Informal settlements will balloon if not arrested: Shaningwa

28 Aug 2017 11:30am
ONGWEDIVA, 28 AUG (NAMPA) – The number of informal settlements in major towns and urban centres will continue to increase if deliberate action is not taken to arrest the situation.
Informal settlements will increase because the rate of urbanisation outstrips the rate at which serviced urban land, basic services and housing are delivered, Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa said here on Sunday.
She was speaking at a stakeholders’ seminar held on the sidelines of the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair.
Where serviced land and basic services are provided, it is often far more expensive than what the majority of people can afford, and in localities that are not in demand.
She also said the scarcity of available serviced land leads to an increase in prices for such serviced land when it does become available, while at the same time slowing down the process of housing delivery.
The combination of the scarcity of serviced land, escalating land prices and slow housing delivery are perceived as the key challenges faced by the housing sector, Shaningwa said.
“It is estimated that at the current rate of urban population growth, the population of Namibia will be 60 per cent urbanised by 2020, and 75 per cent urbanised by 2030,” the minister said.
Shaningwa noted that the 2009/2010 Namibia Household and Income Expenditure Survey by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) shows that 24 per cent of Namibians do not have access to decent shelter.
“We can expect the 2015/16 survey to indicate a higher percentage when it is released,” she said.
The meeting served as engagement and consultation between the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, regional councils, local authorities and other stakeholders.