Serviced land a massive challenge
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) this week expressed its serious concern about the lack of adequate serviced land countrywide and the manner in which this matter is handled by various stakeholders.
According to NCCI Chief Executive Officer Taara Shanika the fact that the problem of serviced land scarcity remains critical to date despite the submission of the 2011 NCCI Urban Land Conference recommendations to the Ministry of Regional and Local Authorities, Housing and Rural Development as well as several calls by the chamber and other stakeholders to speed up the surveying, proclamation and servicing of land could be a sign that either there are serious bureaucratic bottlenecks in the system or simply lack of political will on the part of government to take corrective measure to address this critical economic and social issue.
“The manner in which the issue of serviced land scarcity is addressed by various stakeholders at the moment causes a major concern to the business sector especially the confrontation which has been going on among some stakeholders over the past few weeks. The problem of land scarcity in the country is indeed real and serious. It affects business development and economic growth in the country. It deprives many Namibians of an opportunity to have dignified shelter and comfortable homes. It has persisted for far too long and should therefore be addressed as a matter of urgency” he said.
The NCCI has called on the government, particularly the President-elect to provide leadership on this matter by creating conducive platforms for healthy engagements and dialogue which will lead to a national action plan that can deliver affordable serviced land for business and housing with the shortest period possible.
“In a small nation such as Namibia, we cannot afford a confrontational manner of resolving problems. We must learn to engage one another and move forward in unity. But government on its part must come to the table with viable option. They must address the governance issue at local authority levels where resources are inadequate, capacity is hugely constrained and a number of councillors and municipal officials corruptly and inequitably allocate land to those that can fill their pockets using the land scarcity. This must be addressed without fear or favour if we are to move ahead”, Shanika further said.
The NCCI for a long time has been calling for a viable long-term solution to the artificial scarcity of serviced land for business and housing development in all local authorities’ areas. In 2011 the chamber held the Urban Land Conference which was attended by various stakeholders to make recommendations which can be used to craft long terms solutions to the matter. Recommendations included amendments and where necessary, scrapping of various pieces of legislation dealing with urban development and land delivery so that land can be serviced and availed for development within local authority areas in a speedy manner.