Windhoek builds 700 low-cost houses in informal settlements

July 14, 2023

The City of Windhoek (CoW) has so far constructed a total of 700 low-cost housing units in its informal settlements at a cost of N$120 million, an official has revealed.

The project launched in 2020 seeks to construct 1,200 low-cost houses in various informal settlements and has a budget provision of N$250 million.

This includes 30 two-bedroom houses that were handed over by Urban and Rural Development Deputy Minister Nathalia /Goagoses, in the informal settlement of Havana on Friday. 

This forms part of the Informal Settlement Upgrade pilot project that is being undertaken by the City of Windhoek in collaboration with the National Housing Enterprises (NHE) and Regional Council.

"Do not forget that this is a revolving project. Therefore, I implore the beneficiaries of these houses to honour their loan repayments, as it is only through such gestures that the various partners including government can deliver on its commitment to providing decent shelters to other needy Namibians. We do not want to see you erecting shacks again, we are doing away with that, rather try economical activities," said Goagoses.

She added that "also, with decent shelters, it provides a safe environment to make babies, and protects you from harm and harsh weather conditions". 

CoW Section Engineer for housing, property management and human settlements, Theunis Heunis, said the construction cost of the houses amounts to N$228 000, which is inclusive for land servicing, surveying, connections and transfer costs.

"The units are quite affordable with a monthly instalment of N$1,300, repayable over a 25-year period with a 5% interest rate," said Heunis.

With the relatively affordable pricing and successes achieved so far, /Goagoses wants the programme to be rolled out countrywide.

She in the same vein applauded contractors saying: "I am happy you are completing projects timely and at a relatively affordable price. It is very costly in cases where buildings are left halfway built, and to continue such will cost more."

Minister Erastus Uutoni in a speech read on his behalf by /Goagoses stressed that Namibia is faced with the huge challenge of high levels of poverty and inequality.

Therefore, he says it is imperative that these projects provide the necessary foundation upon which to stimulate economic growth, employment creation, and social transformation and ultimately, reduce poverty reduction.

"Moving forward, I would like to encourage the intensification of such projects, so that we as a nation can achieve prosperity. Let us collectively do more to remedy and ensure improved quality of life for our residents," Uutoni said.

One of the key pillars of national development goals, Uutoni said, is to facilitate the economic integration of marginalised communities into the mainstream economy. 

He therefore feels that such cannot be achieved if the basic human needs for shelter, safety and security remain largely unattainable by the majority of residents- especially in the informal settlements.

"I am aware of the challenges that are being faced by the implementing agencies, Windhoek Municipality and the NHE, in terms of availing readily-available land for the construction of the houses due to the constraining statutory process, which we need to follow. This is to ensure that our houses meet the desired quality and standard," he said. 

The Minister thus urged the two institutions to devise ways on how to timely expedite the approval of statutory processes. Another challenge he noted is the slow update by the targeted beneficiaries, hence Uutoni advised residents to approach the offices in order to get assistance.




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Last modified on Monday, 17 July 2023 20:01

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