Tuulikki Abraham Lüderitz-More than 100 residents under the banner of local land rights campaign group, Buchters United Against Corrupt Land Deals, took to the streets of Lüderitz last week to demand affordable residential land on terms as favourable as the town council had offered to private developers. The protesters last Wednesday gave Lüderitz Town Council seven working days to respond to their petition. Peaceful picketing started in front of the main entrance to the harbour at around lunchtime before the group walked up Bismarck Street to the municipal offices, where they handed over more than 250 application letters from residents who want to purchase erven at the prices offered to the private developers. The protesters questioned why the council should enter into private treaty with four property developers, who would then service the land and sell it on to the residents. In their petition, the locals were adamant that the erven - serviced or not - should be sold to the residents of Lüderitz at the same price as offered to the four companies. Their petition came with voluminous copies of dated applications, which the protestors said were proof that local people have years been applying for residential land – but to no avail. It was said council’s waiting list of residents includes only those who applied for land in the past three years. In their petition, the residents argue that Lüderitz Town Council has a legal obligation in terms of the Local Authority Act to service residential erven, or to put out a call for expressions of interest for the servicing of such erven. ROCK BOTTOM PRICES The council last month published a notice that it intends to sell 200 unserviced erven to four little-known firms. The four companies offered to buy 50 erven each, at what the protesters say are rock-bottom prices. Ami-Ge Investments offered to purchase 50 unserviced erven in Extention 2 Nautilus for N$291,300 (N$5,826 each); Harambee Development Solutions offered N$336,175 for 50 erven in Nautilus Extension 3 (N$6,723.50 each). NCCS Investment Holdings and Dovino Properties offered N$279,945 for 50 unserviced erven (N$5,598 each), while Eland Construction offered N$280,125 for 50 unserviced erven (N$5,602 each). The residents chastised council for opting to sell the erven to private developers, saying it goes against the stipulations of the Act. Lüderitz CEO Aunie Gideon had earlier said the council opted to enter into sales agreements with private developers because of a lack of own funds to service erven at the town. Gideon also said due to the topography of the town, Lüderitz council could barely afford to service virgin land, as it costs nearly N$120,000 to service a mid-sized plot, which is extremely high a cost, compared to what other towns spend on servicing the same size plot. The council maintained the sale of the 200 erven for sale was done in a transparent manner, as it was approved in an open council meeting and was advertised for public objections before it was signed off.
2017-10-17 10:27:49 11 months ago