Kandjemuni Kamuiiri

City of Windhoek (CoW) Mayor Job Amupanda has called on residence and stakeholders of Windhoek to remain calm, patient and assured that Council is fully committed to address the pressing needs for land and housing in a systematic, financially viable, and sustainable manner.

Amupanda’s call comes after 100 residents three weeks ago illegally grabbed land on the outskirts of the City and had to be removed forcefully by CoW and Namibian Police as they refused to evacuate the land grabbed.

Addressing a media conference in the Capital on Tuesday, on the CoW’s Land and Housing workshop, the Mayor says the Council is fully committed and to proof their commitment the Council has set aside N$22 million to start with a Council-funded affordable housing project, which will showcase the type of Windhoek wanted, the New Windhoek with more dignified living space.

“The project will start this year in Goreangab Extension 4 on a small scale, the full rollout of the project will be at a piece of land measuring 24 hectares in Cimbebasia,” Amupanda states.

Based on the objectives of the workshop held last week, Amupanda explains and elaborates on the outcomes of the workshops. “Fast-tracking of the implementation of the Affordable Housing Pilot Project to meet the target set for Dec’ 2021 (600 houses),” Amupanda says.

On the establishment of new townships, he reveals that the implementation of a large-scale land planning targeted creating 7000 erven in informal settlements, and 3000 informal areas in addition to the 5000 erven.

He adds that this is to be created through a pre-allocation intervention as put forward in Council Resolution 31/02/2021. According to the CoW Mayor the activity should be linked to a budget.

The Mayor adds the CoW is to engage the developer of Otjomuise Extension 10 (Mass Housing Project) and agrees on the release schedule of completed houses and render the developer necessary support to fast-track the project.

Amid other outcomes of the workshop, Amupanda reveals the CoW’s zero tolerance on land invasion and as well as availing funds to implement land development and housing projects. “CoW is to implement zero-tolerance on land invasion in line with Council Resolution 30/02/2021 as prevention of Land Invasion,” the Mayor says.

According to Amupanda within six months, a subsidiary under Nova Actus Holdings (PTY) LTD will submit a funding proposal to Council for consideration inclusive of insurance for low-cost housing. “With the above initiatives, we are confident that the future is bright. However, we need to work together towards common goals with commitment and stakeholder support,” Amupanda determines.

He adds that over the next few months, Council will approach key stakeholders to partner with them and secure the necessary funding and support and table monthly submissions to Council as of September 2021, to track progress.

“We demonstrated a common resolve to address the long-standing land and housing dilemma. I am confident and optimistic that we shall overcome and reap tangible rewards, the more we stay focused, adopt a systematic approach and keep engaging with our communities through regular communication platforms,” Amupanda says.

The City of Windhoek applied for a court order to demolish shacks and other structures that were erected in July and August at Otjomuise and Babylon.

According to local news media reports, the City Police alongside the Namibian Police attempted to stop the illegal occupation of land at these settlements using tear gases and rubber bullets in self-defence against the land grabbers.