Scramble for land intensifies at Arandis

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Windhoek

The rush for land and housing at Arandis is intense, so much so that Arandis Town Council had to circumvent ministerial orders in order to avail land to developers – albeit temporarily.

The town council is in the process of allocating 14 residential erven, measuring a combined 18 498 square metres to four companies, a deal which will earn the council about N$1.4 million.

The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, on numerous occasions called on local authorities to stop selling multiple plots to individuals or companies. She was recently quoted as saying she would not approve any deals involving the allocation of multiple plots to individuals.

Thiart Construction applied for five erven, measuring 5 118 square metres, at a cost of N$511 800. Another applicant is Omwago Building Supplies, which applied for five erven, measuring 2057 for N$165 388. Avisha Investments applied for two erven, measuring 6 075 square metres at a cost of N$121 500.

Arandis Property Development also applied for two plots, measuring 5 248 square metres for N$629 760.

The information is contained in an advertisement placed by the Arandis Town Council in one of the local dailies yesterday. Arandis Town Council chief executive officer, Florida Husselman told New Era yesterday that the applications were already approved before Shaningwa made the pronouncement.

“We are just following procedures,” she said.

According to the advertisement, the full particulars of the transactions regarding the listed properties will lie for inspection by interested persons at the town council and those who wish to oppose the transactions have until September 3 to lodge such objections.

Efforts to get hold of Shaningwa yesterday proved futile as her mobile phone went unanswered.

Husselman said the presence of mines in the Erongo Region has also pushed up the demand for housing and land at the town. “We are sitting with a unique situation,” she said. “We are currently sitting with 121 applications from people employed at Husab mine.”

Due to the high demand for housing, Husselmann said the town council recently added five new extensions to its town structures. She said there are 1 551 registered erven at the town with a further 1 232 planned for the near future.

She said council currently has 100 serviced erven available and a development bank initiative is underway to service a further 130 ervens.

“Hopefully we will receive funding through the medium term expenditure budget to service more land,” she said. Husselmann stressed the need to curb property speculation, adding that council is working hard to ensure that houses at the town are affordable.

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