Delays slow development

The City of Windhoek has been sitting on hundreds of rezoning applications, much to the frustration of developers who find the process painfully slow.

13 September 2017 | Local News

In a self-described military-style effort to avoid a potential loss of “tens of millions of Namibian dollars” the City of Windhoek this year hastily processed 217 rezoning applications which had been part of a backlog dating back to 2010.

Minutes from the August City of Windhoek council meeting show that slow progress in processing 352 rezoning applications had “created huge frustration in the industry”, at a time when development could play a crucial role for the city's prospects.

The council documents indicate that the municipality is partly blaming the delays on the limitations of the existing policy areas, and City officials have recommended an “urgent re-evaluation of the policy areas and its implementation.”

Four applications from 2010, nine from 2011, 14 from 2012, 17 from 2013, 59 from 2014, 107 from 2015 and 142 dating back to last year, have led to mounting frustration among developers and others.

City officials, as per the council minutes, noted that a “major concern” was that there were no provisions allowing the City to “use policy areas as a development guideline tool” and a number of problems have plagued rezoning application processes to the detriment of the City's town planning schemes.

Policy areas are areas that have been identified as multi-purpose land use areas, where rezoning applications in theory can be approved quicker, but industry insiders say that some applications take several years to be processed.

However, the municipality noted that rezoning applications in these policy areas “do not guarantee automatic approval” although many, including consultants and applicants, “regard it as an automatic approval” which has led to numerous appeals at Namibia Planning and Advisory Board (Nampab).

As a result of this, the City claims that development in regards to land-use changes and development potential is being “determined by developers, consultants and some property speculators” and not by the municipality.

“Put another way – the City of Windhoek is no longer guiding land-use management.”

Do the work

In a final attempt push for the processing of hundreds of outstanding applications, members of the Namibia Institute of Town and Regional Planning (NITRP) earlier this year submitted an amendment scheme on behalf of the City, in an attempt to bypass the City's urban policy team and take the matter to a higher authority.

NITRP approached Nampab, the authority that is authorised to approve such an amendment scheme should the option be viewed as necessary by the relevant ministry.

Subsequently, Nampab advertised the proposed amendment scheme and set a 19 September deadline for the City of Windhoek to object and to respond to the scheme, which contains 217 of the 352 outstanding applications.

According to the city council, the submission of the amendment scheme, and its potential approval by Nampab, could have led to a number of complications, in addition to a potential “significant loss of income amounting to several tens of millions of Namibian dollars.”

The minutes state that the potential consequences of the amendment scheme may have led to the approval of applications which the City, following its guidelines, would have declined.

The council also said there was a risk that applications would be approved, despite objections from the public.

Another risk was the approval for “rezoning without adequate supporting infrastructure” and rezoning outside of the existing provisions of the Windhoek Town Planning Scheme.

In response, the municipality compiled an action plan that revolved around “a military-style exercise” aimed at dealing with all 217 applications prior to next week's deadline.

The minutes state that an action plan was crucial, and successful.

The City noted that it was “highly unlikely” that Nampab would have accepted any further delays and that Nampab would more than likely have approved the amendment scheme as submitted by NITRP, leading to a number of potential complications as listed by the City.

According to officials at the municipality, the recent events and the submission of the amendment scheme highlighted that “there is a very real and urgent need” for amending the municipality's town planning methods.

“This is considered an absolutely critical issue that requires urgent resolution to regain control over development and as such it is imperative that a proper policy areas study be concluded as soon as possible.”

A number of recommendations were approved by the council in order to address the issue, including a policy area study.

Quick work after slow progress

The “military-style” action plan led to the municipality approving 64 applications plus 95 applications on condition of minor changes. A total of 58 could not be approved.

The approved rezoning applications will now be submitted to Nampab for approval.


Similar News


Kuvukiland time bomb

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Kuvukiland, Tsumeb's largest informal area, has grown from a mere ten inhabitants in 2010 to anywhere between 6 500 and 15 000 people, a Namibian...

Baster community to debate new leadership

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

A newly established committee is calling on interested Rehoboth Baster people to attend a community meeting at Rehoboth on Sunday, 11 March at 15:00. The...

SA to discuss Namibian corruption

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

A roundtable discussion hosted in South Africa, to discuss whether anti-corruption efforts in Namibia have reached a tipping point, has raised eyebrows. The discussion is...

Child support in shambles

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Namibia's robust child maintenance law continues to fail many people because a myriad of flaws undercuts its potential, often leaving single parents and their offspring...

Ya Ndakolo a popile elando lyofaalama

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Elando lyofaalama ndjoka olya popiwa nokukundathana mopaliamende yoshilongo mEtiyai.Minista Penda Ya Ndakolo, okwa popi ngaaka sha landula oolopota kutya omuleli gwoshilongo na okuli Komanda...

Ta ya nyenyeta egandjo lyuukwatya waakondjelimanguluko

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Mombaaapila ye ndjoka a shangele omudhindoli gwoshifokundaneki, Jahrs okwa popi kutya epangelo inali talako aahwahwameki ya za komahala ga yooloka ngaashi Vaalgras muumbugantu...

Aailongi yaUnam ya kwathele omwiilongi omukwawo

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Aailongi moshiputudhilo shoUniversiti yaNamibia, moKhomasdal oya futilemo mondholongo omwiilongi omukwawo, mompangulilo yaMangestrara gwaKatutura mEtitatu. Muukumwe aaiilongi mboka oga gongele oshimaliwa shooN$1 500, opo ya fute...

Oongangala tadhi li nedhina lyaminista

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Ominista yUundjolowele nOnkalonawa, Bernhard Haufiku oya kunkilile oshigwana opo shilopote kehe gumwe ngoka ta hehela iimaliwa nedhina lye, konima sho oondokotola dhimwe po dha...

IPPR gets global thumbs-up

3 days ago - 22 February 2018 | Local News

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has been rated 35th out of an estimated 664 think tanks in sub-Saharan Africa. The IPPR was further...

Omaheke also gets maternity waiting home

3 days ago - 22 February 2018 | Local News

The Omaheke Regional Health Directorate will on Friday inaugurate a new maternity waiting home constructed through funding from the European Union (EU).The waiting home will...

Latest News

DebMarine prelims to kick off...

1 day - 24 February 2018 | Sports

The DebMarine Namibia Cup kicks off on 3 March countrywide, with clubs in the first and second divisions battling it out to secure a place...

Outjo donkey abattoir off the...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Agriculture

Plans to build a donkey abattoir in Outjo have folded.Fu-Hai Trading Enterprises, reportedly co-owned by Swakopmund estate agent Shane Quinton Hangula and a Chinese business...

One Africa Television Chief Executive...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Business

Namibia’s first ever free-to-air, independent TV broadcaster in Namibia, One Africa Television was founded in 2003, the brainchild of Namibian photographer and businessman, the late...

3 Key Social Media Trends...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Education

Like it or not, you are recruiting in the world of Google. Just as easily as you can go to the Internet to look things...

Union warns private schools

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKES The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) intends to clamp down on fly-by-night private schools that allegedly exploit...

Mwoombola fights back

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Justice

Former health permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola has launched a two-fold application in the Labour Court, in which he wants to court to either halt his...

Elephants cause havoc

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Environment

Several elephant herds have over the past few weeks caused havoc on farms in the Outjo District, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in...

The Basics of Branding

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Business

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it...

How to Communicate Effectively in...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Education

Communication is essential for the smooth running of a business, whether it is between colleagues, with a client or with customers.With technology creating a multitude...

Load More