Land clearing: Govt pulls out all the stops … But Tweya says land is not for free

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23

Windhoek

The government says the swift procurement of goods and services required for the massive urban land servicing project is vital if the scheme is to be implemented in a cost-effective and expeditious manner.

Information and Communication Technology Minister Tjekero Tweya said this yesterday when updating members of the media on the progress of the land project that kicked off last Friday.

“Government will mobilise to ensure the project is a success because we will not just rely on donors. We will also make use of our parastatals should they avail themselves,” he said.

Critics have on many occasions slammed public procurement, with many feeling it is too bureaucratic and lacks transparency, and that successful tenderers wait too long to be paid.

However, Tweya said it will not be business as usual when it comes to procuring goods and services required for the project. He added that procuring goods through normal tender procedures would be the last resort.

To reduce costs, Tweya said, construction material would have to be procured directly from manufacturers.

“Government needs to mobilise financial and budgetary resources to cover costs that are unavoidable, such as for services that cannot be provided by government or through volunteerism, as well as for the procurement of materials such as water and sewerage pipes,” he said.

Tweya also stressed that perceptions that land will be given away for free should be discarded.

“There will be no free land. Volunteering to assist the programme does not mean people will get free land,” he explained.

Tweya said the committee established to oversee the project still needs to do costing , but indicated he was hopeful that volunteerism would go a long way to help reduce costs.

Asked about the implementation timeframe, Tweya said a timeframe has not been set but government wants the project to be carried out in the shortest possible time.

Government aims to service 200 000 plots across the country to address the land problem.

According to the update report, the Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa, together with several other ministers, the attorney general and permanent secretaries met City of Windhoek officials on Monday to discuss issues related to the project.

The technical committee, which comprises permanent secretaries, chief executive officers from local authorities and leaders of the Affirmative Repositioning movement, is expected to submit a detailed implementation plan to Shaningwa by the end of next week.

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