AR not happy with Government progress on rent control

06 Apr 2016 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 06 APR (NAMPA) – The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement has expressed disappointment with Government for the alleged slow pace at which it was dealing with critical issues of rent control and housing finance, amongst others.
A media statement issued by AR activist, Job Amupanda on Monday, alleged that politicians are only concentrating on the short term, while ignoring the long-term consensus such as control of escalating rental costs that has affected thousands of Namibians at the hands of a few rich individuals.
He accused politicians of receiving instructions from property developers to not implement rent control, which refers to government control and regulation of the amounts charged for rented housing.
“Most politicians are also landlords or are married to landlords and property developers, hence their secret agreement of not doing anything on these parts of the agreement,” Amupanda claimed.
He was referring to the agreement signed by the AR leadership and Government on 24 July 2015 on a massive urban land servicing project to service 200 000 plots countrywide.
This agreement came after the AR movement gave Government a deadline of 31 July 2015 to respond to about 50 000 land applications submitted by landless youth to local authorities and municipalities countrywide.
“It is clear that politicians were only interested in preventing the land occupation of 31 July 2015 and not really providing land to the masses of our people.”
Thus, the land activist said, the blame of the recent Walvis Bay land grabbing must be placed squarely on the shoulders of local authorities and politicians.
“We have long expressed our dismay and communicated to the politicians that our people are not stupid and cannot be waiting forever. We have repeatedly told politicians that the programme of making land for housing available is moving very slowly,” noted the land activist.
Amupanda alleged that the technical committee dealing with the massive urban land servicing project has been quiet for the last four months regarding the process, despite letters sent to them by AR.
He explained that the said letters and a subsequent meeting with Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila covered topics such as the pre-allocation of land, National Housing Enterprise (NHE) housing mandate activation and the establishment of rent control boards, amongst other proposals.
The technical committee comprises chief executive officers and mayors of local authorities and chief executive officers of some parastatals; regional governors and other private individuals who are mandated to oversee the implementation of the project.
In September 2015, the AR leadership proposed that at Windhoek 50 000 plots should be made available, while at Walvis Bay the proposal is for 15 000 plots; 2 000 plots for Rundu and 10 000 plots each at Swakopmund and Oshakati.
At Ondangwa, Otjiwarongo, Tsumeb, Okahandja, Katima Mulilo the AR proposed that 5 000 plots each per town be made available; while at Keetmanshoop, Outapi, Okakarara, Eenhana, Aradis and Gobabis the movement proposed 1 000 plots to be availed at each town.
Five-hundred plots are targeted at Lüderitz, Oranjemund, Nkurenkuru, Grootfontein, Karibib, Okahao, Helao Nafidi, Ongwediva, Mariental, Outjo ,Oshikuku, Opuwo, Witvlei, Bukalo, Otavi, Karasberg, Aranos, and Khorixas each; while 3 000 plots are planned for Rehoboth.
The movement also wants 300 plots to be availed at Usakos, Omaruru and Omuthiya; 200 at Henties Bay, Ruacana, Aroab, Berseba, Gochas, Gibeon, Kamanjab, Maltahöhe, and Bethanie; and 100 at Kalkrand, Leonardville, Stampriet, Tses, Otjinene and Koes.