Grootfontein Municipality threatens legal action against land grabbers

11 Jul 2019 13:20pm
GROOTFONTEIN, 11 JUL (NAMPA) – The ongoing land grabbing at Grootfontein’s Blikkiesdorp informal settlement adjacent to the military base has become a serious matter that can no longer be allowed to continue, the local municipality has said.
Grootfontein Municipality Public Relations Officer, Lukas Salomo on Wednesday told Nampa in an interview that unserviced land of about 50 hectares has illegally been taken up by residents.
The spokesperson stated that the municipality is left with no other option now, but to apply for a court eviction order through its lawyer in order to remove the land grabbers at the town.
Salomo said the invasions have reached a peak this week as residents continue to set up temporary structures at night, ignoring all verbal warnings from the municipality.
He said nearly 1 000 residents have so far erected their temporary housing structures on the municipality’s land.
“We are extremely concerned as they have illegally occupied the land near the Grootfontein Military Base without it being assessed of any possible explosives, a standard process we usually conduct with members of the Namibian Defence Force’s explosives unit before clearing any land at this town,” he said.
During a visit by Nampa to the area on Wednesday, resident Benjamin Klaus, 38, said he and other residents lost patience after waiting for years for the municipality to service affordable land and not doing so.
“We really got tired of their false promises. We waited for nearly five years before opting to get ourselves pieces of land here where we built our houses,” he said.
Klaus said the municipality should “just service land around town and relocate the people without getting into any scuffles”.
Some other residents, however, expressed concern about the continuing land grabbing.
A 55-year-old owner of a Build Together house said it is disheartening for her to see adults grab municipal land where there is no water, electricity or proper streets.
She urged the municipality to act fast and engage the law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order at Blikkiesdorp.
“The situation is worse than ever. They are grabbing plots without any authorisation and I call on the police to stop them,” she said.