Omaruru residents to demonstrate against municipality

15 Jun 2017 12:20pm
OMARURU, 15 JUN (NAMPA) - Residents of informal settlements here will Friday stage a peaceful demonstration against the municipality’s new regulations concerning their residential plots.
The residents hail from Hakahana, Sonskyn, Kapekaha, and 7de Laan informal settlements.
The demonstration follows after a meeting community representatives held with Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua on Tuesday failed to address their plight.
Residents have taken issue with the municipality’s demand that they pay N.dollars 70 per square metre for their now formalised residential plots.
This follows after the municipality set into motion plans to formalise the settlements.
Residents have requested the municipality to instead set the fee at N.dollars 5 per square metre, a request the municipality reportedly refused.
The municipality expects these residents to settle their payments within 12 months.
Mutjavikua told community representatives that no land will be given for free, however, residents should negotiate with council on how long residents should pay off their bills.
“If you cannot afford land in town, than move to the communal area. The municipality has a mandate that requires funds to operate,” Mutjavikua said.
Chairperson of the Omaruru Concerned Group, Barminus Swartbooi said he was disappointed in the governor’s response on the matter.
“We thought the governor will intervene for the community; it’s like deliberately chasing people out of their town,” he said.
Secretary of the Hakahana committee, Sigberth Mangundu also told Nampa there is no logic in charging them N.dollars 70 per square metre, while council serviced land in Ozondje at N.dollars 40 per square metre and un-serviced land at N.dollars 20 per square metre.
“A person receiving a fully serviced house through Built Together [programme] is expected to pay N.dollars 40 000 over many years and now council wants us to pay that amount for an empty erf in 12 months’ time,” said Mangundu.
Chairperson of the Hakahana committee, Eric Goagoseb told this reporter Wednesday afternoon the planned demonstration is intended to call attention to their plight.
“We are standing up against this oppression; we are now calling for the intervention of the line minister and President Hage Geingob,” Goagoseb said.