Show us the money

31 July 2015

Last week’s historic agreement between Government led by President Hage Geingob and the Affirmative Repositioning movement should be commended by every right thinking member of the Namibian society.

The deal averted a crisis that had the potential to send the Namibian economy into tailspin.

After the historic agreement, some sceptics amongst us were not convinced that Government would deliver on its promise, but actions by the president this week shows that the negotiations last Friday were not just another talk show with no tangible results.

What is however worrying is the lack of details on how the 200,000 plots proposed under the Massive Urban Land Service Project would be serviced and handed over to beneficiaries.

A week after the historic agreement, we are still not sure about the criteria that would be used to select the beneficiaries and from where the money to service the plots would come.

In the absence of a clear strategy on how this Massive Urban Land Service Project would be implemented, it is inevitable that people will start making assumptions.

 It has been speculated that Government would dump the costly Mass Housing Project in favour of the Massive Urban Land Service Project, a move that would save Government billions of dollars.

If that were to be the case, what would happen to the thousands of houses that were still under construction when the mass housing Project was halted last May?

It will be interesting to see how Government is going to fund the unbudgeted Massive Urban Land Service Project at a time when it has been struggling to fund the equally ambitious Mass Housing Project.

It is important that Government lays detailed and well-thought plans for the Massive Urban Land Service Project to avoid the chaos that we saw under the Mass Housing Project.

The Mass Housing Project should act as a blue print, if any was needed, of how not to do things.

We cannot have the Massive Urban Land Service Project rely on the good will of citizens as such a plan is bound to fail.

Recent pronouncements by the president that “we will get the money [to service the plots] from somewhere” do not inspire confidence.

Let’s us hope that this is not another trial and error project by the Government that will not give us the intended results.

We should avoid doing things haphazardly.

Wider consultations are needed to come up with a suitable financing model that can be used under the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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