Local Authorities blamed for housing, land row

namib times 24-07-15

Local Authorities are to be blamed for the land and housing backlog, Namibia is currently facing. This was the words of the Ghetto Assistance Centre’s (GAC) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Fritz Gowaseb, at a press conference in Swakopmund, yesterday.

According to Gowaseb, some Town Councils have so many internal squabbles, resulting in them to become economically stagnated. The press conference was conducted in line with the current land and housing crisis the Namibian government is fronting.

“Once in office, these people [councillors] are forgetting about us. They acquire land for themselves and their families and friends,” he fumed. He challenged reporters and the Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia to investigate councillors throughout the country in order to get familiar with how many plots the councillors own and also at which ridiculous prices they got hold of it.

Gowaseb also suggested that local authority councillors should submit a monthly progress report and declare their assets. Another thorn in his flesh is some developers who supposedly pay bribes to councillors and Chief Executive Officers, in order to acquire land on which they build flats, renting it out for exorbitant prices to the people.

According to him some Municipalities and Town Councils are narrow minded and visionless, as they are of meaning that developers are the only solution to service land. In this regard he pointed out that, if people are given land for rent, with the option to buy, the monthly rent can be used to service the erven, without the help of developers. He agreed that the Government is partly to be blamed for the current land- squabble, as they allowed the situation to get where it currently is, by not acting promptly.

Mr Gowaseb emphasised that the Ghetto Assistance Centre want to eradicate the total existence of shacks in the country through the provision of affordable housing to low income Namibians. According to him, GAC has developed a system which can sustain itself, in comparison with other housing projects, such as the Namibian Housing Enterprise (NHE), Mass Housing and Build Together, which all, according to him, have failed. He noted that GAC has applied for land to build houses all over the country, but until now, did not get any positive feedback from local authorities.

“The land is there, we should just begin to take action,” he stated and also urged for the Government to put their system to the test.


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