AR Movement on land issues
By Dimbulukeni Shipandeni Hafenih Nauyoma
AR activist, Secretary General
In light of the current urban land and housing crisis, the youth under the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement have organised themselves and have come up with interventions to address the land delivery backlog in Namibia.
The AR movement is a radical movement in Namibia aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of the youth. Over the past few months the movement has been busy reorganizing itself to self-correct and reevaluate its programmes for the youth.
The youth based movement has indeed remained relevant in championing its call to quarantining and liquidating the capitalist anarchy in our society. The AR movement’s informative standpoint remains to inspire and inform the post-independence generation to concretize paths towards economic freedom and restoration of human dignity.
In October 2016, the Land Reform Minister announced the postponement of the proposed second conference on land to 2017, citing lack of funds to host the event. It was later announced that the land conference will take place in September of 2017, only for President Geingob to announce, in August 2017, another postponement of the event, for the second time, to an unknown date. It was reported that this postponement was due to complaints from civil society organizations who complained that they were not properly consulted; which the said civil society organizations vehemently denied and stated that the conference should have proceeded as planned.
The AR movement had welcomed the hosting of the land conference and was prepared to give its submissions for practical and workable solutions to the land question. The AR movement stands with the other social movements and civil society in the condemnation – in the strongest terms -of the postponement of the second national land conference, the first of its kind in 26 years since independence. The movement views Government’s postponement of the conference as zigzagging delay tactics and a lack of seriousness towards the resolution of the land problem in Namibia. Government does not seem to take the land question seriously and/or does not seem to comprehend the urgency of this pressing issue.
The AR movement therefore calls on government to hastily find a suitable date on which to hold this event that is aimed at finding solutions to this dire national need and to apply all seriousness related to the land conference, or risk befalling the wrath of an ever increasingly frustrated youth and populace.
Government is therefore called upon to notify the public of a suitable date for the second land conference no later than 30 October 2017, of which date must be within the first trimester of 2018.
The AR movement, in its Housing Charter 31, has explored the impediments to affordable housing and have found that the high rates charged on home loans and mortgage payments play a big role in the land question, and the movement has thus resolved to offer practical solutions to this effect.
The movement has established that the commercial banks have fiercely out-competed and swallowed the only building society which could have helped the youth in their quest for access to affordable housing. The AR Movement has thus set up a committee that is at an advanced stage of looking into the setting up of a youth-led building society.
The AR Movement in its quest to address the high interest rates offered by commercial banks has written to the Minister of Finance to lower the mortgage rates to repo plus 1 or repo plus 1.5 basis points.