13 Apr 2016 14:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 13 APR (NAMPA) - Ideas to reduce the price of land and achieve affordable housing for the landless residents of Walvis Bay will soon be a reality.
Politicians and the municipality are looking at involving the landless in the construction of their own houses by cutting out the middleman or developer.
Instead of hiring companies to service the land and solely construct houses, residents will be doing such work, guided by experts.
Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua told Nampa on Wednesday he is confident that actions to cut land prices will be taken this year.
Government, the private sector and individual business people will provide land, brick-making machines, construction materials and other equipment to those willing to work and build their own houses.
He said allocating a piece of land to the landless where they will most likely erect shacks and wait for brick houses to be built for them is not an option in the case of Walvis Bay, as the aim is to provide houses for the people.
He added that Government is looking at the bigger picture - to eradicate shacks and provide affordable houses that will last.
According to Mutjavikua, landless Walvis Bay residents have indicated that they are ready to dig trenches for sewerage systems, make bricks and assist in the construction of their houses.
We are not going to work on the premises of shacks as Government. We do not have that mandate to allow people to put up shacks on a piece of land.
Minister of Urban and Rural development Sophia Shaningwa held a community meeting on Saturday to discuss the land issue following the eviction of 22 families from State land two weeks ago, which turned violent when the police were called in at the Tutaleni settlement.
She urged residents to be patient and give Government a chance to prove that they can provide housing to everyone.
The minister pleaded with residents to not settle on land illegally and fight with the police as that threatens peace and democracy.
During her consultations with the administration of the municipality last week, an agreement was reached to find a better and urgent way to allocate 1 000 serviced erven available in Walvis Bay to the landless.
There is also the issue of women and children who have nowhere to stay after being evicted from State land in Tutaleni.
A team has been tasked to look into the matter and assess their situation to see how they can be assisted.
Responding, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Walvis Bay Muronga Haingura on Wednesday told Nampa the correct number of evicted families is 22, of which mothers and their children are a priority.
He said the matter is still under discussion.
It is not an easy thing to do, we could not find an immediate solution to help such people. But we are putting our heads together to see how we can address the matter.