Outjo municipality sells residential plots for N$4,500

Ester Mbathera

Outjo municipality sold erven to the residents for N$4,500 as part of the formalisation of the informal settlements.

This was confirmed by the town’s acting chief executive officer Jaco Labuschagne to this publication on Friday.

Last week, the first 900 residents were shown their erven.

“We are still planning for 2,000 but the first 900 have been marked and distributed,” he said.

Labuschagne further explained that the services for the new landowners will be done on a prepayment basis.

“This will include rates and taxes, sewage and water. They erven will cost N$4,500 and the resident can pay them off according to their affordability, it’s up to them to pay off their land,” he said.

He added that the town is challenged with the provision of services because laying the pipe requires blasting because the ground is hard.

Last year the municipality also took an unconventional approach to sell land that has not yet been officially gazetted as a township in order to secure funds for land servicing.

In this regard, 45 residential plots, ranging in size from 381 to 1,700 square meters, were made available for purchase for prices ranging between N$53,000 and N$242,000.

The land being sold is located in an area that has not been formally proclaimed, and it currently lacks essential infrastructure services.

Potential buyers won’t be able to use the property as collateral for bank loans or mortgages from financial institutions.

“The council shall use the proceeds to service the land (water & sewer) hence, the council is requesting the interested party that the development shall not commence immediately after settlement as the land needs to be serviced,” reads the notice.

The council has advised potential buyers to explore alternative means of acquiring land.

The manager of finance and administration Immanuel Tjipura, explained that the decision to sell land in this manner was taken because there is a huge demand for land in the town.

He added that the municipality cannot wait for the Ministry of Urbanisation and Rural Development to proclaim the land.

“In the informal settlement alone there is a need for about 5,000 erven and in Outjo proper we need over 3,000 erven. The process of proclaiming a township takes long and there is bureaucracy that hampers the development of land as well as the costs involved,” he said.

Tjipura further clarified that the land sale initiative is targeted at first-time buyers, with each applicant allowed to purchase only one plot.

Preference was given to Outjo residents who do not currently own any residential property in the area and have their names on the council’s waiting list.

No plots we reserved for specific applicants.

“We cannot sell more than one plot to a single individual when there’s a backlog of land. Doing so would open the door for developers to acquire multiple plots, potentially leaving the residents in need without options,” he stated.

Purchasers can only proceed with developing their plots once they have settled the full purchase price and the municipality has completed the necessary land servicing, said Tjipura.

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