Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-The Walvis Bay Town Council has sought support from landless residents at Walvis Bay to develop smaller erven at Farm 37, to ensure affordability.
Council and municipal officials presented the idea during community meetings held on Wednesday evening in Narraville and Kuisebmond with landless residents that will be relocated to Farm 37.
Farm 37 was identified in 2016 by the Walvis Bay Town Council and Erongo Regional Council as a solution to relocate more than 30,000 residents of whom 18,000 are backyard squatters.
Meanwhile, the government’s housing policy stipulates that a plot should be at least 300 square metres.
However, the Walvis Bay council indicates that servicing a 300-square metre plot will not cost less than N$100,000 and will be costly to the initial target group, which is low-income earners.
According to Walvis Bay Municipality’s general manager for housing, Jack Manale, they have realised that the plots will not be affordable to some residents, hence they saw the need to decrease the size of some plots.
“There will still be plots within the required size that normally start from 300 square metres. However, we want to ask for exemption from the government so that we can create smaller erven and give all residents plots that suit their individual needs and financial status,” explained Manale.
According to Walvis Bay Mayor Wilfred Immanuel, Farm 37 will be the third suburb proclaimed in Walvis Bay.
He says Narraville was the last suburb that was proclaimed about 50 years ago, and there is a need for a third suburb.
“However, we know that the people we want to relocate will not all be able to afford bigger plots at Farm 37. That is why we are here today to ask for your permission to make the size smaller and affordable for our target group,” the mayor said.
More than 2,000 landless residents attended the meeting and gave the council the go-ahead to apply for exemption in order to develop smaller and affordable plots.