Mushelenga lauds Oshakati for progress on housing

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

URBAN and Rural Development Minister Peya Mushelenga has said that local authorities should not depend on government for funds. Mushelenga said this at the official handover of 1300 houses at Ehenye by President Hage Geingob in Oshakati on Tuesday.

He commended Oshakati Town Council for their efforts to construct houses for its residents. “At the same time, I would like to urge council to ensure that the return on the sale of land is invested back into property development, like the servicing of erven, so that the remaining empty erven are optimally utilised.   

“Local authorities should not expect to be spoon-fed and provided with funds from the central government all the time, fully occupied with houses,” he said. Mushelenga also requested reports from all local authorities with regard to progress on various matters, of which land and housing are part.

He added that Oshakati has been a top performer in housing provision and has serviced more than 4345 erven during the period 2014-2017. The total number of serviced erven included 2272 erven at Extension 16 or Okaku Kiipupu and 1,800 erven at Ehenye.

Further, he commended Oshakati Town Council for being one of the most effective and efficient councils in Namibia, with clear plans for growth. “I specifically state this on the basis that Oshakati Town Council has secured more land, which is already planned and is yet to be serviced.

“The areas planned are as follows: Okaku Kiipupu Extension 1, 2, 3 and Proper. Othingo, which is planned for industrial purposes has 350 erven, Onawa 3,000 erven, Ompumbu 1647 erven and Ehenye portion 17 and 22 has 492 erven.

“Indeed, this type of development is key to unlocking housing deals that support growth at a strategic level so that they are not just delivering new homes but creating communities. This is where I request our entrepreneurs to come on board to set up an appropriate public private partnership agreement with the Oshakati Town Council in order to continue to avail more land for housing development in Oshakati.

“As the key structure for the country’s governance, local authorities should be at the forefront of ensuring that they tackle the housing challenge in their respective towns. This is done firstly by assessing the situation at the ground level, and by working with your communities to get plans in place as quickly as possible so that development is dictated by what local people need and not by speculative applications.”