CEO wants unoccupied houses sold voetstoots

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CEO wants unoccupied houses sold voetstoots

WALVIS BAY – Swakopmund council has appealed to the government and relevant stakeholders to find a solution for the about 290 incomplete mass houses in Swakopmund or sell the houses voetstoots (as is) to residents.

CEO of the Swakopmund Municipality Archie Benjamin says the town has a housing waiting list of 22 000 people who are in need of houses while there are unoccupied houses.

Government in 2020 took legal action against Ferusa Capital Financing partners for breach of contract and related damages to the houses.

The company, owned by Tobias Akwenye and his brother Nelson Akwenye, was awarded a N$173 million contract by the National Housing Enterprises (NHE) to construct the houses.

Ferusa was expected to construct 503 and appointed three contractors to build the houses.

However, some of the houses could not be completed due to an ongoing legal battle over unpaid fees.

Benjamin made the recommendation after touring the houses with vice president Nangolo Mbumba, who was at the coastal town last week.

Speaking to the media shortly after touring, Benjamin said Swakopmund is serious about its quest to provide housing for its residents.

“There are 133 houses fully occupied from the mass houses, then we have three sites of incomplete houses due to the fact that the main contractor did not pay the sub-contractor,” Benjamin said.

According to him, the council is hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon. 

He also advised that the houses be sold voetstoots so that residents can make the necessary alterations to the houses.

“There are about 22 000 people on our master list who are in need of housing. This is 290 on top of the 1 300 that council is constructing. The Swakopmund council availed land and also installed service on the three sites that have been at a standstill due to an ongoing legal battle.

“We want the houses occupied this is a big site, he said.

Swakopmund constituency councillor Ciske Smith-Howard also said it is painful to see that the houses are unoccupied and being vandalised while so many people live in shacks in the town.

“These houses can surely help the town in terms of housing provision to the thousands in need of housing,” Smith-Howard said.