Windhoek, Nov 17 – Namibia’s housing demand continues to outstrip supply, increasing rental prices in key urban centres. It is estimated that the housing backlog shortage is hovering above the
150 000 units for both low to middle income groups.

With the middle-income segment being serviced by serviced by private property developers and formal banking institutions, the same remains a distant dream for many low-to medium income groups.
However, whilst the government continues to place housing delivery at the core of its development agenda,
with the state driven policy aimed to increase land supply and incentivize the private sector to invest in housing.
Partners such as Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) and Huawei Telecommunications Namibia
(HUAWEI), have long agreed that the solution to the housing crisis in Namibia, should not only be left at
the doorstep of the state – but through a collective effort of all stakeholders especially that of corporate Namibia.

With that background, it formed the basis upon which since 2018 MTC and Huawei partnered with Standard Bank Namibia through their “Buy a brick initiative” with a monetary donation of N$10 million to support the efforts of housing through the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) to build decent shelter to
its close to 20 000 members country wide.

SDFN is a network of housing saving schemes with a membership of more than 20,000 members country-
wide; it aims to improve living conditions of low-income people living in shacks, rented rooms and those
without any accommodation
As part of those efforts MTC handed over 17 brand new house units to the community of Kalkveld
settlement in Otjozondjupa region on Monday 16th November 2020.
This were preceded by 20 houses in Grootfontein, 10 houses in Okakarara, and 15 yet to be constructed in
Okahandja, all in Otjozondjupa.
In the Ohangwena region, 22 houses were completed, with 30 houses earmarked for construction in Okongo
by end January 2021.
In Oshana region, 25 houses were completed in Oshakati, and 25 in Ondangwa. Whilst in Zambezi region
30 houses were built in Kongola. In the Kavango West, 25 houses were completed at Rupara and a further
eight houses in Kahenge.
Aranos and Stampriet in the Hardap region had 8 and 21 houses respectively constructed, while Omusati
region also had 8 houses completed.
The construction cost per unit ranged between N$30 000 and N$36 000.
Expressed Tim Ekandjo Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer at MTC “that the lack of
decent housing continues to be one of the most contentious issues in Namibia, which requires deliberate,
consistent, and unified efforts to address it.
“Adhering to consistency in fighting the issue of housing, last month, we successfully hosted the MTC
Knockout Project, this time with the focus to address homelessness. With this project, MTC in partnership
with other corporates, and together with the support of the public, managed to raise an amount of over one
million, which will be also used towards lessening homelessness status in the country.
“It is only through partnership that we will realized a meaningful improvement in restoring the dignity of
our fellow countrymen by providing decent shelter for a better living standard. It is therefore pleasing to
see Standard Bank and MTC and others beginning to join hands with Government in the fight to resolve
the housing crisis. We require these partnerships now – to develop a long-term sustainable economy.
And MTC as a customer centric company, we are very committed to giving back to our customers in
different forms and this is one of them. It is our hope that more corporates will come on board and contribute
to the Shack Dwellers Federation and compliment governments strategic goals to alleviate poverty and
provide dignified lives for all Namibians’ concluded Ekandjo.

Robert Maseka