WINDHOEK, 29 MAR – Most local authorities use land prices and the costs in servicing of land as an excuse to avail land to developers at the expense of the poor and low-income groups.
This was said by United People’s Movement Parliamentarian Jan van Wyk while delivering his contribution on the 2018/19 National Budget in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Van Wyk explained that once developers service land, they sell it at high cost, instead of local authorities servicing land and selling it to the community at a reasonable price.
“Land prices have been inflicted by those who can afford it and nothing has been done to attend to the problem at hand,” said Van Wyk.
He emphasised that across the country, huge portions of urban land are made available at high cost to generate income for local authorities to cover their running expenses, instead of using funds they generate for the servicing of land.
Van Wyk further said Namibia is becoming a nation of informal settlements, with the Hardap Region presently cited with the highest number of squatter camps at about 52 per cent.
“The poor are begging for a piece of land; the developers and we, the politicians, are making deals speculating with land in urban areas, making sure that we are covered. Should we not first think about the landless and advise where necessary instead of helping ourselves?” asked Van Wyk.
He noted that availing of urban land will remain a challenge as political will to attend to the issue is lacking, thus resulting in land grabbing and chaos.
Van Wyk urged Government to give urgent attention to the lack of affordable, standard land to the poor as people are tired of waiting for urban land and forced to squat in backyards, paying high rent which advances only the high-income earners.