OMUTHIYA - Some residents of Oniipa are allegedly refusing to be compensated by the local authority for their land, saying the money to be paid was too little.
Oniipa Town Council CEO Junias Jacob said the rejection is being orchestrated by third forces who are instigating the beneficiaries.
Jacob said despite council’s efforts to explain to residents, they are facing stiff resistance from the community who are refusing to receive the funds, neither are they willing to vacate and pave way for development. “Council does not evaluate land, but this is done through the land reform ministry then we pay based on the valuation provided. As we speak, council is stuck with implementing developmental projects such as surveying and servicing, as people are still on the planned land,” stressed the CEO. “These homesteads were identified as idle and strategic, now we are unable to provide plots as we do not have the land.”
Furthermore, he said council has been targeting plots that are already closer to informal settlements so that when such land is given to council, it becomes easy to allocate such individuals with a place closer to town. “These hindrances are as a result of lack of understanding. Council has therefore resolved to engage the community once more and make them understand the implication involved and the whole compensation process,” he added.
“We also intend on engaging the Ondonga Traditional Authority to perhaps allocate farming land to our people being relocated, because this could be another reason why they don’t want to vacate since they no longer have land to cultivate and feed their families.”
In terms of encouraging residents to purchase plots, council resolved to subsidise residents and also reduced the purchase price per square metre.
According to the CEO, residents with existing plots in Oniipa were not keen on paying off because it was expensive.
“Residential plots are now reduced from N$35 per square metres to N$9.99 per square metres, while business plots from N$80 per square metres to N$12 per square metres. These prices include highly subsidised transfer costs which customers would not need to pay but only wait to be issued their title deeds when they have fully paid for their plots,” said Jacob, adding this move has encouraged many residents to purchase plots. “Some residents had huge portions of land, so affordability was a challenge to many of them.”