100 squatters to receive plots

The relocations, set to take place within the next two months will provide a piece of land to 100 former squatters.

08 February 2019 | Infrastructure

The Ondangwa town council plans to relocate about 100 squatters at the Uutala informal settlement, and allocate them plots at Onatsi, where they will be given title deeds to their land.

Town council CEO Ismael Namgongo said this is being done to pave way for development to take place Uutala, where the squatters are currently occupying land.

The relocations will take place within the next two months.

Namgongo said the squatters are occupying part of what is known as Extension 7, which is situated behind the Nored offices.

He said the land has been earmarked for industrial use and was already surveyed and mapped out some years ago. It had been left vacant while the town council looked for money to install the necessary services. He said at the new settlement there will be water and electricity and those that want to build permanent structures will be allowed to do so, as long municipality regulations are followed.

“These settlers took advantage of the situation and started occupying the municipal land illegally. Over the years we have been engaging them and they told us they were just forced by the situation to settle there. We, however, told them that they will be relocated because the land was already earmarked for another development,” said Namgongo.

“The majority of the settlers are low-income earners and during our engagement meetings with them they pleaded with us not to evict them, but rather relocate them.”

Namgongo said a meeting will be held on 16 February at Uutala and the squatters will be informed on the way forward.

“The purpose of the meeting will be for the council to issue relocation letters and inform them to cooperate during the relocation process. We are also going to explain the terms and conditions to be followed for the settlers to be given water and electricity at the new settlement,” he said.

Namgongo said the town council had identified suitable land at Onatsi behind the Gwashamba Mall and they are convinced it will accommodate all the Uutala squatters.

He added that land-grabbing is not tolerated at the town and the town council is going to be more vigilant and react quicker to any such incidents.

“We have a challenge of high-income earners grabbing municipal land, putting up structures and renting them to the poor. This time around we are not going to entertain these people. Only low-income earners will be relocated; those that do not deserve it will be evicted, because many of them either already have houses in town or they can afford land in formal areas,” Namgongo added.

ILENI NANDJATO

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