The mayor of Tsumeb says while the shortage of adequate housing is a contant problem, most recipients of residential land at the town are from low-income groups.
“Over the past five years the low-income group has benefited the most from the land delivery process, but also the high-income group because they can afford it. It’s either you live in a very expensive house or in a shack. This is the situation that has created the large numbers of low-income groups,” said Ndangi Shetekela, the mayor of Tsumeb.
He says organisations, such as the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), that cater for low-income groups were the main beneficiaries of residential land allocated to residents.
“We have pockets of land, but we cannot just cater for one class. We need to cater for all three classes, namely the high-income group, the middle-income group and the low-income group,” he said.
Asked whether the municipality did not exarcebate monopoly in land ownership over the past five years, he acknowledged that before his tenure in office there was a problem, as wealthy people acquired land through various means, including private transactions and other arrangements.
He said that his office provided for the needs of people in different income groups, although the pace of land delivery has not met public expectations. The absence of sufficient subsidies from central government has left town councils with little choice but to go into public-private partnerships, in which private developers often benefited most.