Landless People’s Movement (LPM) parliamentarian Utaara Mootu has urged government to pursue urban land-for-food programmes to promote township horticulture farming and food self-sufficiency. Mootu, who was speaking in the National Assembly last week in response to the N$72 billion national budget tabled by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi, said urban land-for-food programmes would enhance people’s livelihoods and dietary contents, improving the health and wellbeing of households.
She said in pursuing the urban land-for-food programmes new development models of mixed residential areas should be considered, which would contribute to livelihoods of urban dwellers.
According to Mootu, this will include injection into the informal market development, which consists of recreational areas, informal markets and small and medium enterprises, thus bringing services and jobs closer to people.
The 24-year-old lawmaker further proposed that government invoke the Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2018, saying it will accelerate the upgrading of informal settlements and address the crisis of land tenure.
She also urged the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to focus on a fit-for-purpose land administration system that will do away with ‘one-size-fits-all’ housing development models, which will provide tenure security and housing quicker and based on needs assessment and affordability of each beneficiary, while allowing for upgrading over the years.
According to Mootu, the implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure Act will allow for a cheaper, more flexible land registration system in urban areas, as the conventional land registration system is too costly and cumbersome.
“Relevant policies and laws must be amended in order to accommodate and consider title registration as according to the Flexible Land Tenure Act,” she said, adding that this could also entail substituting institutions like Namibia Planning Advisory Board (NAMPAB) and township boards with more flexible committees who will scrutinise development in informal settlements and approve such. “Banks must be regulated strictly on home loans being granted at high-interest rates, especially to first-time buyers. A registry system will be developed, whereby prospective first-time homeowners will be registered and receive government subsidy to reduce the burden on first-time homeowners,” she said. She said the cross-referencing model should be applied to avoid cross-subsidisation of the middle- and higher-income earners. “A targeted approach shall be had to identify potential first-time homeowners for prioritisation for urban land allocations,” added the youthful lawmaker.
2020-06-09 10:05:14 | 2 months ago