More empty land promises

31 October 2014
Author  

Swapo’s Regional Council candidate for the Windhoek West Constituency George Trepper, who is the husband to the former Mayor of Windhoek Elaine Trepper, has also started on the slippery slope of empty election promises by promising cheap land.

In an attempt to secure votes at a by-election taking place on 14 November 2014, he informed a media briefing on Tuesday that the Windhoek West Constituency office would make history if voters elected him into office.

Trepper promised that the constituency office together with the city council would introduce a system that would target first time buyers, and that they would sell serviced land at affordable prices.

He further stated the obvious, which was that the current exorbitant prices have sidelined low and middle-income earners.

The acquisition of affordable land and housing by ordinary citizens appears to have become a mere pipe dream and Swapo has dedicated minimal time and resources towards realising this goal.

Then at the end of last year when President Hifikepunye Pohamba launched the mass housing project there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel, which realities on the ground quickly extinguished.

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) struggled to regulate the amount builders and contractors charged per square metre, which in turn led to inflated prices of what Government intended as low cost housing.

Similarly, the auction for available land in Academia which took place two weeks back, where first time buyers were bidding for land ranging between 400m2 to 600m2 for up to N$1.2 million.

A first National Bank report released on Tuesday noted that the municipality of Windhoek raked in N$48 million after selling 49 plots meant for first time buyers.

This then begs the question: is this the same city council for which Trepper intends to develop a system that will ensure that not just affordable, but cheap land is available for first time buyers?

The report further indicates that housing inflation appears flat in contrast to land inflation, and where property prices have increased by 128 percent over the past four years, land prices have increased 657 percent.

The perfect example of the reality of scarcity of affordable land was the brutal battle at the auction two weeks back where first time buyers walked away unable to compete.

How Trepper is going to turn that phenomena around we eagerly wait to see, that’s if voters elect him councillor of Windhoek West.

Maybe we are being unnecessarily pessimistic and have not taken into account that maybe Mrs Trepper has whispered a magic a trick into her husband’s ear based on her time as mayor.

He appears to have taken the route of choosing to sing the populist messages in order to win the votes, but does not realise that populist slogans have been the most difficult for even Government to deliver well.

More empty promises are the very last thing Namibian people need at this stage from yet another politician just trying to score cheap political points among voters, even if it’s just for a by-election.

Trepper should bear in mind that he represents the ruling party, which has been making the same promises to the Namibian people for 24 years but to no avail.

People are not stupid; what difference is he going to bring about from the Windhoek West Constituency office that the entire party has failed to bring about in the last 24 years?

The empty promises don’t start or end with housing or land; there is access to affordable and decent health care, the quality of education and all these remain burning issues the Swapo-led Government have failed to deliver on.

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WINDHOEK OBSERVER

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