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Trauma hospital land sale gets the nod

2022-08-12  Edward Mumbuu

Trauma hospital land sale gets the nod

The City of Windhoek has approved the sale of a N$21 million plot in Katutura where the Motor-Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund plans to establish a trauma and rehabilitation

The price excludes value-added tax. The decision was taken on Wednesday night during a protracted council meeting. 

The said plot is erf 10812 in Katutura. The deal has strings attached. Among the conditions is for the MVA, at its own cost, to extend and upgrade the surrounding road network. 

This includes upgrading Hans-Dietrich Genscher Street to a dual-carriage road up to Bondel Street. 

The MVA must also extend Leonard Auala Street to provide access to the new centre. 

“Should the MVA fail to finalise the sale within 90 days, the allocation of said erf will be cancelled, and the property will be allocated to another applicant,” Windhoek acting CEO O’Brien Hekandjo said in a statement on Thursday. 

In an interview yesterday, MVA Fund CEO Rosalia Martins-Hausiku was elated by the news as she was unaware, saying it the first step towards realising a long-held dream. 

“I didn’t know about the city’s approval. But I must say it is the first step in that direction. We have widely publicised that we intend to set up a trauma hospital. The
first step in that is the acquisition of land, and other projects will then follow,” she enthused.

 Martins-Hausiku hastened to note that the MVA will not be the sole bearer of the project’s cost. 

“We have to raise funds for it. It is also not to be run by us.
There are various models that have been presented to us through a feasibility study that was conducted a few years ago,” she added. 

The seasoned executive could not say how much the project would cost in its entirety, but was confident that sponsors will come on board. 

“It is not going to be an MVA project alone. There are going to be various funders to the project,” she said. Additionally, the city resolved to sell eight houses built under its affordable housing programme. These houses are located in Khomasdal. 

“The construction of eight houses in Khomasdal expands the construction of affordable houses from informal settlements to other parts of the city. This is the first time that council will alienate houses, and not just serviced erven, for this purpose,” Hekandjo stated.  

It will, however, be the first time the city sells complete houses. 

“Council has previously only alienated serviced land, and therefore the sale of improved erven, specifically with a completed housing structure, is new to the alienation process,” the acting CEO noted.

Two houses are reserved for council employees, while the remaining six will be drawn from the existing verified waiting list.

There are 17 498 possible contenders for the eight houses.  

This is part of the municipality’s drive to deliver affordable housing and land at an accelerated pace. 

Preference will be given to over-qualified residents. This was a thorn in Affirmative Repositioning movement councillor Job Amupanda’s flesh. 

In his eyes, it means if the cheapest house is priced at N$860 000, a resident who qualifies for N$900 000 will be at a disadvantage against someone rated at N$1.5 million, despite both qualifying to buy the house. 

It defeats logic, if the city is serious about making home ownership a reality for the poorest in society. 

“Don’t exclude them,” Amupanda stressed, suggesting that fairness must prevail. 

The most expensive house is priced at N$1.1 million. 

This, too, caused consternation to Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas on the night. 

“It is too expensive. Are you saying the cheapest house is N$860 000? I won’t even be able to afford it. I thought the idea was to make housing cheaper for residents, especially our teachers and security guards,” the mayor lamented. 

Strategic executive for housing Fanuel Manda disagreed with Gawanas. 

He said if the city decides to sell the houses at current market prices, the cheapest would go for N$1.6 million.

2022-08-12  Edward Mumbuu

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