WINDHOEK, 19 APR – The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development’s 2017/18 performance was below target, largely due to the limited budgetary provisions, according to Minister Peya Mushelenga.
The ministry was allocated N.dollars 1.9 billion during the 2017/18 financial year, which former minister, Sophia Shaningwa, also deemed too little at the time.
Mushelenga, during his 2018/19 budget motivation speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday, added that the poor performance was accompanied by capacity constraints at the level of implementation, but assured that the ministry will strive to complete its programmes.
“With the recent budget allocation of more than N.dollars 2 billion, the ministry intends to continue and expand a number of its ongoing interventions that are implemented through regional councils, aimed at improving the livelihoods of rural residents,” he noted.
According to the minister, this budget allocation will be utilised to fund the implementation of operational and developmental activities grouped under five main programmes.
An amount of more than N.dollars 90 million has been allocated to the Rural Development Programme, which will be used to empower rural communities and improve sanitation, among others.
“In line with our commitment under the Fifth National Development Plan and Harambee Prosperity Plan, combined efforts between the ministry and regional councils resulted in improved sanitation of 1 691 ventilated pit latrines,” said Mushelenga.
One of the programmes – Support to Planning, Infrastructure and Housing Development – which consists of interventions aimed at supporting and expanding the development and provision of housing, will require just over N.dollars 1 billion.
During the previous financial year, the ministry in partnership with other stakeholders also recorded achievements, which include the passing of the Urban and Regional Planning Bill aimed at fostering uniform standards in spatial planning in the country.
“A combination of efforts from the government, community-based organisations such as the Shack Dwellers Federation, through public private partnership, were able to build 4 960 housing units”.
Other programmes the ministry is aiming to pursue include the Enhancement of Public Participation, Coordination of Regional Councils, Local and Traditional Authorities, and Policy Supervision and Support Services.