KEETMANSHOOP – Construction of 320 houses to be built during the first phase of the mass housing scheme started in Keetmanshoop last Friday.
According to the Director of Namibia Homes, Dominic Loughran whose company was contracted by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), the 320 houses will be completed within the next 12 months. “We do not foresee any challenges, we do have a problem however with the hard [rock surface], but other than that we expect to work smoothly,” said Loughran. Loughran also said the company would conduct a six-week training camp for artisans employed on the project already, as well as for unemployment youth. The training will cover the technical aspects of brick-laying, plastering, carpentry, painting and finishing and a certificate will be awarded to participants upon completion of the training course. “We feel it is very important to provide training to the artisans that are working on-site. We are also preparing training for unemployed youths and we would hope that our contractors would take in the youths who finish this training,” he said, adding that 12 participants will be considered for each course. According to Loughran he has worked with the People’s Housing Process (PHP) in South Africa, where he has been instrumental in the building of 18 845 houses in the Eastern and Northern Cape, as well as Gauteng during his 4-year tenure as director of MHI (pty) Ltd. “This is a different entity (Namibia Homes) I worked with the PHP in South Africa as the director of MHI (pty) LTD,” he explained. The PHP is a community-driven housing project in South Africa, where beneficiaries are actively involved in decision-making over the construction process and product choices and make a contribution towards the building of their own homes. “I have worked with PHP in South Africa and it is almost like the RDP housing initiative, but RDP has not been building houses for the last 10 to 15 years now. But PHP is different to the mass housing initiative here in Namibia, because here government sees the importance and need for houses and I am delighted to be part of this project,” he said.
Meanwhile, NHE Corporate Communication Manager, Eric Libongani, confirmed that tenders have been awarded for the N$2.7 billion first phase construction programme and that technical sites were handed over across the country. “I cannot comment on the list of people contracted for the first phase, people must understand it is a process and that this is a national interest issue and a sensitive matter,” Libongani said. He also explained that communication with the media in respect of the mass housing scheme will have to take a backseat to actual administration and construction and added that the NHE is now expected to double its output.
“I have said this to your colleagues before, we have taken a stance we will not release any information other than by press conferences or press statements. It is a process, now we are compelled to build more houses than before and before we can release the names of contractors we need to sort out other technical challenges that we may [encounter] internally,” he said. President Hifikepunye launched the National Mass Housing Programme last year in November. At least 185 000 affordable houses are expected to be build under the programme, which is expected to cost N$45 billion by the year 2030.
Phase 1 is set to run for two years, and over 10 000 houses are expected to be build countrywide, with an average of 5 000 houses per year.
By Jemima Beukes New Era Reporter
2014-02-20 09:30:17 | 5 years ago