The town of Keetmanshoop is in limbo over its inability to develop more townships as it has already reached its proclaimed township boundaries.
The last township planning took place in 1996 and no other plans have been developed and implemented ever since.
The high demand for land coupled with poor planning has left the municipality with the current problem as it searches for answers on what to do next.
Nevertheless the municipal council has embarked on creating more townships and currently has spent at least N$500 000 towards the realisation of its dream for new townships.
“We as the new council intend on creating two more townships, with one already having been established on top of the existing ones. Our big challenge is providing low-cost housing – we really want to bring development to the town and accommodate all the housing needs. We are thus requesting developers to come and provide low cost housing,” said Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Krohne during her delegation’s recent visit to the Tsumeb Municipality, where they were on a mission to solicit new ideas and skills on how other municipalities are operating to address social ills such as the land issue and new ways for township development.
Krohne commended the Tsumeb Municipality for having managed to deal with the land issue whereby it has earmarked land to be given to residents while other areas are being serviced.
The CEO of the Tsumeb Municipality, Alfeus Benjamin, urged the Keetmanshoop administration to ensure bridging the gap between the low level income earners and those that are financially well off, especially in the succeeding townships, and embrace fairness and equality.
Speaking to New Era Krohne said they are providing low-cost housing to the town through the Build Together Programme although she noted it is no longer affordable because the houses cost N$215 000, which the majority cannot afford.
“So far we have found three private developers that have shown interest in providing low-cost housing, and we will avail land to them to build. Further, we will now engage the shackdwellers’ federation to assist those whose income level is very low. But government is willing to subsidise those that are earning less than N$7 000, although land is sometimes expensive as it costs N$30 p/m² for unserviced and N$90 per square metre for serviced land,” added Krohne who emphasised they want to provide land at an affordable price.
During her visit she was accompanied by other municipal councillors and following their visit to Tsumeb they also visited Otjiwarongo Municipality before they proceeded to Ondangwa and Oshakati.
“We however do not have enough funds to do all these things, added to the fact that we do not have properties that belong to us where we can generate extra income. We are therefore unable to undertake any capital projects,” Krohne informed New Era.
Meanwhile, her counterpart the mayor of Tsumeb, Veueza Kasiringua, said that it was time to put the theory part aside and deal with the practicals.
“This clearly shows that there is a strong need for us to work together and tackle these issues by sharing some vital information on how to deal with such challenges you are faced with,” said Kasiringua.