By: Rodney Pienaar
Urban and Rural development minister Peya Mushelenga has said that there is currently no system in place to prioritize the sale of land to local residents in acquisition of erven.
“In terms of land sales the only system in place used is the waiting list and giving priority to applicants on the basis of first come first served, as well as those who are first time purchasers. This applies where land has been serviced and is being sold by a local authority.”
“General land sales are done as the methods set out in the Local Authority Act, 1992 as amended namely private treaty and public tender. Special arrangements used to be made to deal with special needs of the poor and low income earners especially when they have organised themselves a group or communities such as the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia,” said the minister.
Furthermore the ministry’s executive director, Nghidinua Daniel said that the urban land and housing sector in Namibia is characterised by a huge backlog in the supply of and demand for serviced land and housing in urban areas and the country in general.
“These are the high rates of rural-urban and urban-urban migration, population growth and demographic changes as well as poverty and economic growth level. Affordability by the target end users is a mismatch between the types and pricing of housing products that are available in the market on the one hand and the needs and affordability levels of a large section of the needy on the other hand, especially the low to middle-income earners.”
“Local authorities should develop the appropriate institutional capacity to guide, monitor and ensure integrated land use planning and urban development as well as environmental protection.”
“Amend the Local Authorities Act, 1992 and the Regional Councils Act, 1992 to insert a provision prohibiting the sale of land to foreign nationals, and obliging those who are already in possession of urban land to give the State the first right of refusal when they want to bequeath,” he said.