It was shocking and heartbreaking for me to read in the media about the 80 illegal shacks demolished on Wednesday 23 May by the City of Windhoek. On average you find three to four people in one shack, so just imagine about 300 people who had homes but now are homeless and of all times during freezing winter in Windhoek.
I am not saying the people should be allowed to put up structures wherever they want, nor am I encouraging land grabbing but what I want is for the central government, City of Windhoek and other municipalities to find solutions for this problem. These families were living there because they can’t afford to pay the high rentals.
If it’s right that they are punished for their wrongdoing by having the shacks demolished, then what is being done about ours leaders many of whom have mansions in Windhoek, one or two farms around the country, yet they are illegally grabbing communal land beyond the normal allowed size by over 100 or 300 times?
Our forefathers went to war because of the land. Now 22 years after independence not much has been done to change or improve the land issue for the poor.
Government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on the ‘willing buyer willing seller’ concept. For me this farm programme is a waste of our taxpayers money. Who is benefiting from this programme? It does not take a rocket scientist to know that or find out that most people, more than 70 percent of the people in Namibia don’t need or want farms to live on but they need small plots or land to build their houses or shacks; a place to call home in the city or other towns. What’s the average price tag for a farm in Namibia – N$3 million to N$8 million maybe depending on the size and the developments on it?
On average N$1 million can services or develop 40 plots ( of 300m2 each) in Windhoek or Swakopmund (N$1 000 000/25 000 = 40 plots) which means Government can easily services 140 to 320 plots helping many families with money that is ordinarily spent on one farm.
The ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ concept is just causing the prices of land to go up. Imagine a police officer cannot afford to buy a house in Windhoek, but lots of foreign students who are studying at Unam and Polytechnic are buying houses and flats. Then you should know something is wrong in our country.
If things carry on at the current rate, what’s the future for Namibian youth? We will never be able to afford land and houses in our own country.
Namibia is a rich country blessed with lots of natural resources. In fact, we are one of richest countries in Africa and with only 2,1 million people and enough political will most of the land problems in the towns can be solved in a short period.
Our leaders should start thinking of the people’s issues and problems. After all we are the ones who voted them into power.
Paul T Ndjambula