Process to sell govt houses drags on for 19 years

The government alienation scheme, which was initially planned to take between three and five years to complete, has been dragging on for the past 19 years.
Ministry of Works and Transport documents show that Government has so far sold 1,256 houses to civil servants and other tenants from the year 2000 until 31 March 2018 under the Alienation scheme which raked in N$332 million in the process.
This figure is way below the initial target of 5,000 houses to be sold countrywide when the exercise started after Cabinet first resolved in 1998 that some government houses be alienated to sitting tenants.
Government is believed to own 7,920 houses and 712 units of flats countrywide, although there are strong suspicions that other properties were erroneously transferred to local authorities or taken over by tenants without treasury approval.
Officials in the ministry have previously said only civil servants or sitting tenants with up to date monthly rental payments qualify to purchase a government-owned house or flat.
Most government houses and flats are said to be run down with many occupants paying no rent or living without the authorisation to do so.
The Ministry of Works and Transport says it requires at least N$85 million in the current financial year to pay rates and taxes to service providers for all government- owned properties, but only N$35 million was allocated in the 2019/20 budget leaving a shortfall of N$55 million.  – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

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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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