OTJIWARONGO - In the quest to ease the housing backlog, the Otjiwarongo municipality has developed an Accelerated Land Delivery Process Plan (ALDP), which is aimed at fast-tracking land delivery at the local authority.
The purpose of this plan is to speed up land delivery, for middle to low-income earners at the town, for both formal and informal land. Speaking at the ALDP launch last week, Otjiwarongo mayor Bennes Haimbondi explained the plan is aimed at diffusing the current delays in land allocation by proposing a fast-tracked and effective process of delivering land, where processes may overlap and undertaken at the same time.
He stated the plan will see some of the processes that have low risks on statutory provisions as well as spatial planning standards being conducted in parallel. The plan was necessitated by the current land backlog in the town.
Otjiwarongo is one of the many towns in Namibia that are faced with a land shortage, a situation which has led to a series of land grabbing activities in the town for the past five years, whereby the residents illegally allocated themselves land, in unserviced areas with no infrastructure, and threaten to continue to do so.
“Land grabbing disturbs the town’s plan as it creates an unstructured, chaotic and compacted habitation that may result in congestion of density. This is a concern because Otjiwarongo has a well-planned and demarcated informal settlement,” said the mayor.
Furthermore, Haimbodi explained that the land shortage is caused by a mismatch between the supply of developable land and the demand that is worsened by the land delivery process.
The residents were urged to exercise patience and allow the council to implement this new process. However, although the council is positive about undertaking this new process, the mayor explained that because it is a new phenomenon that has not been implemented, there would be lessons to learn along the way and to improve where gaps will exist.