Mass land servicing starts in Oshakati

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Oshakati

Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa on Tuesday commissioned the commencement of the servicing of 310 plots of 6 171 plots in Oshakati set aside for the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project (MULSP).
The first phase of 310 plots will be followed in due course by the remaining 1 061 at Ehenye, 1 800 at Ompumbu and 3 000 erven at Onawa.

The minister handed over N$44.8 million to Nexus Group for the installation of services, such water and sewerage lines, electricity supply, roads and storm water channels. Other partners in the project, Windhoek Consulting Engineers (WCE), Lithon Project Consultants and Conselect Engineering, offered engineering and project management services at a 40 percent discount.

“Our aim is to make serviced urban land available to our people at affordable rates. This is only possible if the cost inputs that go into land servicing are minimised through other generous contributions, such as reduced charges by consulting professionals and contractors, bulk procurement of materials, as well as volunteerism from members of the public where possible,” said the urban and rural development minister.

Shaningwa urged the contractors to ensure the project is completed within the eight-month timeframe as stipulated in the contract. “We want quality, we are not going to tolerate any “snappish” work. I will not monitor from a distance. I will come to the site to monitor from time to time,” Shaningwa said. She also called upon the public to pull together in the realisation of the project.

She warned though against the “business-as-usual” attitude, saying it is time to deliver and that those who are irritated by the idea of moving fast should “ship out”.

“We will also only be able to deliver land to our people if we abandon the business-as-usual attitude and long time-wasting processes, such as lengthy tender procedures and for us to rather work more expeditiously in a business unusual fashion,” she said. Shaningwa also implored Oshakati Town Council to apply the “one applicant one plot” system and to ensure that those who acquire plots have applied for them.

“If it happens that an applicant is awarded more than one plot, my signature is not for sale. I will get it back,” advised Shaningwa. She also encouraged volunteerism amongst the community and implored those that will be employed on the site to work hard and refrain from absenteeism.

AR activist Job Amupanda was happy with the progress made by Oshakati Town Council. He acknowledged that Oshakati has set the trend, bypassing Windhoek and Walvis Bay on the work that has been done so far in the three pilot localities. He said his team would continue to monitor the implementation of the project until the plots are allocated. “We want to see who got the plots and whether they have applied for them,” said Amupanda.

Mayor of Oshakati Town Council Katrina Shimbulu said the municipality has already allocated 700 erven and has completed the servicing of 1 059 erven at Ekuku, while work is underway to service 954 more in the same area: “This means by mid-2016 we will have allocated over 2 000 erven within a space of less than two years.”

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