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NHE’s 185 plots idle for nearly a decade

2014-12-12  Mathias Haufiku

NHE’s 185 plots idle for nearly a decade
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By Mathias Haufiku WINDHOEK – The Outapi Town Council has expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that it allocated 185 residential plots to the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) in 2005 but no developments have taken place on the land. And in sharp contrast to the rest of the country, Outapi is one of the few local authorities where the national mass housing development programme has not been implemented because of a lack of land on which to build houses. Documents in New Era’s possession indicate that the plots were sold at a minimal price of N$1 per square metre in 2005 under the Private Public Partnership Agreement signed between the town council and the NHE. “Outapi Town Council allocated 185 plots in 2005 as per OTC resolution 9/10/2005, but so far they have not yet been serviced and developed,” said the council in one of its official documents. “We are very disappointed with NHE because we gave them land to bring development to the town but nothing is happening. They must tell us what their plans are with these plots because there are investors who are interested to buy those plots, but we cannot assist them because the plots are under NHE,” lamented the town’s acting chief executive officer, Nashilongo Ananias. Nashilongo said the decision to sell the plots cheaply to the NHE was to ensure the housing needs of the town are adequately serviced. According to the document, the plots were paid for on October 2 2006. Approached for comment yesterday, NHE spokesman Eric Limbongani said the council was yet to engage the NHE to express their dissatisfaction regarding the matter. Asked what NHE plans to do with the plots, Limbongani said: “Our mandate is to build houses and it will remain as such.” Meanwhile, Ananias also rapped the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development over the knuckles for allegedly failing to allocate enough funds to the council so that it can compensate community members who own homesteads along the town’s boundaries. “We want to service more plots but that is not possible because we do not have available plots as we speak. Those living along the town boundaries need to be compensated so that they can move but we do not have sufficient funds,” he said. According to the acting CEO, the line ministry only allocated N$6 million for the current financial year to be used for compensation purposes. “We already spoke to those who own homesteads near the town boundaries and they are eager to make way for development but the ministry is not forthcoming with enough funds. The Okahao Town Council received N$10 million but we only got N$6 million, this is not fair.” Contacted for comment, the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, (Rtd) Major-General Charles Namoloh, accused local authorities of decrying funds allocated to them yet they struggle to utilise the funds. “It depends on how much they received in the previous financial years and how they utilised that money,” Namoloh said briefly.
2014-12-12  Mathias Haufiku

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