MTC to build 270 houses

Telecommunications giant MTC plans to construct houses to mitigate the current housing crisis, but construction depends on local authorities availing land.

28 February 2020 | Infrastructure

MTC is planning to construct 270 houses and will partner with the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) for the delivery of the homes in 16 towns and villages. The telecommunications giant has called on local authorities to make affordable land available for the construction of the houses.

MTC executive Tim Ekandjo announced the mobile operator's ambitious plans, saying it was part of efforts to restore the dignity of Namibians.

“Given the high number of Namibians without housing, MTC has taken this project very seriously and we believe that our partnership with the SDFN, through the Buy-A-Brick project, is something that must become a success so that we restore the dignity of so many Namibians,” said Ekandjo.

The 270 houses will be spread among nine regions - Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Ohangwena, Kunene, Oshana, Zambezi, Kavango West, Omusati and Hardap.

The towns targeted include Omaruru, Swakopmund, Okahandja, Grootfontein, Okakarara, Kalfkeld, Eenhana, Opuwo, Oshakati, Ondangwa, Katima Mulilo, Bukalo, Rupara, Okahao, Onesi and Aranos.

Ekandjo said although these towns have been targeted, construction depends on local authorities at towns and villages making land available.

“The model used by the SDFN remains the most viable to build a decent house for between N$30 000 and N$40 000, but the authorities that own the land must bring their part by making land available, so that the building of the houses can start with immediate effect. The longer we wait, the worse the housing problem becomes,” said Ekandjo.

Government in 2015 canned the Mass Housing project that intended to deliver 185 000 houses by 2030.

Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba recently expressed sadness about the lack of housing, saying the initiative should not have been discontinued.

“We have tried but we have not succeeded.

“If you go to places in Katutura, Greenwell Matongo, Tobias Hainyeko and you look at the housing [structures] of our people, you sympathise with those who are living in those houses,” he told Nampa.

It is estimated that there over 308 informal settlements in Namibia with a staggering 228 000 shacks accommodating about 995 000 people.

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