The Grootontein Municipality has availed free erven and a cash sum of N$40 000 to a group of 75 residents to construct houses under the Build Together project that has been dormant at the town.
The project was re-launched yesterday by the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Derek Klazen, amidst much pomp and fanfare after it was shelved a few years ago when the national mass housing project was introduced.
Build Together houses will serve the residents of Grootfontein very well. They have in the past lamented the fact that they were not included in the mass housing scheme that concentrated mostly on bigger towns.
Re-launching the project Klazen emphasised that people should not deem the scheme as having opened its doors nationwide.
“I want to categorically state that this project is not nationwide,”it’s only for Grootfontein because they have funds that remained when the project was put on hold, considering that they were not beneficiaries of mass housing. So now they are just continuing where they stopped,” stressed Klazen.
But he said the ministry is working on how it can revive and restructure the project to benefit all financial categories in future.
“House prices have gone out of market proportion countrywide and become unaffordable. So erven should be serviced cheaply and houses be built at a low cost as well. However, cheap houses should not compromise standards, instead the houses should be cheap and of good quality,” said Klazen.
He said the beneficiaries should put the loans in good use and not forget to repay them so that others can also benefit through a revolving account that channels the funds. “These houses will remain the property of the municipality until when you have finished paying back the last dollar, and then the property will be transferred to your name,” he said.
At the same occasion the mayor of Grootfontein Absai Haimene cautioned the beneficiaries not to erect shacks and build shebeens in the area, as drinking spots have already caused enough trouble among communities.
Young entrepreneur Ileni Hainghumbi pledged to paint free of charge the houses of the first five people who complete their homes.