House prices should be drastically reduced:Shaningwa

14 Apr 2016 17:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 14 APR (NAMPA) - The price of housing should be drastically reduced to make it affordable for the poor, enabling them to put food on the table after paying their monthly home loan installments.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa said this at the consultative retreat she held with regional governors, chairpersons of regional and village councils, mayors and chief executive officers in Swakopmund on Thursday.
She instructed local authorities to ensure that low income earners across the country do not pay more than N.dollars 500 per month for housing.
“Low earners should no longer buy houses for thousands of dollars per month. As leaders you know the incomes of your people so make decisions based on that and ensure the houses are affordable for them.”
Shaningwa also said once housing prices are reduced, citizens would be able to pay their bonds and feed their families instead of spending most of their income on rent or home loans as is the case now.
“The practice of allocating land without following the right procedures, for instance just giving it away to friends and family, should end. Double allocation is also another problem which is causing Government and the Swapo party problems.”
The minister warned that such favouritism and corrupt practices could lead to riots and increased incidences of land grabbing.
Shaningwa threatened to expose those who continue corrupt land practices, adding that some leaders possess large pieces of land while ordinary Namibians have nothing.
“Some people have land in almost every town; who do you think you are? Land cannot just be for you and your family. These corrupt activities are known, if it continues I will go to the President and have you removed from your positions.”
The minister added that land delivery should be accelerated.
“Let us start by sorting out bureaucracy.”
Shaningwa also reminded the leaders of the ministry’s expectations and targets as set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
These include the delivery of 5 000 new houses, the availing of at least 6 500 new residential plots every year starting this year, as well as some 50 000 rural toilets.
She said these need to be met no later than 2020.
The two-day retreat which started on Thursday is being attended by leaders from all 14 regions.
They are deliberating on land delivery issues and how to provide affordable housing for all Namibians.