Guest Contributor | Feb 21, 2024 | 0
More affordable houses in Swakopmund as Build Together reaches phase 3
By Adolf Kaure.
The Mayor of Swakopmund, Her Worship Dina Namubes said it is fundamental that the Swakopmund Town Council ensures that the need of its residents for affordable housing is adequately met as this will cater for the bulk of residents in the low to middle income groups.
She made these remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony of phase 3 for the Build Together Erven project in Swakopmund which took place recently at the coastal town.
“Access to residential land and housing remains the biggest barrier to home ownership not only in Swakopmund but throughout Namibia,” she commented.
“Although Council has made significant progress in addressing the housing challenge and land provision, many residents remain unable to keep up with the inflated standard of living in urban areas and find themselves in dilapidated informal shelters on the periphery of towns.”
“I am indeed proud of the progress at which Council is moving in terms of the delivery of housing, especially if we have to look back at the successful year that we had thus far,” she said.
The ground breaking was for the construction on 80 erven in the Mondesa Township.
“These erven are soon to be beautiful houses – a realisation of a dream for 80 beneficiaries. The process was lengthy, and we were all getting impatient, but it was indeed worth the efforts,” said Namubes.
The mayor congratulated all the beneficiaries on their new land and future homes and thanked all the stakeholders who played a role in helping the Swakopmund Town Council during the consultations which preceded the subdivision of the erven.
On 26 January 2017, the Swakopmund Town Council approved the allocation of 150 erven in Extension 26 to the Build Together beneficiaries.
Some erven are in different Extensions 7, 8 and 9. Moreover, Council managed to construct 70 of the planned 150 houses in two phases but the process was costly and the Council had to subsidize the first batch of houses.
Nonetheless, Council experienced a delay in the construction of the remaining 80 houses for Build Together beneficiaries due to the cumbersome Procurement Act requirements and due to the high construction cost as quoted by the contractors. The quotations received were beyond the estimated budget.
As a result, Council had to obtain ministerial approval to exempt the Build Together programme.
Thereafter, they approached the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) but the quotes were once again beyond the maximum cost of N$80,000 set by the line ministry and therefore unaffordable.
SDFN quoted N$ 78 000 and N$ 103 000 for Container type and L-shape type respectively. Council again approached the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) to assist in constructing houses for the 80 beneficiaries and the quotes that we received were N$64,000 per house.
This cost was only for materials on the container type house; it did not include internal and external electrical systems, as well as external water and sewer systems.
NIMT then notified Council that they were unable to commit to aiding Council on this housing project due to the material cost of the container style house.
With the outcome of NIMT and SDF in mind it was then decided to give feedback to the beneficiaries to arrive at a decision on a way forward.
Stakeholders of the Build Together project with the Swakopmund mayor Dina Namubes (fourth from the right) and Swakopmund Regional Councillor, Louisa Kativa (fifth form the right) at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Photograph contributed)