While some residents are rejoicing at having received newly serviced erven to call their own, some are unhappy with the municipality’s failure to build toilets on the erven before handing them over.
About 86 people became owners of the new serviced erven that were handed over last December, but some say the efforts by the municipality to service the erven seem to have gone to waste, as people are without basic ablution facilities, while they live in a serviced area.
“What is the use that we stay at a serviced area, but still have no toilets? Why didn’t the municipality just add toilets for us?” These are some of the many questions the affected residents are asking.Many are of the view that despite being on serviced erven they are still far from getting access to toilets, water or electricity, with some fearing they will remain on serviced erven without these basic services forever. One of the residents, Jacobs Afrikaner, questioned why the municipality did not make an effort to set up toilets on the new erven before handing them over, saying people will not be able to build toilets on their own, as it is expensive and most of the residents are elders.
“They were supposed to at least set up toilets for us first before giving us the plots. Now it’s very difficult and many will remain without toilets and will end up using the open area in their yards to answer to the call of nature,” he said.
Although thankful for the erven, Norries Fredrik also said the ablution facilities should have come with the erven, as they are essential, and with time the owners can work on building their houses and bringing water and electricity to their erven.
“Toilets were supposed to have been built first, because now it’s a big problem and believe me if you come back in June most of these erven will still be without toilets and many of the yards will be full of faeces,” said Fredrik. Leena Swartbooi, who recently moved to her new plot with her three children, is thankful that after about four years of waiting she finally got her erf on which she can build her own house, but said this will be very difficult for many.
She explained that most of the people who got the erven are unemployed, or domestic and general workers. With their meagre income, building a proper brick-house on these erven remains a distant dream. “We are mostly domestic and general workers and as expensive as things are we can’t afford them,” she noted.
Keetmanshoop municipal spokesperson Dawn Kruger confirmed to New Era that about 86 of the 100 serviced erven in Tseiblaagte Extension 6 have been allocated to new owners and that the owners have been given the green light to start moving onto their new erven.
Kruger noted that the erven are to be leased for N$210 per month until such a time that the registration process is finalised and the owners will then be given an option to buy the erven. She further said it is up to the tenants to build their houses, toilets, as well as bring water and electricity to their plots. They can do this by applying to the municipality, she said.
“For now, they will be renting the plots and they can buy them at a later stage. They can build their houses and toilets themselves. We’ve done our part in servicing the area.”