Eveline de Klerk SWAKOPMUND - The town of Usakos finds itself in an unfavourable position when it comes to development and housing delivery. This is according to the Town Council of Usakos that says TransNamib owns about 90 percent of prime urban land at the town. Council now wants government to intervene so that TransNamib relinquishes at least part of the land at the town as the issue has been dragging on for years. The land in question has not been developed since TransNamib inherited it from the former railway company Spoorweg who had to withdraw from Namibia after independence. During that time, Usakos was a workshop and watering station for locomotives in an area now called Bo Dorp. Raising the issue last Thursday during the regional consultative meeting held in Swakopmund, mayor of Usakos Akser Mwafangeyo said no new houses have been constructed by the town council for several years now as almost all the land suitable for housing development or business is owned by TransNamib. Mwafangeyo said the situation is extremely difficult for council as TransNamib is also not forthcoming when the issue was raised with the transport company. Council says TransNamib pays about N$12 000 in rates and taxes. “This is vast land that hasn’t been develop since independence and we all know that TransNamib is not in the business of property development,” he explained “In many instance, we sent investors that approach us to TransNamib to see if they can enter into a partnership just for the sake of bringing development to town. The town has since independence seen minimal development and is often treated as a drive-through, on the way to the coast. That is why council could not construct its offices in town, as we simply don’t own land there,” he said. Asked whether the line ministry is aware of the issue, seeing that it was raised by council on numerous occasions, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga told New Era that they will have to go back to the presentation made by Usakos council during his familiarisation visit to see the status of the issue. “However, TransNamib being a SOE, if they will sell part of their property, they would first need a greenlight from the shareholding ministry as this will be an alienation of company property,” he said. TransNamib was also approached for comment and will respond in due course to questions forwarded to them.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-24 09:26:22 3 months ago