Geingob drops housing bombshell on Minister – Minister must answer by end of June

 

 

President Hage Geingob

 

 

 

 

Picture: President Hage Geingob

 

Reporter: Marshallino Beukes

In an official letter, dated 24 April, President Hage Geingob demands from the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, as well as Local Authorities to start playing a more constructive role in the provision of serviced land. He also emphasised on the need to fast-track the delivery of affordable and quality houses for all Namibians.

The Minister is requested by the President to view this as a matter of “utmost urgency” and to review the current approach of house delivery with a view to make it more affordable and expeditious. Some of the key points Geingob asked to be considered in the Ministry’s approach, include how to ensure that the costs of serviced land are significantly reduced i.e. cutting out the middlemen and directing municipalities to directly service the land.

The President also asked for re-assessment of the criteria for land and property valuations to make it more precise, and investigating of the entire supply chain of building materials and costs.

He furthermore probed the

Ministry to look into the discouraging of speculative behaviour in the land and property market, by for example focusing strictly on first time buyers.

“Given the urgency of this matter and the expected pace of progress, I expect to receive a report on these matters by or before the end of June,” the letter concludes.

In another official letter, the President reminds Ministers of his State of the Nation Address, when he noted that all Ministers and their Deputies will be required to issue Ministerial Declarations of Intent.

This Declaration of Intent will constitute a contract of their promise to the public to deliver in their specified areas of responsibility.

“Through this contract, you will be held accountable on what I regard as a sacrosanct promise to the people,” the President wrote. The deadline for this template is on or before 30 May.

In the light of these letters, Minister Shaningwa forwarded a letter, dated 7 May, to all Regional Governors, Chairpersons of Regional Councils and Mayors, inviting them to a “high level consultative retreat.”

This two-day gathering is planned for 22 and 23 May at Peace Garden Lodge, Otjozondjupa Region. It will serve as a platform for them to brainstorm and jointly work out the issues, which will form the content of the Ministerial Statement of Intent. Interventions on how they will pursue to fast-track the delivery of affordable and quality houses and serviced land will also be discussed.

The Minister further advises the Local Authorities to convene consultative public meetings in their respective localities and Regions, prior to the retreat.

The Swakopmund Municipality indicated that they are taking up this matter very serious and will have a public meeting on Tuesday, 19 May at the Swakopmund Town Hall.

At this very important public meeting, which will commence at 18:00, the town’s mayor, Juuso Kambueshe will brief the public on the following: Directive of the President, Dr Hage G Geingob,

Ministerial  Declaration of Intent on service delivery and the high level consultative information sharing session.

 

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