ILEKA AND OTIS FINCK

Namibian Sun