1 000 Walvis homes by June

31 January 2017 | Infrastructure

Urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa has expressed satisfaction with the prices and quality of show houses being built by 22 contractors in Walvis Bay.

“I expect President Hage Geingob to inaugurate the houses and hand over keys to more than 1 000 new homeowners at the site by June,” the minister said upon the conclusion of a four-day visit to the coast on Monday.

She instructed the mayor to inform those contractors who finished on time and on budget to proceed with the construction of more than 1 200 houses.

“The contractors proved that decent houses can be built for less than N$500 000. I observed two- and three-bedroom houses being built within the space of two weeks.

This means Namibians can work efficiently and cost effectively,” said Shaningwa.





The minister reiterated that she was not interested in houses priced above the N$500 000 bracket and said she would only look at and consider affordable houses priced between N$500 000 and N$200 000 to aid the poor and address the need for low-cost housing.



“Those in control of financial institutions also responded positively to the project. Standard Bank visited the site, made a total commitment and indicated it was ready to provide mortgages for the houses being constructed. First National Bank did the same. Financial institutions must realise the importance of ensuring that money circulates in the country,” said the minister.



In reference to an application submitted by the Walvis Bay council to NAMPAB for land at Farm 37 to establish a new township for the construction of low-cost housing, Shaningwa said she advised councillors to submit proper applications to her ministry through the office of the permanent secretary.



“NAMPAB is part and parcel of the ministry. I will ensure that problems currently being experienced are dealt with adequately. There was no proclamation of new extensions in Walvis Bay for the past 50 years while the population has been growing rapidly. Institutions should understand that provision must be made for the proclamation of new areas to include these increases.



“The land belongs to the government and ministries should realise the need for extensions as the lack of it leads to congestion.”



The municipality of Walvis Bay last year awarded 44 residential plots at Extension 5 behind Tutaleni township to 22 selected contractors for the construction of 44 low-cost show houses.



The project in Walvis Bay is considered as a trial for the contactors, since a selected number of them will advance to the next phase of evaluation to ascertain which of the contractors have the capacity to build a further 900 houses.



People on the municipality's waiting list will have an opportunity to view the show houses and select the type they can afford.



The first of the 44 prototype units are already completed and more are expected to be finished by March.



Each contractor was allocated two erven, on which they are building houses in accordance with building plans and specifications provided by the municipality.



The project originates from a joint initiative by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance, which devised a public-private partnership concept specifically for the purpose of creating affordable housing.



About 2 000 homes will be built in Walvis Bay.





OTIS FINCK

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