The Otavi Town Council has vowed to fast track the allocation of plots after a number of residents complained they are yet to be presented with proof of ownership despite paying for the land almost a year ago.
Mayor George Garab said the local authority will act with urgency to resolve the issue to allow residents to construct their homes.
Garab attributed the delay to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resignation of former council CEO Moses Matyayi.
“It is all about minor issues that caused the delay. Yes, we know we sold plots and we are working on it. Soon after the ministerial approval, people will be called in to sign.
After that, we will then advertise in newspapers and notice boards for some of the plots that were not bought,” he explained. Last week, Otavi residents raised concern over the delay of allocation and issuance of their title deeds.
Garab said the council has deliberated on the issue and prospective homeowners will receive their title deeds soon. He also promised that issues surrounding the matter will be ironed out in the next council meeting next week.
Acting CEO Ernest Gaoab confirmed the plots were sold but could not provide details as to how far and what was holding up the process. “I am aware plots were sold but I don’t [know] the cause of the delay, how the process ended and why people have not been assisted and issued with deeds of sale.
Therefore, I am asking those who paid for plots to come forth so that we can look into the matter and see how council can assist,” said Gaoab, who was appointed in an acting capacity in April.
It is alleged council sold plots about 60 plots last year through a private treaty but to date, none of the prospective buyers have received proof of ownership for the land.
The plots were sold between N$39 000 and N$70 000. “It is actually a process which goes through council once a resolution is passed, then advertised; thereafter, it goes for ministerial approval. So, payment comes at the end of that process; therefore, one cannot pay before such is complete.
So, how that happened, I don’t know; people should come on board so we find out what really happened,” further stressed Gaoab.
The affected residents claimed they ran around looking for money to purchase the plots after council allocated the land to them.
“It is almost a year now that we finished paying our plots, but council has not said anything on the way forward. We are just in the dark. We want them to provide us with answers so we know what is happening, instead of being caught by surprise in future where it might turn up we don’t have plots or have incurred some additional charges,” complained the residents.