“My signature is not for sale” -Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa

namib times 18-08-15

Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa

The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, has warned that she is not a walkover that can be bribed, or rushed. She gave this stern warning in her keynote address at the annual General Meeting of the Namibia National Mayors’ Forum (NNMF) at a local hotel in Walvis Bay yesterday morning.

She has warned that land being allocated or sold through what she called “inconsiderate actions” will not be given her signature as the Minister of Urban and Rural Development. “My signature is not for sale, my signature is for fairness.”

Shaningwa says everyone deserves to have their own plot and added the land should be allocated in such a way that one individual receives one plot. According to Shaningwa, the Mass Housing Project was a great idea of  Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

“We are therefore in the process of overhauling the programme and realigning the misalignments, so that we can provide housing to the targeted groups, the low income and poor.”

Shaningwa has reminded everyone about the resolutions that were agreed upon in the meeting that was held on 24 July between the Government of the Republic of Namibia, through the Chairmanship of President Hage Geingob and the Affirmative Repositioning Movement.

“One of the agreed resolutions is to ascertain the delivery of 200 000 plots in our Republic. Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region, Windhoek in the Khomas Region and Oshakati in the Oshana Region has been selec-

ted as pilot towns for the envisaged project.”

She says, once the serviced plots are available, they will have a clear list of applicants from those who applied for land since 1990, to date, “so that we can start allocating on the first come first serve basis, one plot per person”.

Shaningwa has noted with great concern that an increasing number of the members of the public are lodging complaints about irregularities and favouritism, regarding the way some local authorities are allocating urban land.

“Honourable members should desist from recommending many re-

sidential erven to one individual or entity. Similarly, larger portions of land should not be allocated to one person or entity. How the local authority wants to convince anyone within his or her right mind about those allocations, when they have a backlog of housing in Namibia in thousands and how an honourable member gets it right to get themselves into issues,  thát raises eyebrows.

Shaningwa says she has no problem if an honourable member acquires land, however fairness, transparency and considerability must always prevail.

“I am also not saying land must be given free of charge but, we must make sure reasonability is applied. Let us share the land resource with each and every Namibian that needs land.”

Shaningwa has further urged the local authorities to do away with middle men/women in land dealings.

“We must therefore service the land ourselves. The sale of large portions of un-serviced land for less amount, only to be serviced by developers and sold for exorbitant prices should be discouraged.”

She has encouraged the local authorities to call for companies to express interests in land delivery and should dictate the process in a way they think is beneficial to the people.

“We can no longer just agree as before, we must handle it on the principle of a win-win situation.

Those that do not want to reason with us must give way to those that want to co-operate with us so our people can benefit.”

Shaningwa has further urged the local authorities who are in the process with the Private Public Proposals (PPP), to agree on affordable prices and forward such proposals to the line Ministry for approval, before the local authority commits itself to those agreements.

“For me as a Minister and yourselves it is about a piece of land, developed and serviced, but still affordable to the end user.

It is a National project and we are committed to its realisation step by step and I urge everyone to positively contribute towards it. “

You must be logged in to post a comment Login