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Tsumeb launches N$14m housing project

Mon, 20 October 2014 05:20
by Timoteus Shihepo

Tsumeb Municipality is still to receive a N$30 million housing grant they requested from the Government to drive a low to medium earning housing scheme.
The delay has prompted the municipality which in the past few years experienced a boom to initiate their own N$14m with financing from developmental financing institutions. The initiative is meant to cater for medium to low income earning population of the municipality.
Tsumeb municipality Chief Executive Officer Archie Benjamin this week told The Villager that, despite the town requesting for N$30m from Government to build low, middle and high income houses years ago nothing has materialized from that request.
“We have not received any mass housing allocations. The allocations went to Omuthiya. We however took the initiative upon ourselves not to wait for government as the Council approved nine portions of land which consists about 10 to 30 hectares each,” he said.
Benjamin also said apart from the N$14m project, the municipality is also looking at servicing land which will accommodate 1000 houses.
“We have applied to Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and Private Institutions to help us service the land and I can say we need about N$30m,” he said.
He also revealed that land was given to Dundee Precious Metals to construct 100 houses for its employees.
“Dundee bought the land from us in a partnership agreement. We are very happy about it because the aim is to have people having roofs to live in. They have already built 65 houses and I must say these are exciting projects that have been lined up,” he said.
He added that, “We will continue doing what is necessary for the town while we wait for Government’s help. We have already submitted our requests to the line Ministry (Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development) but the thing is that the Ministry has a long decision making policy and it takes too long to arrive to a decision.”
Benjamin also said that the initiative is welcomed by the residents of the town as the aim is to put a roof under every Tsumeb residents’ head.
“The project will not just result in economic spin off for the town but it will also provide employments to locals. We have a process of employing locals as we have a data base for all the projects. We also do placements drawn from our data base,” he said.
He added that, “The only challenges we are facing right now is that of the Ministry taking long to approve certain projects because even after the Council approves a project it still has to go the Ministry then you also have to talk about tender board and to advertise again. All these things delays projects. It’s against this background that there is not really a definite answer as to when some of these projects will be finished. But as soon as the Ministry approves everything we will hit the ground running. The planning process for some of the projects it’s already underway until March next year.”
The Minister of MRLGHRD General Charles Namholo, however denied that Tsumeb requested money from the Ministry saying, “I am not aware of that money but even if they request the money we won’t give them because it’s not us (the Ministry) who decides where should the houses be build it’s the Regional Councils.”
He added that, “It’s not only Tsumeb who have been excluded from the mass housing project. I even had people from the South (of the country) writing me a petition for being excluded. A petition for what? We had meetings all over and we briefed all the stakeholders regarding the procedures. I don’t know why they are complaining but even if they complain we won’t give them the money.”
The N$45b mass housing project is an initiative by Government which was officially launched by President Hifikepunye Pohamba last year. With this development programme the Government intends to build 185 000 affordable houses by 2030 to mitigate the current nationwide 100 000 units housing deficit.