Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – The provision of affordable housing and land for residents, especially low income earners, remains high on the agenda at Walvis Bay where council on Tuesday tabled a budget from which N$77 million was allocated to develop Farm 37.
Farm 37 is situated close to Dunes Mall at the coastal town, and was identified by council in 2016 already as an alternative to address the lack of affordable housing.
More than 18 000 Walvis residents live in shacks.
Council on Tuesday evening tabled an N$646 million capital budget for the 2018/2019 financial year. Some of the projects that are catered for under the current capital budget would be carried over to the next financial year.
As for the current financial year, Chairperson of the Management Committee Samson Nghilumbwa said, N$297 million will be spent during the current financial year, with the remaining N$359 million being carried over for the 2019/2020 budget and beyond.
Council’s operating budget is N$491 million, while the expected expenditure has been recorded at N$495 million, recording a deficit of about N$500 000.
Nghilumbwa said that housing remains one of the critical areas to which council will be allocating the lion’s share of the budget until this issue is fully addressed.
“The housing backlog we have in our country is at an alarming stage, to say the least. This challenge can only be addressed through a collective effort and innovative projects such as Farm 37 that will be tailored according to the affordability level of low income earners,” he said.
“Hence we will be engaging stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to address this very important aspect in order to ensure that our people are accommodated in proper living structures,” Nghilumbwa explained.
He also indicated that N$41 million will be allocated to community and social projects, singling out the upgrading of the Ekutu stalls in Kuisebmond, construction of the Tutaleni fire station, surveillance cameras as well as maintaining sports facilities.
A further N$112 million will be spend on service delivery projects such as the implementation and upgrading of water and sewer infrastructure.
Council also allocated N$25 million towards vehicle replacements and the purchasing of new vehicles for road and sewer system maintenance as well as for refuse removal.