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Govt to spend N$2,7b on land servicing

Mon, 10 August 2015 16:19
by Staff Writer
News Flash

The Massive Urban Land Servicing Project will cost the government about N$2,7b for the next three years, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein told The Villager this week.
Government will also consult involved parties on raising funds for the mass servicing of land in Oshakati, Windhoek and Walvisbay.
“That is what we are doing right now (establishing funding raising mechanisms)” Schlettwein said. He added that government has budget up to N$971m for this year alone , and that the budget will also allocate a similar amount for the next two years and that the ad hoc committee will determine whether the allocated amount is sufficient or not.
According to Schlettwein, the committee which is chaired by Sophia Shaningwa has already received offers from the private sector to give services for free of charge or bring down prices for services.
“In years to come we would also like to service land for industrial purposes, that is where all the economic activities will be but it is not a priority right now. The major priority is for us to provide housing for our people” he said.
Government is expected to services 200 000 plots country wide, which will be allocated in the future. A technical committee will also be established, to assist the ad hoc high level committee.

“These are the issues of land availability and affordability.  The bottom line of what we will be able to deliver in the shortest possible time, depends on the financial wherewithal to finance the identified units, supported by the voluntary support from civil society and the business community” Schlettwein said at a press briefing last week.
He added that the price dynamics in the real estate and housing sectors have not lent themselves to the affordability range for especially the low and middle-income earners and that the price overshooting has outstripped wage improvements, rendering an average house rocketing out of affordability range of low-income earners.
The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, said that she will only look into real estate price regulation and rent regulation if the recommendations are made to him.
“Did someone tell you that they brought that to my attention? Just make the suggestion if you want me to look into it” she said.
Last year, The Villager reported that Windhoek is one of the most expensive cities to reside in. The report stated that the price of rent for accommodation in Windhoek is higher than in Johannesburg, South Africa, Gaborone in Botswana and Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.
Windhoek’s rental prices also surpass metropolitan cities, such as Cape Town, which have a far higher population and income that the former.
Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Cape Town’s central business district (CBD) costs up to N$6 210 per month while a three-bedroom apartment in the same area costs up to N$13 246 per month.
In Harare, a one-bedroom flat outside the city centre, according to Numbeo online, can be rented for N$4 477 per month, which is double the price one pays for the unit of the same size and in the same area, in Gaborone where it costs about N$2 396 per month.   
The price per square meter for an apartment in Windhoek’s CBD ranges between N$3 000 and N$7 000 while one outside CBD prices are pegged from N$3 000.
A survey by The Villager last year had established on average, ‘Windhoekers’ pay N$5 500 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre and close to N$3 500 for the same sized unit outside it also Windhoek residents fork out between N$8 500 to N$20 000 for a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre while the same size unit outside the CBD will cost them between N$8 500 and N$15 000.
The Rent Ordinance lost its functions in 1991 when all the rent boards ceased to exist.
Now instead of the Rent Ordinance, common law, which allows the full freedom to contract is the basis for landlord/lady-tenant relations.