The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has advised government to purchase brick-making machines, corrugated-iron sheet making-machines, cement and “jumbo rolls”, and make use of National Youth Service (NYS) trainees and Namibia Defence Force (NDF) soldiers to build houses under social housing schemes.
According to the SPYL, such efforts would help address the housing shortfall, adding that the Swapo-led government would be critically measured on its ability to address the serious housing problem that has persisted for years.
Should government fail to address the housing crisis with the urgency it deserves, it will encounter serious political uphill battles and possibly social unrest, the youth body further warns. The warnings and requests were contained in a letter authored by SPYL acting secretary and National Assembly backbencher Veikko Nekundi, addressed to Swapo Party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba.
Nekundi stressed that in addressing the housing challenge in the country, there should be an open acknowledgement that there are citizens who cannot afford to purchase or build decent houses for themselves and their families.
The politician added that as a progressive movement and the transmitting belt of the mother-party’s ideologies and programmes, the SPYL proposes a five-fold immediate solution to the housing crisis.
“The government should purchase brick-making machines for each region or as per feasibility, purchase corrugated-iron sheet machines per region, or as per feasibility,” Nekundi wrote to Mbumba.
“The government should purchase cement directly from the cement mine, iron sheets and jumbo rolls directly from factories,” he said.
“Government [must] make use of the National Youth Service trainees and Namibian Defence Force members,” suggested Nekundi in a proposal that is likely to be warmly embraced.
He explained that the cement will be used to make bricks to build the houses, while the iron sheets and jumbo rolls will be used to manufacture corrugated-iron sheets for the construction of houses throughout the country.
According to Nekundi, the men and women in uniform plus the trainees would construct the houses on a voluntary basis.
He further said each house should have three bedrooms to provide for a family dwelling, adding that anyone wishing to benefit from the houses must get involved in the initial construction of the houses on a “volunteer basis”.
In the four-page letter, he also advises government to ensure that any person to be employed in government service should have done voluntary service.
“This programme shall continue for many years, as it can also be used as a tool to reduce housing prices in our country – thereby persons earning low salaries and wages will be able to purchase materials at a low cost, which will afford them the opportunity to own a decent house,” suggested Nekundi.
On rural enterprises development, Nekundi says this is a standing tool towards President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and speaks to his mantra of ‘no one should feel left out’. The HPP speaks of the establishment of 121 enterprises across the country.
He urged that the 14 constituency youth forums should establish these enterprises, and in addition regional youth forums should each establish enterprises to panel-beat government vehicles and refurbish school desks and chairs.
“Vocational training graduates [should] co-own these enterprises in the form of private-public partnerships.”
Furthermore, he added that government should profile the top 14 imported commodities and a further analysis should ascertain whether such commodities could be produced or assembled locally.