City mayor speaks on development

…One on one with Cllr Fransina Ndateelela Kahungu

By Hilary Mare 

HAVING endured a term of office focused on deliberate efforts to restrategise and accelerate much needed basic services in the informal areas, Councillor Fransina Kahungu has told Confidente that this vision will not be achieved by doing the same things and expecting different results.

In an interview last week, Kahungu highlighted that from March, 320 community leaders were trained to assist with the mass registration of structures in informal settlements with the purpose to assist the Windhoek Municipality Council to determine the number of these structures.   

“Against the registration, Windhoek Municipality Council (2020) reports that the current backlog in housing provision in Windhoek stands at around 84 000. This comprises of 7 600 informal settlement leaseholds, 48 233 informal numbered structures and 27 330 on the waiting lists,” Kahungu said.

She went on to say that currently her office is busy carrying out the socio-economic survey and at the same time Council is busy issuing Certificates of Occupation of land to residents of the informal settlements in a bid to ease residents to have ownership to land.

“In collaboration with the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, National Housing Enterprise and the Khomas Regional Council we are currently building low cost houses for people in the informal settlements.

“Further, the flexible land tenure system is being carried out in Onyika and Freedomland in John Pandeni Constituency. This way also guarantees ownership of land to residents in informal settlements,” Kahungu added.

Confidente understands that the office of the mayor has also facilitated the construction of the undeveloped vendors’ market site which is located on erf 1006, Onganga Street in Okuryangava. This was completed with the assistance of a team of City employees from built environment, solid waste management, the city police and fleet management coupled with number of student interns. During the construction, some volunteers from the neighbourhood community were paid through food parcels.

“A revenue enhancement task team was established to serve for a period of six months May to October 2020 and the mandate of the team is to provide revenue streams in the City and to provide recommendations on taking the City forward,” further explained Kahungu.

In recent months, the City has officiated taxi ranks in Omuvapu Road in Tobias Hainyeko Constituency, done electrification of 103 individual stalls at the industrial stall, electrification of 100 individual households in Babylon, electrification of more houses in Tobias Hainyeko and Moses Garoeb; and Khomasdal are in the process and the Mayoral Relief Fund has assisted in refurbishing communal toilets.

“Windhoek Municipality Council needs to realise that land is a key source of revenue for local authorities and also a driver of local and regional economic development. If land is not managed properly, new forms of poverty and inequality will emerge.

“The main challenge is to be innovative, think out-of-the-box and foster a platform for creative, consultative and cross-functional pollination of ideas from all stakeholders. Another challenge is that, despite all the efforts by Windhoek Municipality Council to address the issue of serviced land for housing, residents of Windhoek have questioned the municipality’s commitment to avail land for residential purposes,” concluded Kahungu.