Development at Extension 39

Infrastructure and services handed over

17 November 2019 | Infrastructure

Derek Klazen; Deputy minister of urban and rural development; “…we would need to build around 3000 housing units per year.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

A handover ceremony of services and infrastructure by the Swakopmund municipality and Block 9 took place at Extension 39 in the coastal town on Friday.

This comes after Block 9 acquired 14.5ha of land from the Swakopmund municipality at a cost of over N$16 million.

The company then turned the area into 112 serviced erven, ready for the second phase of construction. The project employed 174 skilled and unskilled workers.

Block 9 is a mixed-use property development and investment company that specialises in the strategic management of property development from concept to completion.

Speaking at the launch the deputy minister of urban and rural development, Derek Klazen, said that housing is a human need aimed at ensuring human dignity for all as enshrined in the Namibian constitution.

According to Klazen, although rural to urban migration has increased over the decades and has led to a higher demand for housing, government will continue to make the provision of housing a priority as outlined in national documents like Vision 2030.

“Despite its best efforts, the Namibia Housing Enterprise (NHE) could only deliver about 600 housing units per year from 2004 to 2011 and only an average of about 253 units per year thereafter. With the historical underdevelopment of rural areas, there was an exodus to urban areas for many, mainly the youth, in search of employment and a better quality of life.”

Klazen said that Vision 2030 calls for the provision of adequate housing, water and sanitation for all by 2030. In order to meet this ambitious ideal, around 3000 housing units per year should be delivered.

By 2014, the backlog for housing needs across the country stood at an estimated 80 000 units. For Namibian earning less than N$1 500 per month, the backlog was estimated at 45 000 housing units.

Klazen commended Block 9 for partnering with government to speed up the provision of land and housing, urging the private sector to learn from their example.

“As much as government is cognizant of its responsibility to provide housing to the people of this country, it is equally the responsibility of the private sector to grab opportunities made available by government through PPP arrangements to enable the private sector to stand shoulder to shoulder with government in providing this much-needed human basic need,” he said.

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