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City of Windhoek Too Broke to Deliver Serviced Land – Gawanas

Landless People’s Movement (LPM) councillor and former Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas says the City of Windhoek cannot provide serviced land to the over 40 000 applicants on its database.

This is due to financial constraints, she says.

Gawanas said this at a City of Windhoek community engagement at Katutura on Saturday.

“The conversation about land delivery should take place between the city, the regional council’s office, and the central government. This issue runs deep and cannot be handled by the city alone,” she said.

Gawanas said Windhoek has limited land, exacerbated by the mushrooming of informal settlements.

“Because of circumstances, folks move into the informal land-grabbing sector, which doesn’t bring in money, which the city could use to service their land.

“As such, the relationship between the payment rates and taxes and land delivery is not balanced,” she said.

Gawanas revealed that in 2021, when the current city councillors moved into the chambersl they found a list of applicants for serviced land which has been growing since 1994, upon which they instructed that the information be digitised and updated.

“You will discover that some people applied for land when they were unemployed and have since gained employment. Others may have since passed on.

“As such, we have been calling on those who already applied to get to the relevant offices to update their information for when the city is ready to deliver,” she said.

Gawanas, however, said applications for those who want to be added to the list are still open, “but they should be mindful that when it comes to land allocation, those who are at the top of the list would be considered first”.

With regard to queries regarding the city’s purported low-income houses at Khomasdal, which ended being owned by the well-off as a result of high costs, Gawanas said while these houses were placed in the higher middle-income bracket.

“When we talk about affordable housing, the conversation needs to start with who we are looking at as the prospective buyer, because affordable houses for our current economy must range from around N$100 000 per unit,” she said.

Gawanas said there is an urgent need for the city to review affordable housing and land delivery policies, and that she would push this agenda through.

Windhoek mayor Joseph Uapingene said: “The council has approved the servicing and development of two townships, but there is no hard cash at hand to roll out the process at this moment.

“We are thus exploring avenues through which these developments can be funded, but I cannot divulge more information on that right now.”

He said the council intends to service and develop land as a city project without the involvement of a third party.

“Private developers inflate their prices, and this leads to a high cost per housing unit. We are planning to construct affordable housing,” he said.

City of Windhoek chief executive Moses Matyayi did not respond to calls, to his office.

City spokesperson Harold Akwenye was attending a workshop, and spokesperson Lydia Amutenya declined to comment.


The co-founder of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, George Kambala, describes it as a sad day when elected councillours start making statements on behalf of municipal executives.

He says the issue of homelessness can no longer be put on the back burner 32 years after independence.

“Our main concern is the delivery of land and housing. Namibians want a piece of land on which they can live dignified lives,” he says.

He says the land allocation issue has seemingly become subject to class.

“We implore the city to find the means to deliver land to its residents in the same way it finds ways to be able to pay bonuses and perks for its staff and councillors,” Kambala says.

The activist has expressed gratitude for the “little effort” that has been made.

“I do agree with her on the position that this conversation should be a tripartite agreement between the city, the regional council and the central government,” he says.

Kambala says a solution would be to activate the ‘housing bank’ aspect of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE).

“When you read the act that established the NHE, one discovers that it was partly supposed to be a bank for the provision of housing. Why are they not activating that clause?” he asks.

Source : Namibian