Future of new State House neighbours still unclear

Future of new State House neighbours still unclear

CABINET is yet to decide which of the residents living around the new State House in Windhoek’s Auasblick suburb will have to give up their homes to form a security cordon.

Minister of Works Joel Kaapanda said in Parliament yesterday that Cabinet still had to approve a report by a high-level technical committee that was responsible for determining the security boundary around the new State House complex. It has been more than two years since Government first informed property owners that they face expropriation of their property, but to date residents still live in limbo.Last year they were requested not to make any extensions to or sell their homes.”I wish to express my regret for the uncertainty and frustration endured by the property owners near the new State House at Auasblick due to the delay in determining the fate of their properties.The delay was caused by a laborious process of assessment, evaluation and consideration of all aspects concerning the security of the new State House,” Kaapanda said in the National Assembly.Kaapanda said as soon as Cabinet had considered the report of the technical committee, the residents would be informed of their fate.He did not say how much longer this would take, but appealed to residents to remain “calm” and “patient”.Kaapanda was responding to questions posed by MAG’s Jurie Viljoen, who asked him whether he did not think it was unfair that residents had to remain in limbo for so long.Kaapanda used the opportunity to thank residents for their patience during the construction of the multi-million-dollar complex, which has been continuing for more than two years, promising them that State House “would extend a hand of friendship to all its surrounding neighbours” and looked forward to “a happy neighbourly association with them”.Kaapanda said it wanted to ensure residents that Government had no intention of making the new State House “an island on its own” but regarded the property as “part and parcel of the Windhoek community”.Last month, President Hifikepunye Pohamba visited the construction site to see what progress had been made.Building of the presidential home, funded by the Chinese government, will start early next year.It has been more than two years since Government first informed property owners that they face expropriation of their property, but to date residents still live in limbo.Last year they were requested not to make any extensions to or sell their homes.”I wish to express my regret for the uncertainty and frustration endured by the property owners near the new State House at Auasblick due to the delay in determining the fate of their properties.The delay was caused by a laborious process of assessment, evaluation and consideration of all aspects concerning the security of the new State House,” Kaapanda said in the National Assembly.Kaapanda said as soon as Cabinet had considered the report of the technical committee, the residents would be informed of their fate.He did not say how much longer this would take, but appealed to residents to remain “calm” and “patient”.Kaapanda was responding to questions posed by MAG’s Jurie Viljoen, who asked him whether he did not think it was unfair that residents had to remain in limbo for so long.Kaapanda used the opportunity to thank residents for their patience during the construction of the multi-million-dollar complex, which has been continuing for more than two years, promising them that State House “would extend a hand of friendship to all its surrounding neighbours” and looked forward to “a happy neighbourly association with them”.Kaapanda said it wanted to ensure residents that Government had no intention of making the new State House “an island on its own” but regarded the property as “part and parcel of the Windhoek community”.Last month, President Hifikepunye Pohamba visited the construction site to see what progress had been made.Building of the presidential home, funded by the Chinese government, will start early next year.

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