Tsumeb municipality has set aside approximately N$10 million during the current financial year to service over 300 residential plots.
A portion of the allocated funds will be used for the demarcation of the over 300 plots that will be offered to the public at reasonable prices through the Shack Dwellers Federation.
Two hundred and sixty four (264) hectares of land have been identified in Nomtsoub, according to the municipality’s CEO, Alfeus Benjamin, who emphasised that land allocation and servicing has been the town’s biggest achievement in recent years.
The plots are earmarked to accommodate low-income groups, especially those living in Soweto location, which is now congested because of squatters – among them public servants, including teachers, police and prison officers, and Cenored workers.
Funding for the planned housing scheme will be done through a public private partnership (PPP).
“The demarcation of plots was done two years ago already. As we are speaking now they have already received their letters and erf numbers. As soon as we’re done they will receive their plots officially,” Benjamin assured the applicants.
He explained that the allocation of the plots would be done on the first-come, first-served basis. He said most of the people on the waiting list have already obtained loan approvals from the bank. The municipality currently has over 2 000 people on its waiting list.
The approved loans vary from N$400 000 to N$800 000. Benjamin believes the majority of residents will be able to afford the houses. He, however, emphasised that at this stage they cannot state how much an average house will cost because there are several different categories.
“Those who applied earlier will be given priority and the remaining ones will be accommodated as time goes on, as we are yet to receive N$38 million in this coming financial year from the Ministry of Rural and Urban Development, which will be solely invested in the provision of land.
“More often we are faced with accommodation problems, as we attract investors to our town, yet we don’t have a place to accommodate them. That’s why we have made it a priority to focus on land delivery,” he said.
He reiterated that the municipality is working closely with the Shack Dwellers Federation through providing them with engineering, surveying and assessment services, as well as the provision and transportation of the materials.
“We are assisting them so that we can speed up the process, as well as reduce the cost. We negotiate on their unit costs so that they can get the materials at a reduced price, thus relieving the building expense.
“Previously under the Shack Dwellers Federation a three-bedroom house could be built at a cost of around N$25 000. At the moment it might cost approximately N$45 000 due to inflation, that is why we are trying so hard to negotiate the unit costs,” stated Benjamin.
The CEO further said the municipality is in the process of building a market from where street vendors will be able to run their businesses.