19 Mar 2019 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 MAR (NAMPA) - First Lady Monica Geingos agrees with the sentiment that under and unutilised land that belongs to parastatals in Namibia should be expropriated and put to meaningful use.
Geingos, who is also patron of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Southern African Hub meeting of the SDFN and Namibia Housing Action Group in Windhoek on Tuesday.
She referenced a comment made at the National Land Conference last year about parastatals who are in possession of unused land.
At the land conference one of the regions actually said many parastatals, particularly our railway parastatal, has a lot of land all over the country that is either underutilised or not utilised at all and that land should be expropriated. I kind of agree with that, she said.
The SDFN patron said land availability should also be reassessed.
We must have optimal utilisation of unused and underutilised land, Geingos stated.
Geingos pointed out that lower income groups live further away from economic activity and have to spend a lot of money on transport to their places of work instead of moving closer, but this gets a lot of resistance from wealthy people.
She said this is evident in countries where there was an apartheid regime.
A lot of income in this country is used by poor people getting from an informal settlement that is far away from town. So we must start thinking how a domestic worker can live within a reasonable walking distance of their employer, Geingos said.
She further stated that informal settlements are unregulated by local authorities and therefore more is spent there on energy needs.
All Shack/Slum Dwellers International federations in the southern African region have gathered in Windhoek to celebrate successes and reflect on challenges in order to learn from each other during the meeting.
Seven countries are being represented namely Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Botswana and Eswatini.
The meeting started on 14 March and is set to end on Friday.