First phase of Home-ownership Project complete
A total of 65 one,- two- and three–bedroom units with full amenities and fenced-in yards were unveiled during a handover ceremony in Tsumeb, attended by Oshikoto Regional Councillor Lebbius Tobias, Tsumeb Mayor Linekela Shetekela and a host of Dundee and NHE officials, together with a large group of Dundee employees who officially took occupancy of their new dwellings. “This is a proud moment for all of us,“ said Hans Nolte, Vice President and General Manager of Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb, which owns and operates the copper-producing Tsumeb smelter. “Today, everybody is a winner!” he said. In the absence of the Governor of the Oshikoto Region, Hon. Penda Ndakolo, Councillor Tobias read the speech in which was noted “The importance of housing in Namibia and elsewhere relates to the multiple roles that homes and property ownership play in the economy and society. To an individual, housing refers not only to the fulfilment of a basic need for shelter, but it also constitutes a significant part of the wealth of an individual or a family.
” Councillor Tobias congratulated Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb for “stepping up to the plate in assisting the government [with] housing delivery countrywide.” “Government policies recognise that both the public and private sectors have a role to play in the effective provision of affordable housing and the financing thereof,” Tobias said. “In this regard Dundee has set a sterling example of what can be achieved through consultation, innovation and collaboration with the key stakeholders, namely the company’s lower-level employees, the Mineworkers Union of Namibia and the National Housing Enterprise.” Phase One of the two-phase project, which kicked off in March 2013, involved the construction of 65 houses for employees in the lower-job grades working at the smelter who meet certain ownership and financing criteria. The second phase of the project will see the erection of an additional 80-100 houses. Land for the housing scheme was purchased by Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb from the Tsumeb Municipality. Dundee is also paid for the construction of streets and the installation of water, electricity and sewerage services. Lower-level smelter workers who meet certain terms and conditions can purchase an NHE-built house without having to pay a deposit, with mortgage payments deducted from their monthly salary. Should an employee wish to sell the house, he/she can make a deal with another qualifying smelter employee or sell the house back to the company at fair market value, in which case Dundee would re-sell the house to another employee who meets the ownership criteria. “This initiative was envisaged as far back as 2010 when Dundee Precious Metals Inc. of Canada acquired the Tsumeb Smelter from Weatherly Mining and started looking for ways to give employees a chance to become home owners,” said Isai Nekundi, Dundee Manager for Stakeholder and Administrative Affairs. “Together with NHE, we have found both a suitable and sustainable way forward.”
“Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb is committed to assisting employees in improving their living standards, especially those in the lower ranks who have difficulty in obtaining bank financing to build homes,” Nekundi added. “We see this project as being good not only for our employees – who are our most valuable resource – but also a boost for Tsumeb as a whole.