The remains of illegal structures of Walvis Bay residents at Extension 8 and 9 at Kuisebmond were removed by the municipality on Monday, following a meeting with the occupants, municipal officials and councillors on Friday.
Walvis Bay municipality’s public relations officer Anita Kaihiva said the residents were informed on Friday that they cannot claim land illegally or settle on land that rightfully belongs to a third party, in this case, the National Housing Enterprise (NHE).
“During investigations, it was discovered that most of the erected structures were unoccupied and that some of the residents had already been allocated land at Farm 37. During the discussion, residents were also informed that they could join existing organised groups or form new organised groups and follow the appropriate channels to apply for land.
“Being part of registered or legalised groups will enable the residents to save money and eventually place them in a position where they can collectively purchase a block of erven, on which they can build affordable types of housing.”
They were informed that organised groups can be formed by registering members who are not land owners and then legalising the group by registering it with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa).
Kaihiva also noted that residents were advised to be cautious and work with trustworthy members due to the financial transactions involved.
“Most of the residents understood, voluntarily dismantled their structures and vacated the area. After these residents left, the roads and building control department assisted to clean the area. No personal belongings of residents were destroyed during this process. Council has successfully collaborated with organised groups in the past and allocated land at Farm 37 to groups such as the Backyard tenants, Shack Dwellers Federation and the Seafarers.”
Kaihiva said the council remains committed to delivering land but emphasised the need for an organised approach.
A representative of the affected residents, Elizabeth Sheelekeni, said although they understand the situation, they have nowhere else to go.
“Yes. We were informed but we also felt really bad. Why can we not be allowed to camp here for a few months while trying to join the groups that they are talking about? We have no money to go to the north or to pay rent in other people’s backyards. We pleaded for them to allow us to remove our things before they demolished the structures. Where will we go?”
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