Okahandja residents feel land moratorium pinch

20 Jan 2019 15:30pm
OKAHANDJA, 20 JAN (NAMPA) – Frustrated Okahandja residents on Friday vented their frustration with the moratorium on the sale of unserviced erven at the town, saying it is unfair toward the community.
The Okahandja Committee, a group that fights for social justice, said the ban has also affected the town, which is strategically located, economically.
A moratorium was placed on the sale of unserviced land in August 2015 due to irregular land transactions by the town’s local authority.
In 2017, then Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa said Government would only lift the ban once an audit has been done and findings and recommendations are finalised.
In an interview with Nampa on Friday, Patricia Hawaes, the group’s secretary spoke out against the moratorium.
“The moratorium is not fair towards the community. The community also votes for the leaders out there, so I would say the leaders who were elected should fight for the people, really!” she said.
The moratorium has also put a strain on the municipality, as it has to do without proceeds from land sales.
A senior member of the Okahandja Municipal Council, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they are equally affected.
“We are actually being crucified for sins we didn’t commit. If you can’t sell or lease land, you can’t succeed as a local authority,” the councillor said.
Efforts to get comment from Urban and Rural Development Minister, Peya Mushelenga for an update on the moratorium fell flat as his phone went unanswered.
Detailed questions sent to the ministry were also not responded to.