A walk to the bank

29 March 2018 | Business

Ndama Nakashole - About a fifth of households in Namibia travel about 1km to reach the nearest bank, while almost the same number of households travel a distance of more than 40km to access the nearest facility. The portion of households who travel less than 1km is higher in urban areas where a third of households travel that distance to get to a bank. In rural areas, only 2% of households travel less than 1km to get to a banking facility.

While close to a fifth (19.5%) of households in the country travel over 40km to reach a bank, only a small portion of households in urban areas can relate, while 40% of households in rural areas travel the same distance.

Details in the 2015/16 Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES), released this month, further state that close to a third of households travel a distance of 2 to 5km to reach a banking facility, comprised of 46.7% of urban households and less than 7% of rural households.

In Namibia, households travel a distance of between 6 to 10km, 11 to 25km and 26 to 40km. Of the 544 655 households in the country, 4.8% do not know the distance they travel to access a bank from their homes. Of these, the majority are households are from the Kavango East, Oshikoto, Kunene and Ohangwena regions.

Regions

At a regional level, Erongo has the highest number of privileged households when it comes to accessing banks by distance, as over 80% of households in the region travel either less than 1km or between 2 to 5km to get to the bank.

Other regions who have majority of households who travel either less than 1km and 2 to 5km to get to the bank are //Karas (70.5%), Hardap (63.4%), Khomas (66.5%), Oshana (59.3%) and Otjozondjupa (55.9%).

Close to half of households in Kavango West, Kunene, Omaheke and Zambezi travel over 40km to the bank. Unsurprisingly, these regions have a small amount of households who travel less 1km to the bank, except for Kunene, where 21% of households travel less than 1km to the bank.

Other regions with sizeable number of households who travel over 40km to the bank are Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango East, Hardap and //Karas, with between 20 and 35% of households in these regions travelling that distance.

The measure of households by distance to banking facilities was introduced in the Namibia 2015/16 NHIES, as it was not used in the 2009/10 survey.

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