By Foibe N Paavo
SWAKOPMUND, May 16 – Swakopmund municipal officials briefed residents of the Wagdaar community on Sunday, 15 May to give an overview of plans for developing the new location.
Wagdaar includes all the people that were moved from the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) township proper, and other places, and relocated to the east of the DRC road.
As a result of Covid, during 2019-2020, Cabinet decided that people must be relocated from the informal settlement due to the large number of people that were living on one plot.
Three extensions (40, 41 and 42) were developed to open up space in the DRC and reduce the number of people living in the informal settlements.
A total of 561 households were relocated from the former DRC proper and allowed to settle in the new extension now named the Wagdaar community.
Extension 40 has 233 residential properties, while Extension 41 has 270 and Extension 42 has 270 as well, totalling 773 houses that can be built.
“It was much needed to move residents from informal settlements to an area where they can live on their own plots, so if you have your own erf now in Wagdaar, you must own it, it must become yours,” the municipality’s chief executive officer, Alfeus Benjamin said.
Outlining ownership options, he said the council could wait until they had serviced the whole area and then sell erven to residents at the service fee price.
But since people are already living on the plots, the council will service the area and provide basic services such as water and sewage. And whoever is living there must be listed because the person who owns that erf is going to get it under the Flexible Land-Tenure system.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Land Reform will handle the system where the resident plot owner will apply on a form for an ownership certificate. Once granted he or she will become the official owner of that particular plot. The certificate can also be used to access funding if one cannot afford to construct/build by themselves.
Swakopmund Mayor, Louisa Kativa, said that since the relocation of the residents from the DRC informal settlement to the Wagdaar location, the council has been working on providing basic services such as installing water standpipes, providing five mobile toilets and constructing a sanitation centre, among others.
Council has made provision, under the new financial year which starts in July, to service the land and hopefully kick off the pilot project on 1 July.
Meanwhile, the council is erecting 19 streetlights in the area. It had already paid Erongo Red to put up the streetlights two years ago, but unfortunately through Erongo Red’s procurement process, the installation took much longer although they have already started digging the trenches in DRC.
Five smart lights with cameras in them have been provided by MTC and these will be linked to Swakopmund’s Emergency Command Centre. – Namibia Daily News
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