The Municipality of Tsumeb has confirmed that many people who have applied for land at the town through Job Amupanda’s Affirmative Repositioning movement will get favourable consideration.
Municipal CEO Archie Benjamin told New Era that council will approve as many applications for land as possible, after mass land applications spearheaded by Affirmative Repositioning in February this year.
“We have to help the people, where do you send them? Housing is a challenge,“ Benjamin noted.
He said to get the approval process off the ground, the municipality consulted the applicants and asked them to categorise their income so that allocation is based on affordability by each individual.
“We received about 1400 applications in total and we have engaged the group to categorise their income margins so that we can then accordingly subdivide them,” he said.
He said the municipality already acknowledged the receipt of the land applications in writing.
Benjamin said the municipality is currently evaluating the applications to ensure that those that have applied through Affirmative Repositioning have not already applied to the municipality for land.
He also stated that the evaluation process will help ensure that applicants who are residents of Tsumeb get preference ahead of applicants from other areas in the country.
“The co-ordinator of the group here in Tsumeb has already started submitting the amended applications,” Benjamin told New Era.
The municipal chief was, however, quick to point out that he would not be cowed into meeting the July 31 deadline set by Affirmative Repositioning.
“We will not be pressurised by their deadline,” he said.
The group has given municipalities across the country until 31 July this year to respond to the applications positively. Over 50 000 applications were submitted countrywide through Affirmative Repositioning since November last year.
Amupanda confirmed to New Era that his group had “a fruitful discussion” with the Tsumeb municipality.
Benjamin stated that there is necessarily no shortage of urban land in the country. “The problem is not that there is no land, there is just no serviced land,” he observed.
Municipal officials who spoke to New Era on condition of anonymity say the municipality will avail 43 erven to Affirmative Repositioning applicants. The erven are in the same area where de-bushing is currently underway to accommodate about 200 houses that will be built by BH Properties, a company owned by businessman Ben Hauwanga.
An additional 133 houses would be built in the same area by private developers Anbau Properties and a company called Oshipe.
The Oshikoto Region remains divided on the applications submitted through Affirmative Repositioning, with Governor Henock Kankoshi saying he has no knowledge on Affirmative Repositioning applicants getting approval in Tsumeb.
“I have no knowledge on the group getting land, I will have to find out more,” he said.
Kankoshi discouraged people from doing anything illegal on 31 July, when the deadline set by Affirmative Repositioning comes into effect.