Hydraform surfaces again

The company said it would not obey police orders to stop registrations in Oshakati, as no case has been opened against it.

31 August 2020 | Local News

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

OSHAKATI



Police in the Oshana Region have stopped operations at Hydraform Interlocking Solutions' office in Oshakati and warned residents against associating with the building scheme, including paying money to the company.

This comes after the Oshakati town council distanced itself from the company, which is registering people for a low-cost housing project.

Those who registered were told that the town council had given the company land to start building in August at Ekuku, Ehenye, Extension 16 as well as in Ongwediva and Ondangwa.



Not the first time

This is not the first time this company has promised affordable houses to Namibians.

In 2013, Hydraform used the same modus operandi with more than 4 000 people from Rehoboth, Groot Aub and Gobabis, who flocked to its offices to register for houses. A year later, the houses had still not been built.

The same amounts have been charged to the Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa residents who signed up. They paid between N$250 and N$500 non-refundable registration fees each, depending on the size of the house they had chosen.

Hydraform Interlocking Solutions' spokesperson, Daniel Isaaks, insists houses were built in other towns, adding that people should bear in mind that land delivery throughout Namibia is a slow process, which is why the company has not met the needs of the targeted market yet.

This could not be confirmed, as officials of the Rehoboth town council were not reachable. Isaaks showed letters dating back to 2017, which indicate that the Rehoboth municipality gave permission for the company to build show houses by no later than March 2019.



Wary

Oshakati municipality spokesperson Katarina Kamari said the council has not allocated land to any developers and the last time it did that was in 2017. She warned residents to beware of scammers who present themselves as property developers.

Kamari issued a statement in which she said that the council had not provided any land to Hydraform to build houses within the boundaries of Oshakati.

She said residents should contact the council's planning and property development department for verification if they have any doubts about a project. “All council-approved developers require no deposit or administration fees for applications or assessment of affordability,” Kamari said.



No land made available

Oshana governor Elia Irimari told Namibian Sun that the regional council had not made land available to Hydraform either.

His office, through chief regional officer Martin Elago, subsequently issued a statement, which read: “The regional council has not granted any permission to Hydraform Interlocking Solutions in any of its three local authority areas (Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati) or its two settlement areas (Eheke and Uukwangula).”

Elago reiterated that the regional council's housing application forms are free of charge and can be obtained from the settlement area offices and on their website.



Disappointed

Isaaks expressed disappointment with the regional council for distancing themselves from the company, saying they had agreed on a business model. Isaaks said the Oshakati municipality was invited when they made a presentation to the regional council, but did not show up.

“We have not applied for land from the Oshakati town council as yet because we are busy with the process of data collection, which is done via WhatsApp and online registration,” he said.

Isaaks said initially their focus was on residents who had plots already and were struggling to build on them. However, when Namibian Sun accompanied some residents to register for houses, the women doing the registration promised them plots as well. Isaaks added that they had not promised 16 000 houses, labelling it as “fake news”.

Isaaks said the company would not obey police orders to stop the registration, as no case has been opened against them. “We are a legally registered company that pays tax, so I see no reason why we must terminate our business operations,” he said.

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