Geingob calls for resolution on high cost of land

21 Apr 2015 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 21 APR (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has called for an urgent review and resolution on the high cost of land and houses in the country.
Delivering his first State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Tuesday, he noted that many Namibians are in dire need of land for farming and housing, which is why a dialogue to find effective and lasting solutions to provide affordable land and housing to first-time buyers is crucial.
“I want to reaffirm my personal commitment to addressing land reform and provision of affordable housing to all Namibians,” Geingob said.
He said land reform remains one of the areas of transformation that is critical towards social justice, inclusion and poverty alleviation in Namibia.
The Head of State said the issues of land reform and housing are important matters that need to be addressed within the confines of the laws and constitution of the country.
He said the Namibian Constitution permits for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social imbalances.
“If we need to align our laws with our constitutional ideals of human dignity and appropriate shelter, that is what we will do. Disobeying the law should never be an option,” said Geingob.
He refuted allegations that Government has not paid attention to urban and rural land reform, saying the truth is that the pace at which land reform occurred was not to everybody’s liking.
Geingob said this was due to numerous legal and technical obstacles that slowed down the process.
He said renaming the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement and Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD) to Ministry of Land Reform and Ministry of Urban and Rural Development respectively, underscores the importance the new government attaches to this issue.
The Head of State also commended the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa for tackling the land and housing delivery by some local authorities.
Shaningwa expressed concern in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday about the Okahandja Town Council selling of un-serviced erven without the minister's approval during the 2011/2012 financial year.
In terms of Section 30 of the Local Authorities Act (Act no 23 of 1992), local authorities are obligated to seek and obtain prior approval of the minister for all sales or leasing of land.