PM explains incompletion of 890 mass housing units

Jemima Beukes
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has rubbished claims by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani that government has failed in delivering housing.

Venaani’s remarks come at a time when about 890 houses completed under government's controversial mass housing programme are standing idle and have not been occupied by tenants. These include 505 houses in the Erongo Region and 362 in Khomas.

On 24 July, Venaani gave government an ultimatum of 25 days to hand these houses over to Namibians, or he will lead a mass demonstration to occupy them.

In an open letter to the prime minister, he said the ratio of those living in shacks to those living in brick houses stands at 4:1, a crisis compounded by the lack of potable water and sanitation which caused a hepatitis E outbreak in the country four years ago.

Legal matter

In a response, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila explained that while government is trying its best to resolve the housing issue, the matter is currently in courts and as prime minister she cannot interfere in this process.

“The completion of the uncompleted houses is being hindered by legal disputes that have resulted in the court issuing a lien to subcontractors over several houses and, subsequently, stoppage of work on the projects.

“The government has also instituted action against the main contractor for non-performance,” she said.

Venaani yesterday told Namibian Sun that he doesn’t buy this explanation.

“She is not serious in resolving the housing saga,” he said.

According to him, his ultimatum remains in place until he receives concrete answers on deliverable dates, because no serious commitment has been made by government thus far.

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