Windhoek-Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa has voiced concern over the “slow pace” at which the City of Windhoek is availing serviced urban land.
Speaking on Friday at the launch of the City’s Transformational Strategic Plan 2017-2022, Shaningwa said that last month she was requested in the National Assembly to provide statistics as to how many residential erven were serviced since 2014 in various localities, including Windhoek
“The statistics for Windhoek as a capital city were very disappointing. We understand that the topography here makes it difficult to service land, but this must not be an excuse,” she said.
She further said the private sector can play a meaningful role by investing in viable projects through public-private partnerships, but it seems these opportunities were given to a few developers time and again.
Therefore, she said, Windhoek Municipality needed to improve its performance in the delivery of serviced land and affordable housing.
“In order to address these challenges, more innovative means of execution of duties, allocation of resources and general management is required,” she said.
“It should no longer be business as usual if we, as public servants, intend to make a meaningful impact on the challenges which hold many of our fellow countrymen and women in poverty,” she advised.
Shaningwa expressed the hope that the City’s new Transformational Strategic Plan would meet such expectations. “It is, therefore, just a matter of speedy implementation of the projects, so that tangible results are visible and felt by the residents of Windhoek,” she said.
“It is my hope and belief that your strategic plan has critically analysed the issues that painted dark spots on the institution and the undesirable aspects are addressed with dynamism, guided by the current circumstances.”
Speaking at the same event, Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise said the five-year strategic plan takes cognizance of the challenges faced in 2015/2016, such as pressure for land delivery and the ongoing water crisis, which contributed to bulk water supply costs, as well as resource constraints.
“We have realised that we cannot continue doing what we have been doing for the past 10 years and expect changes, hence the need for a new strategic plan,” Kahimise said.
The new plan is structured under two key themes: governance and financial sustainability; and social progression, economic advancement and infrastructure development.
Within the first two years of the new strategic period, Kahimise said, the City would seek to address the more immediate and pressing issues of financial sustainability and governance.