Omaruru residents in uproar over high land costs

23 May 2017 12:30pm
OMARURU 23 MAY (NAMPA) - Informal settlement dwellers in Omaruru are demanding that the local municipality exempt them from paying for their erven, or alternatively set a drastically reduced rate.
Residents of Hakahana, 7 De Laan, Sonskyn and Oruue informal settlements have pleaded with the Municipality of Omaruru to allow them zero payment or a payment of N. dollars 5 per square metre for their erven.
This came after the Omaruru Municipality issued them notices to settle outstanding dues on their residential plots at N.dollars 70 per square metre payable within 12 months.
Over 600 residents from the affected neighbourhoods met at Hakahana Kindergarten on Sunday to demand a reduction in the service prices for their plots.
One of the residents, Auguste Gao!gaos, who lives on a government disability grant told Nampa on the sidelines of the meeting that for her 308 square metre erf the Municipality is asking her to pay N. dollars 21 600, at a rate of N. dollars 1 800 per month.
Another resident, Ruben Onesmus, an entrepreneur in Hakahana is expected to pay N. dollars 6 000 for his 600 square metre erf.
“This is unfair; even Build Together beneficiaries for a complete 2 bedroom house with all services pay N. dollars 40 000 over many years and we are being expected to pay so much for an empty erf,' he said.
Onesmus added that the majority of residents in these informal settlements are unemployed, while those who are employed earn meagre wages.
Chairperson of the Hakahana Committee, Erick Goagoseb said at the meeting the reason they are demanding free land is because the majority of the residents in the affected areas are poor.
Omaruru Municipality Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elifas Amunyela told Nampa on Monday that that no land will be given for free, adding that the N.dollars 70 per square metre was decided by council in December last year.
Amunyela promised to revert to council to reconsider the decision.
“I will be sending a proposal to council to consider applying the 2017-18 rates and taxes tariffs for low income land sales,” he said.
According to the Municipal tariffs for 2017-18, unserviced land in Ozondje is N. dollars 20 while serviced land is N. dollars 40 per square metre.