Mariental Municipality installs services for land grabbers
By Lorato Khobetsi
The Mariental Municipality Chief Executive Officer recently said that the municipality will not tolerate land grabbing, it is however willing to provide basic services to those residents who are already illegally occupy land in the town.
In an exclusive interview with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology – Hardap Regional Office recently, Paul Nghiwilepo said that land grabbing is illegal and is not allowed.
“Land grabbing is illegal but what we are saying is that we have these people now who have settled here illegally. We are trying to formalize the process by giving them services,” he said.
The Municipality recently installed four community taps for the residents of the Takarania and “Nuwe Lokasie” settlements. The taps will cater for approximately 1150 households and have been installed over a period of three months, since December last year.
The Municipality plans to install 6 more community taps, with one tap costing approximately N$5000 each.
Nghiwilepo said although the Municipality cannot evict those already settled in the area, it is trying to control the influx of people trying to set up illegal structures.
“As a local authority, we have to do something because we are talking about close to around 600 households (in Takarania), where do we take them if we evict them from here. We have been stopping people from putting up new shacks, last week we even demolished one. We have to control this whole process of illegal land grab, but the people that are here now, we have to deal with them, we have to provide them with services,” he said.
According to the CEO, those houses marked with the X in Nuwe Lokasie will be moved to another area nearby as they were either constructed in an area not permitted by the Municipality or on an erf that belongs to someone else and not to allocate erven numbers to the residents already settled there.
“Houses that have been marked with an X, those are the houses that have to be moved, shifted not demolished. We are just moving them; they are marked for us to know how many houses need to be moved,” he said.
(Photography by Hilmah Hashange.)