Youth leaders call for urgent Govt intervention in land matters

09 May 2015 11:30am
OTJIWARONGO, 09 MAY (NAMPA) – Over 100 youths held a four-day conference in Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region this week to discuss housing and land delivery matters.
The youths were representatives of various youth organisations affiliated to the National Youth Council (NYC).
The conference, which took place between Tuesday and Friday, came up with various resolutions on matters related to housing and land delivery across the country.
The group spokesperson, Josef Petrus van der Westhuizen told Nampa shortly after the official announcement of the resolutions on Friday that various youth organisations under the NYC were concerned by the lack of serviced residential land in the country.
Van der Westhuizen said prices of serviced land in urban areas have been exorbitantly high due to the demand for land.
He said Namibian youths that just graduated and found employment in Government are amongst the worse affected by the limited availability of land.
The youths recommended that indigenous minority Namibians must be given priority in the government resettlement programme. They stated that the willing buyer-willing seller land acquisition approach has proven to be slow and ineffective in solving land delivery to the masses.
They further said the willing buyer-willing seller approach is a challenge to the Namibian people, adding that it already failed in the other countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“We noted that Government does not even have capable negotiators on this willing buyer-willing seller approach. Therefore, we recommend that Government employs capable negotiators to assist it in this regard,” the youths stated.
They also suggested that government find possible ways to get more land and redistribute it fairly to all landless citizens.
They noted that proper structures on the acquisition of land in the country are non-existent, as only a few Namibians and foreigners benefit by owing multiple pieces of land.
The conference called for a national database indicating ownership of land, distribution and acquisition must be established for the national record purposes.
Participants suggested that Government must automatically subsidise all first-time land buyers.
The youths also demanded the speedy development of other towns in the regions in order to minimise migration to the capital city.
They want the NYC to take initiatives of the land reform process and create regular platforms on which young Namibians would come together and discuss means and ways that would better the housing crisis in the country.
The young Namibians also tasked the NYC Executive Chairman, Mandela Kapere with a mandate to address the National Assembly on the resolutions taken at the conference.
Kapere and Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua were present at the youth conference here on Friday.
The conference was held under the theme: 'The Youths Urban Housing Crisis'.