Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said government will spare no effort in ensuring that Namibians have a decent place to call home. Speaking during the handover occasion of the first 10 houses completed under the Windhoek Informal Settlement Upgrading Affordable Housing Project, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the initiative serves to transform peri-urban settlements into sustainable human settlements that are planned, serviced and occupied through various tenure options. The pilot project has the target of completing the construction of 1 200 low-cost houses by July 2022 in the Khomas region. “It is also an indication that the government is committed to availing the requisite funds for important projects like this one. I, therefore, urge the ministry and other stakeholders, to ensure that you implement the necessary budgetary allocation to support the provision of low-cost housing and other basic services, for us to achieve the targets of our Vision 2030, the National Development Goals and the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” she said on Friday while delivering the keynote address. “Our efforts to restore dignity to our people will be incomplete without the delivery of decent shelter and sanitation. Equally, concerted efforts must be made to promote rural economic development, through delegation of key central government functions and decentralisation of industries in tandem, as a means of addressing the factors driving rural-urban migration.” She further explained that adequate housing delivery is a prerequisite for sustainable economic development and shared prosperity. “That is why government is seized with ensuring that there is consistent and sufficient delivery of housing, despite the challenges we are facing,” she said. The prime minister said that the project is important in many ways because it seeks to address the critical needs of decent shelter and a dignified living as well as contributes to the economic recovery agenda.
She added housing construction is one of the effective drivers of economic recovery and growth. “Like other sectors of our economy, the construction sector has been adversely impacted by the economic slowdown and the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this sector can swiftly rebound if deliberate measures such as the affordable housing initiatives are implemented,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
She stated that the delivery of residential erven was achieved at 89%, which is 23 194 plots of the targeted 26 000 under the Harambee Prosperity Plan. However, the national housing backlog remained above 300 000 units.
“Government is aware that despite these achievements and considering the persistently high national demand, we need to accelerate our efforts in the area of housing and land provision, particularly in major cities and towns,” she noted.
Urban and Rural Development minister Erastus Uutoni said the formal processes of land ownership registration and transfers were underway, including the issuance of certificates of land occupation by local authorities.