City lifts moratorium on sales of institutional land

31 July 2018 | Local News

The Windhoek City Council has approved a revised Institutional Land Policy, paving the way for the lifting of a moratorium on the sale of institutional land.

This was approved at the council's seventh ordinary meeting.

City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said the moratorium was imposed about five years ago so that the City could consult and consider measures towards effective and efficient allocation of institutional land.

“With approval granted, churches and institutions that need to apply for institutional land are now able to submit their applications for council consideration and per required land allocation criteria,” Amutenya said.

The policy pertains to places of worship, government schools, private schools, welfare organisations and non-profit companies registered under section 21 of the Companies Act.

“As part of the policy the City will continue to subsidise institutional land for places of worship, but as part of the new amendments places of worship have a two-year window period to develop the land accorded to them, and land should be paid for in cash or by bank guarantee,” said Amutenya.

Places of worship that cannot afford to pay for land can lease it for no longer than five years with an option to buy the land.

Plots zoned as institutional land must be used for the approved purpose, but the City will accommodate those that intend to make use of 30% of the land for commercial gain.

Furthermore, the City has limited such land ownership to one plot per church.

The policy also makes provision for private schools, which will benefit from the land subsidy regardless of their commercial nature.

Amutenya said the lifting of the moratorium would help fuel the development of Windhoek, and was testimony to the City's willingness to ensure continued development in neighbourhoods.

The monthly council meeting also approved twinning agreements with the cities of Kingston and St. Andrew in Jamaica.

The agreements will cover areas of cooperation such as urban planning, municipal police and public safety, water security and management systems, tourism and cultural heritage, environmental and waste management and training.

ELLANIE SMIT

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