Servicing of land in Academia progressing well: Hochobeb

29 Jan 2014 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JAN (NAMPA) - The servicing of land in Academia is progressing well, and the first phase is expected to be completed by mid-March 2014.
The whole project is estimated to be completed by 02 December 2014, City of Windhoek Project Manager for Township Development Steven Hochobeb told Nampa on Tuesday.
Hochobeb said the tender for the servicing of the land was awarded to Wilru Investment Ninety Six, which is trading as Acacia Investment through a public-private partnership (PPP). The installation of services is being carried out at a cost of N.dollars 90,6 million.
So far, the City has spent about N.dollars 31,8 million on the installation of services such as roads and sewerage and water pipes. The electrical services are yet to be installed.
Hochobeb explained that the extension will eventually be divided into two - Academia Extension One and Academia Extension Two because there are over 300 erven in the area.
“You cannot have an extension with over 300 erven thus we applied to the relevant authority, the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development to divide it into two extensions. That is why we were delayed as we were supposed to finish in the second week of February,” he said.
He noted that the delay was also partly caused by the unavailability of sewer pipes as the company that produces the pipes could not meet the demand.
There are over 460 erven, including business, single residential, general residential and institutional erven, as well as public open spaces and spaces for a garage and offices.
Hochobeb said the erven will be availed to the public by way of public auction, for which approval was obtained from the line ministry.
“We were exempted from the directive of the minister to stop auctioning land,” he said.
In 2012, former Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister Jerry Ekandjo condemned the auctioning of municipal land, warning that his office will not approve such auctions.
Ekandjo proposed an amendment to the Local Authorities Act to prevent councils from selling erven on auction or by tender.
The City of Windhoek was however issued with a letter of approval signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Sirkka Ausiku on 18 April 2013.
According to the letter, in terms of the provisions of Section 30 (1) (1) of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act 23 of 1992) as amended, approval was granted to the Council to sell Academia Extension One erven via public auction.
“The ministry is giving an exception to the City of Windhoek to this particular sale as the agreement was already reached before the instruction was made by the ministry to all local authorities to immediately stop the sale of immovable properties by way of public auction,” the letter reads.