Today New Era continues with its coverage of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) with a closer look at Pillar 3: Social Progression. The second focal point in this pillar is Residential Land Delivery, Housing and Sanitation.
Lack of decent housing continues to be one of the most contentious issues in the country and the lack of decent housing was identified as a priority by Government, which introduced the Mass Housing Initiative in 2013. The Mass Housing Initiative aimed to deliver 187 000 houses by the year 2030. Unfortunately, the implementation of the Mass Housing Initiative was affected by several problems and was put on hold in the middle of 2015. Following the successful resolution of the identified problems, the initiative will resume in the 2016/17 fiscal year. Government remains committed to provision of decent housing for all in the Namibian House. To that end, Government welcomes the pledge from the business sector to assist workers in obtaining housing.
Complementary to housing, Government also plans to make progress on poor sanitation. According to the National Household Income and Expenditure Survey of 2009/10 (NHIES), some regions such as Ohangwena, Omusati, Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi are more affected and will be prioritised. Poor sanitation is also a problem in rapidly urbanising areas such as Windhoek and Swakopmund, and will also be prioritised.
The specific goals with respect to residential land servicing, housing and sanitation during the Harambee period will be to construct 20 000 new houses nationwide; to service 26 000 new residential plots countrywide; to construct 50 000 rural toilets during the Harambee period; and to eliminate the bucket system by end of 2017.
The following strategies and actions will be deployed to ensure the attainment of goal HPP08 during the Harambee period:
➜ On Land Service Delivery, the following tangible actions will be executed during the Harambee period:
- Massive Urban Land Servicing Programme (MULSP): The MULSP which started with three pilot towns, namely Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Oshakati will be rolled out to the regions during the Harambee period. In this regard, the MoURD will present the detailed implementation plan to Cabinet for approval before the end of September 2016.
- Subsidisation of Local Authorities: To expedite servicing of land, Government will subsidise some local authorities, where there is a big influx of people, to service land.
➜ Housing Delivery: On delivery of decent houses, the following actions will be carried out during the Harambee period.
- Mass Housing Initiative: After irregularities, such as contracting and billing have been successfully resolved, the Mass Housing Initiative will resume from the 1st of April 2016. It is the intention to deliver at least 5 000 houses per annum countrywide during the Harambee period.
- Housing for Civil Servants: In the spirit of Harambee, the Government Institutions Pension Fund [GIPF] has agreed to introduce special housing solutions for civil servants, in particular the uniformed personnel, teachers, nurses and doctors. This will allow government funding for housing to be directed to the poorest of the poor. The GIPF solution will be ready before the first quarter of year one of the HPP.
- Industry Contribution: The private sector, in the true Harambee spirit, has committed to assisting their employees to be properly housed. In this connection, the mining sector will take the lead in year one and has set the noble goal of providing housing to each employee. The private sector, in particular the banking sector, has also agreed to increasingly direct their corporate social responsibility to housing for the poorest. In this connection, in conjunction with the Shack Dwellers Federation an initial target of 500 low-income houses is set for completion by March 2017 and will be escalated on an annual basis thereafter.
➜ Construction of Rural Toilets: Similar to food banks, the construction of rural toilets will be done primarily by unemployed youth. This activity will complement the government’s drive to end hunger and poverty in both urban and rural areas. While the food banks will concentrate on arresting urban hunger, the construction of rural toilets will create economic opportunities for unemployed rural youth and by so doing, indirectly address rural hunger, while similarly addressing sanitation.
➜ Funding for Land Servicing and Housing: Funding for land service delivery and housing remains a key constraint, and in this connection, Harambee will pursue the following actions:
- Revolving Fund for Housing: We will establish a Revolving Fund that will be specifically mandated to fund housing for low-income segments of the population. The modalities of this Fund will be developed and fine-tuned during year one of the Harambee Plan, to enable the Fund to become operational from year two of the Harambee period. • Pre-allocation of Land Still to Be Serviced: In order to mobilise funds to service land, Government will encourage municipalities to pre-allocate land that is not serviced to qualifying candidates for servicing at own cost. • In our next edition we will continue unpacking the Harambee Prosperity Plan by taking a closer look at Infant and Maternal Mortality within the Social Progression Pillar.