Developers face 'regulation'

The urban and rural development ministry has announced a list of proposals to speed up its much-lambasted and sluggish land and housing delivery programme.

05 October 2018 | Infrastructure

The ministry of urban and rural development has proposed regulating the sale of land to private developers, especially to “prevent land speculation and the sale of large tracts of land to a few individuals and developers”.

This is among the many recommendations to address government's failed housing programme, which also include enhancing community participation through improved partnerships with NGOs like the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), ministry permanent secretary Nghidinua Daniel told participants at the country's second land conference this week.

On rentals, Daniel said appropriate instruments need to be implemented to protect both tenants and landlords.

Moreover, in line with initiatives rolled out by private and local authority stakeholders in several towns, the ministry aims to establish a rental-to own housing scheme, while adopting affordable incremental design, layout and building methods, and the pre-allocation of unserviced land.

Daniel explained this is in line with several initiatives in towns where low-income residents are provided with minimally serviced land, and are allowed to build their houses, with more services added on later.

Another recommendation put on the table is to introduce cross-subsidisation.

Daniel said the ministry proposes expediting the rollout of the flexible land tenure system, and increased state investment in the massive urban land servicing programme (MULSP), as well as a revision of the mass housing blueprint and implementation strategy. At the start of his presentation, he said the urban and rural housing sector in Namibia “is characterised by a huge backlog in the supply of and demand for serviced land and housing in urban areas in particular and the country in general”.



Blame game

Daniel said this state of affairs is due to a combination of factors, including rapid urbanisation, population growth, as well as poverty.

He admitted that affordability is a big problem and described the “mismatch between the types and pricing of housing products that are available on the one hand, and the needs and affordability levels of a large section of the needy on the other hand”, as a problem.

The lack of housing financing facilities, especially for low-income residents, was also highlighted, including rigid lending requirements.

He also pointed out that “overpricing and speculative activities by some developers due to a lack of enforcement of regulatory controls on pricing”, has contributed to the massive backlog. Further, a lack of transparency and inclusivity in the manner in which serviced or unserviced land is earmarked for sale by local authorities, is problematic.

Slow delivery, he said, was because of these and many other issues, including high input costs, lack of integrated and proactive urban planning, and cumbersome administrative and legal procedures.

Moreover, weak institutional and technical capacity at central and local government level is partly to blame.

He also listed the continued reliance on conventional construction materials and technologies, long delays in projects and a “lack of clarity between the jurisdictions and traditional authorities, resulting in conflicts and disputes and consequent delays”.

Daniel further claimed that some local authorities have “reached their set townland boundaries and no longer have any land to service and provide, requiring the acquisition of either communally occupied or privately owned farmland for compensation”.



Other solutions

Other solutions he shared with participants include boosting partnerships with private entities and setting clearly predetermined targets, facilitating open and competitive procurement processes and ensuring the fair distribution of risks, costs and benefits between government and private partners.

Daniel further proposed continued financial and technical support to regional councils and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), with set conditions and targets.

Another proposal was the manufacturing and use of cost-effective building materials.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000 residents

3 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Red tape delays housing handover

5 days ago - 18 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Windhoek town planning constraints and red tape, along with a host of other troubles, are to blame for the protracted delays in the handing over...

DBN pushes affordable homes

1 week ago - 11 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Fast-tracking residential land delivery and affordable housing will not only empower cash-strapped low-income earners and ensure them a stake in the local economy, but lead...

Hold-up on highways

1 week ago - 11 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Major sections of the Okahandja dual carriageway and the road from Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport are yet to be completed.Works minister John Mutorwa...

Engineers, builders to pay for RA building repairs

3 weeks ago - 01 March 2019 | Infrastructure

The consulting engineering firm and the building contractor Namibia Construction will have to foot the bill for repairs to the Roads Authority’s new N$219 million...

GIPF pumps millions into housing at Eenhana

3 weeks ago - 28 February 2019 | Infrastructure

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has invested N$17.4 million in housing aimed at low- and medium- income groups at Eenhana in the Ohangwena region.According...

Oopoloyeka mbali dhomoshilongo dha talika unene omeho komahangano gopondje...

3 weeks ago - 28 February 2019 | Infrastructure

OGONE TLHAGEEhangano lyaChina lyoChina Harbor Engineering Company, olya tulwa momusholondondo gwokulonga oopoloyeka adhihe dhoka mbali.Ehangano ndyoka olya ningi eindilo lyiimanga kumwe nehangano lyomoshilongo lyoRoadhart CC...

Foreigners dominate bids

3 weeks ago - 26 February 2019 | Infrastructure

A total of 25 companies have been shortlisted for the construction and upgrade of the Walvis Bay-Kranzberg railway line and the construction of a new...

N$500 million bailout for RA

3 weeks ago - 25 February 2019 | Infrastructure

The Road Fund Administration (RFA) has bailed out the Roads Authority (RA) to the tune of N$500 million, so the ailing parastatal can settle outstanding...

First Lady enters shack fray

1 month - 20 February 2019 | Infrastructure

First Lady Monica Geingos has reached out to experts to bring their ideas on how to solve the housing crisis to the attention of policymakers....

Latest News

Namibians first!

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

The Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia has proposed that bidders with less than 100% ownership by Namibian citizens should be disqualified from bidding for...

2019 ‘to-do’ lists for business...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Columns

Getting your business off to a great start in a new year requires planning, critical thinking and dedication to executing your strategy.We asked Forbes Coaches...

A fierce corporate climber

1 day - 22 March 2019 | People

Carlota David-Howoses was born and grew up in Rundu.She attended Noordgrens Secondary School in Rundu, then moved over to Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb and...

We are at a crossroads

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Opinion

I remember when I turned 29. The battle scars were starting to show. There were hard decisions. The hangovers of 'nice times' and the gay...

Pupkewitz Megaboards opens door

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

Pupkewitz Megabuild recently opened a new subsidiary, Pupkewitz Megaboards. “Pupkewitz Megabuild continues to expand its product and service offering in line with the Pupkewitz Group’s...

Satrix lists ETFs on local...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

Satrix on Tuesday announced its secondary listing of its global exchange traded funds (ETFs) suite on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).The listing is the first...

Corruption - A social disease...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Columns

Johan Coetzee - One of the most popular indices used by investors to provide them with an indication of the level of corruption and governance...

Government pharmaceutical plant on hold

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Health

Government's plan to construct a pharmaceutical plant is on hold until various agreements are reached with private sector partners involved in the project.This is according...

Local content top priority

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Economics

A 'buy local' policy with local content requirements will, in the long run, help smaller businesses to sell goods and services to government.This was the...

Load More