WALVIS BAY – An overwhelming interest in the sale of 14 erven in Walvis Bay resulted in the sale being cancelled at the last minute.
The sale, which was expected to take place on Monday morning, offered the erven on a first-come, first-served basis, as announced by the council.
Of the available plots, 10 were designated for single residential use in Meersig and Kuisebmond, while two were for general residential purposes in the same suburbs.
Additionally, one local business erf in Narraville and a light industrial erf were also offered through private transactions.
“We had too many people who wanted the plots, and the entire sale became chaotic,” said Amoreen van Wyk, who had hoped to purchase a plot without securing a bank loan.
According to her, the first-come, first-served basis made it challenging for first-time buyers like herself to compete against businesspeople.
All erven were to be sold “voetstoots” (as is) without any warranties to ordinary residents, companies, close corporations, businesses and developers.
Purchasers were required to acquaint themselves with the location of the erven on offer.
Buyers were required to make only a 10% deposit, calculated on the upset price on the sale date.
The remaining purchase price needed to be secured by an acceptable bank guarantee within 120 days from the date of sale.
Alternatively, prospective buyers had the option to settle the purchase price over 36 months in equal monthly instalments at a 5% interest rate, provided an agreement was signed on the date of sale.
Unfortunately, due to an unexpectedly high turnout, the council was forced to cancel the sale.
Chris Matengu, a resident of Walvis Bay for the past 10 years, expressed disappointment at the cancellation. He appreciated the more flexible and accommodating repayment conditions when buying directly from the municipality without needing a bank loan.
Matengu now calls on the municipality to devise a different method for disposing of erven since the current approach does not meet the town’s housing and affordable erven needs.
“By now, the council should have learned from previous years. This is the second time such a sale has been cancelled. They should have realised that the current system is inadequate, as everyone is eager to secure land,” he said.
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes acknowledged that the sale had turned chaotic due to the high demand for land in the town.
The council is now actively exploring alternative methods to facilitate land sales, ensuring residents can purchase land without such complications.
Walvis Bay currently faces a housing backlog of at least 36 000 housing units.
The 2011 housing and population census revealed that approximately 50 000 or half of the town’s residents live in backyard shacks with inadequate sanitation and deplorable living conditions.