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Auctioned erven brings millions for Swakop Muncipality

The Swakopmund Municipality could rake in N$42 million in profit, if all 120 erven auctioned late last week are paid and the market can expect accelerated land delivery in the lower to middle income areas in the near future, said Namene Kalili, manager of Research and Competitor Intelligence at FNB this week.
According to Kalili, over 600 bidders were registered for the 120 erven (potentially 5 prospective bidders per erf) up for sale and from the onset the upset price was quickly forgotten as the first lot went for N$700 per m² or N$560,000 in total. This was however relatively low as prices generally increased as the auction progressed.
He also stated that land prices did however begin to fall as the erven became bigger, prices fell from N$771/m² to 686/m². Housing supply and demand at the coast explains the price trends. “The housing backlog in the middle to upper price segment currently stands at 721 housing units and therefore competition for land is high and bidders may have bid above their affordability levels.”
Kalili said the data further suggest that almost 90% of the target market falls within the N$400,000 to N$800,000 price range and thus their affordability was limited to N$250,000. “Be that as it may, the final prices were twice as high as the affordability levels of the target market, which lead us to believe that the likelihood of non-payment is high.”
“To add to this, banks are only willing to finance 60% of the price for vacant land in the current economic climate. Furthermore, returns on median house prices across the country are not high enough to support these prices. Finally, the coastal market is saturated with undeveloped land in the middle income segment, where property prices are on the mend, but on the back of very thin volumes thus far in 2012,” he said.
Kalili also noted that land delivery in Swakopmund is expected to increase in both lower and middle income segments in the first quarter of 2013 and this should ease demand and land prices in the short term, keeping in mind that the municipality can service low income land for as little as N$100/m².
“Minimum build value is 4 times the upset prices and buyers have until 02 November to arrange for payment, while properties are expected to be developed within two years from the date of the auction. The municipality spent about N$18 million on the erven, with servicing costs relatively affordable at N$222/m² for Swakopmund’s middle income segment,” he said.
The auction was held a day before Swakopmund turned 120 years and therefore 120 ervens was a fitting number considering the occasion.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.