The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, has urged coastal residents to stop drinking away their hard-earned cash and to rather save money to extend their houses.
She was addressing government officials, residents and housing recipients at Walvis Bay during the official handing over of 17 houses under the mass housing programme in Kuisebmond last Friday.
Shaningwa said 30 houses would be handed over every month at the town until all 1 595 houses built under the first phase of the programme are handed over to the recipients.
“We are drinking too much and wasting a lot of money that we could have put to good use. Rather start saving your money with the SME Bank so that you can extend your houses, instead of building shacks,” the minister said.
She added that her ministry does not want to develop towns or shacks but wants to develop decent shelter, but residents and recipients must meet the ministry halfway by erecting proper houses.
According to Shaningwa, shack owners complain of being exploited by home owners who charge them exorbitant amounts for shack rentals.
She says that those who previously lived in shacks but received homes through the mass housing programme should rather extend their homes by means of proper structures they can rent out.
“Do not also build shacks and exploit others the same way you were exploited. Be reasonable,” she explained.
Shaningwa also told recipients they are not allowed to sell the houses and if they do not want them anymore, they should rather return the houses to government.
“If you don’t want the houses return them. We are not here to make people rich. We want to address the housing backlog,” she said.
She appealed to the new home owners to ensure they honour their instalments and report any difficulties with regard to payments as soon as possible to avoid their house being repossessed.
“Consult as early as possible if you have any problem so that we can solve it or if you are being assisted by a family member to ensure that the house remains in the family,” she said.