N$40 million for Otjiwarongo mass housing

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Acting CEO of the Otjwarongo Town Council, Burgert Liebenberg (left) poses with members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs and municipal staff members next to the outdated water pipe that is to be replaced with a modern tap and water metre.

OTJIWARONGO — The Otjiwarongo Town Council is to receive N$40 million from the central government over the next three years as its first share of the national mass housing scheme.  The acting CEO of the municipality, Burgert Liebenberg, made the disclosure to New Era during a recent visit to the town.

He said that planning and surveying of the two areas identified for mass housing, namely Heroes and Freedom extensions, were already done and building work could start within the next three months. He added that Cenored would soon connect electricity for the two low-income areas, while the municipality would install water metres.

But Liebenberg could not say when government would avail the funds as the initial target date was April this year. The N$40 million is to be disbursed over three years, starting with a N$17 million tranche in each of the first and second years (2014/2015), while the remaining N$6 million will be paid in 2016, according to Liebenberg.

The council is also in the dark over who will build the houses, service the land and how people would be paying for the erven.

“I know that NHE (National Housing Entreprise) played a role and was to facilitate the project, but I am not sure whether they are still part of it,” he said.

The local authority was among the councils which were found to have spent its money well in the implementation of the NDP (National Development Plan) budget allocations for the periods 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.

In particular, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs commended the municipality for the manner in which it spent N$7.7 million on capital projects for upgrading sewerage and water reticulation infrastructure, servicing of new extensions and tarring roads.

The town council installed 1600 water metres in the Tsaraxa-Aibes informal settlement.

Otjiwarongo, which is strategically situated in the centre of Namibia, faces an ever increasing influx of people from other areas looking for scarce jobs and housing.

 By Magreth Nunuhe

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