Private developers invited to develop new extensions

Fast-tracking land delivery
The Walvis Bay municipality will be inviting private developers to fast-track land delivery in four extensions of Narraville.
Leandrea Mouers
The Walvis Bay municipal council approved the alienation of Narraville extensions 9, 10, 13 and 16 to the private sector to increase the volume and rate of the provision of serviced land, in accordance with the Local Authorities Act.

According to councillor Richard Hoaeb, the chairperson of the management council the delivery of serviced land is a key performance area for the municipality.

“The new strategic plan (2021-2026) cites this as Strategic Objective Number 2 which is to provide sufficient land and infrastructure for housing, at affordable prices, to cater for the needs of a growing population. However, the process of land delivery is a tedious and cumbersome one and it is taking Council very long to deliver on this objective. Council's efforts are not aided much by the tedious Public Procurement Act requirements in the appointment of various role players like land surveyors, design consultants and finally infrastructure contractors.”

He explained that this procurement challenge is further complicated by the need to route all "works" projects exceeding N$35 million through the Central Procurement Board.

“As a result, the current and predicted short-term demand for serviced land, greatly outstrips the supply of land in Walvis Bay. As the demand for land continues to increase and with slow provision, it inevitably results in escalating land prices. The trend of urbanization or migration of the people to urban centres, especially Windhoek and Walvis Bay, will remain for some time.”

He said that it is estimated by the compilers of the new Urban Structure Plan, that Walvis Bay is experiencing an annual population growth rate of about 3.5% and the household growth rate of 5.65 per annum (i.e., the household growth outstrips population growth).

“The demand for the number of households put pressure on Council when it comes to delivery of serviced land. However, it is evident that Council is not able to deliver serviced land at the required rate. Hence, there is a need to involve other stakeholders to fast track the delivery of serviced land. Currently, there are many private developments around the town that greatly assist to alleviate the demand for serviced land and provide housing.”

Hoaeb said that most of these developments are for middle to high-income earners. Allowing some private incentives in land- and housing delivery is a very important strategy to fast-track land- and housing delivery in an urban area.

“Successful recent developments include Wakuna Phase 1. Kwankomo and Ombundu. A few other pockets of land which were alienated to private developers have unfortunately been delayed due to several reasons including incorrect land ownership assumptions plus long- and tedious town planning procedures.

“The PPP initiative on land delivery and the provision of housing was a possible vehicle to accelerate the provision of land and hence it was considered for the development of four Narraville townships - namely Narraville Extensions 9, 10, 13 and 16.

The councillor explained that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model as contained is basically a contract between a public sector institution/municipality and a private party in which the private party assumes substantial financial, technical, and operational risk in design, financing, building and operation of a project.

“The intention of Government to apply the PPP concept to housing, especially affordable (or low-medium income) was a noble one, but almost 4 years after the PPP Act came into effect (following the promulgation of the PPP Regulations in 2018), efforts to accelerate land- and housing developments under this model have neither come off the ground nor proved successful (in the case of Narraville Extensions 9, 10, 13 and 16 that were initially reserved for PPP, but never get off the ground).”

It was thus then decided last year that the council will rather explore and proceed with other initiatives to fast-track the development of these four blocks (or extensions) in Narraville.

“It should also be mentioned that there is no more virgin land available in Kuisebmond following in-principle Council approval to dispose of Kuisebmond Extensions 14 and 15.

The four blocks on the Narraville side of the B2 Road also need to be developed quickly to allow the developers of Narraville Extensions 12 and 14 (Amko Investments Four CC) an orderly and logical development to link up with bulk services and main streets.

With the approval it was recommended that the private sector (businesses, persons, organisations) be invited through an open advertised Expression of Interest to submit their proposals.

“Once applications for Expression of Interest are received and evaluated, it is recommended that a report be submitted to Council for approval of successful applicant(s).”