Community should benefit from land deals: Mutjavikua

08 Dec 2016 12:20pm
OMARURU, 08 DEC (NAMPA) – The Omaruru Town Council and community should benefit more than private developers in land deals, Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua has said.
The governor was speaking here on Tuesday in a meeting with community members concerned about 75 erven being sold to Windhoek developer Ndakalimwe Investment by the town council.
He was asked to mediate between the residents and town council, who have been at loggerheads for the past few months over the sale of the erven.
Community members demonstrated twice over the past few months demanding answers to a number of grievances, one of them an objection to a resolution by council to provide the serviced erven to Ndakalimwe for N.dollars 5.1 million.
The land was serviced with N.dollars 9 million under the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG).
Residents said they were shocked to see land being sold while they are allegedly constantly told there is no land available, and said the developer just wants to make “fast money”.
Mutjavikua instructed the council to explain how the municipality will benefit from the deal.
He went on to say the council and the community should be the “winners” otherwise they can just sell land to those who qualify and they can construct their own houses.
Omaruru Mayor Hendrina Tuli Gebhardt said the council took the decision at the beginning of this year to cater for the rising number of middle-income earners.
“We have seen an increase in middle-income earners from the hospital, Namibian Defence Force, schools, prison services, and the private sector. This sector was not prioritised in the housing needs for many years,” she said.
Gebhardt said they will meet with the governor on Friday to discuss the way forward on the matter.
Also speaking at the meeting, Barminus Swartbooi of the Omaruru Concerned Group said the council should have given Ndakalimwe virgin land and allocated the serviced erven to residents.
“We must remove the middleman and focus on things that will develop the town,” he said.
The notice calling for objections to the sale of 82 erven appeared in at least two national daily newspapers. Of the total, 75 were awarded to Ndakalimwe by way of private treaty.
By the deadline of 21 October 2016, 36 objections were made, of which 20 were lodged by individuals and 16 by groups collectively signed by 296 concerned residents.