The days for beneficiaries of land in Tses are numbered as the council is set to repossess and nullify allocation of land that has not been paid for or half paid while a lot of portions remain idle without any siginificant development taking place.
After the Council issued a stern warning to beneficiaries last week, this publication sought to establish whether authorities had found out what was causing the delay in payments and developments on the said land.
The chief executive officer, Fritz Christian, who was reportedly on leave, said an advert had been placed in the print media warning residents of the impending repossession of land by the council.
This, he suggested, was to grab their attention and invite them on the discussion table to begin conversation on what was impeding progress on the land.
He said the major objective was not to take back the land but to ensure full development was taking place in the town.
“The advert is for us to start somewhere so that we talk about this land because there was this thing of this glass factory and there was land grabbing, people just wanted land. So that thing did not (come to realisation) and now this land is idling. By that time, I was not even at Tses,” he said.
National facilitator of the Shack-Dwellers-Federation, Edith Mbanga has advised Tses land beneficiaries to work in groups and negotiate a payment arrangement instead of going it alone as individuals.
“We are encouraging people to work in a group because whenever one is not paying that month, members are there to talk with the person and find out why are they not paying, is there any problem that they are facing,” she said.
If one member fails to pay, the group could issue warning letters instead of the council doing so because the land-payment will be collectively done, she said.
“Sometime really I can tell you, the people are ignorant. Whatever is taking place you would have been warned by the council but one can’t just respond and stand up and go to the municipality. If you have got a problem, you are not paying, you are in arears, they will listen to you. So it’s a matter of ourselves,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Tses glass factory was three years ago envisaged to create over 7 000 better paying new permanent fulltime jobs within 2 years while 14 000 new houses were said to be built in line with the development.
The high demand predicted to come by as a result was thought to thus force banks like FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank, SME Bank, and Bank Windhoek to open their branches in Tses.
All these predictions and promises were used to calm down residents against having to grab land unnecessarily but it seems they have not yet come to fruition.
Speaking to The Villager, the council’s secretary to the CEO said, “We really don’t know anything about the glass factory and we can’t even comment on it because the only person who can comment on it was the former chairperson, Mr. Brian Gaoseb who is no longer with the village council and then Mr. Simon Kapenda who is the one spearheading the project.”
Both could not be reached for comment until the time of publication.