Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-More than 1,000 landless people residing on 10 plots between the main road and Tutaleni in Walvis Bay face possible eviction by the Walvis Bay Municipality.
The problem of a shortage of residential plots at Walvis Bay is so acute that 50,000 people, which is half of the town’s population, share 13,500 shacks, translating to about four individuals per shack.
The residents could find themselves out in the cold once again after they were served with an eviction order a week ago (last Thursday) by the Walvis Bay sheriff.
They are expected to vacate the plots within 10 days, according to the eviction order.
This despite the fact that some of them were temporarily resettled on a piece of land by the municipality last year after clashing with the police for illegally occupying private land behind Tutaleni.
This is the second time the municipality instituted an eviction order against the landless residents, who said they were forced to occupy the land due to high rental cost of shacks as well as the unavailability of affordable land and houses at the town.
The municipality in May also tried to obtain an interim interdict against the landless but it was dismissed after its legal representative failed to show up at court.
Speaking on behalf of residents, Nehale LyaMpingana told New Era yesterday they were surprised by the latest move of the municipality as they were under the impression they woud be accommodated on the piece of land while the council sought a permanent solution.
“We are very worried as we have nowhere else to go with our families. Some of the women even have small babies. Who do we turn to if the people that are supposed to look after our needs are letting us down?” LyaMpingana said yesterday.
He however added that they are hoping for a solution so that they won’t have to move.
When contacted on Tuesday lawyer Henry Shimutikweni, who successfully had the previous eviction order nullified, said that it was too premature to comment on the issue.
“I can’t really comment although we are working on it. We will however only know by Thursday how we will assist the landless residents at Walvis Bay,” he said.
CEO of the Walvis Bay Municipality, Muronga Haingura, could not be reached yesterday as he was engaged in a series of meetings related to the matter.