Onawa-The Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa has lauded the Oshakati Town Council for setting the trend in establishing a reception area for low-income earners.
This is the second time she praises the council, after the minister last year also praised Oshakati for availing affordable land to residents and for successfully implementing the mass urban land servicing project ahead of Windhoek and Walvis Bay.
On Monday, the Oshakati Town Council held a ground-breaking ceremony for the servicing of 400 erven of the 3,000 erven earmarked at Onawa.
The reception area at Onawa will cater for people in informal settlements such as Sky, Oneshila and Pohamba, said the CEO of Oshakati Town Council Werner Iita after the event.
Shaningwa said N$7 million was already set aside to install basic services such as water, electricity and roads as from next January.
She said a reception area is very vital because there is currently a high influx of people to towns in search of better and improved services.
The minister said the establishment of reception areas would address the lack of land and housing for those flocking to towns in search of services.
“And because of this our people come to town and find it very difficult because they do not have places to stay – sometimes they rent for exorbitant amounts of money. Money which they do not have at all times,” said Shaningwa.
She said the ministry would not allow people to settle anywhere, adding that the ministry is committed to provide services to people.
“Every piece of land in the town has a purpose and sometimes you find yourself on land that has a purpose and the moment you are told to vacate you say the politicians are bad – so this time we want to be proactive and respond to the needs of people,” said Shaningwa. The minister appealed to residents who will be relocated to Onawa to seek better erven once their salaries have improved as the area will cater mostly for people in informal employment.
Shaningwa appealed to other local authorities to emulate Oshakati and create reception centres while they service land.
People being relocated to Onawa will be charged a minimal fee for municipal services, and she appealed that they honour payments for services rendered.
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Oshana Region, Clemens Kashuupula, complimented the town council for the successful implementation of the mass housing programme.
Kashuupulwa said the initiative of a reception area would improve housing conditions and sanitation, and enhance land service delivery.