Henties Bay basks in glory of 'Town of the Year'

29 May 2016 14:50pm
HENTIES BAY, 29 MAY (NAMPA) - The handing over of houses under the Mass Housing Programme was welcomed with joyful singing and chanting at Henties Bay on Saturday.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa handed the keys to the houses over to 53 beneficiaries from Henties Bay.
The handing over of the houses added to the current jubilant mood at the coastal town as the residents and municipality management are also celebrating their victory as this year’s Kwêla ‘Town of the Year’ winner.
This annual competition is run by the programme on South African television channel KykNET.
Henties Bay beat off competition from South African towns Potchefstroom and Paul Roux in the top three of the SMS competition and has also made history by being the first Namibian town to win the competition.
Their prize is N.dollars 1 million of television airtime on Kwêla TV for the town to promote itself.
Handing over the houses, Shaningwa said Government is aiming for a ‘shack-free’ Namibia.
“Destroy your shacks as soon you get a house, we do not want those in Namibia anymore,” she said to the beneficiaries.
She said this message goes out to every Namibian as such structures are vulnerable to fire and a lot of lives and property is lost in shack fires.
Shaningwa urged home owners to commit to paying the monthly instalments on their houses to avoid repossession and most importantly, to generate money to construct more houses.
The funds are put into a revolving fund to construct houses for the homeless.
Their contracts compel the beneficiaries to not sell the houses within the first 10 years of owning them because it is considered family property and not a means of income.
“I also urge young people who are employed to help their parents pay for these houses if they can no longer afford to do so,” the minister said.
Shaningwa also handed over 17 houses in Walvis Bay and 44 in Swakopmund on Friday and Sunday.