Walvis Bay residents against unfair treatment
Room for improvement
19 August 2020 | Local News
Lourenze Neib; Walvis Bay Community Association; “We demand equality and fairness.”
The Walvis Bay Community Association raised a number of concerns on behalf of the larger Walvis Bay community in a petition handed to the CEO of the Walvis Bay municipality, Muronga Haingura.
The petition contained six issues that were raised during discussions with roughly 250 residents of the harbour town, a member of the Walvis Bay Community Association, Lourenze Neib, said.
The petition requests that ownership of erven in Tutaleni be granted to the respective occupants.
“The people of Tutaleni have been renting there for 20 years and are still renting. They have basically paid off the land already. We must remember that most of these residents are shop tellers, domestic workers and security guards. How can we expect them to give up so much of the money they earn for rent?” Neib questioned.
Tutaleni is not the only settlement on the agenda. According to the group, the relocation of Otweya residents to Farm 37 is unrealistic.
“The municipality said that this should be done by October, but we have been there and have seen the land. We are saying this is unrealistic,” Neib said.
The petition requested that roads, schools, police stations and other infrastructure be constructed at Farm 37 before the resettlement of Otweya residents in the area.
“History has shown that projects are started only to be left halfway without being completed. Moving people to Farm 37 is not a solution. It will eventually be another ‘ghetto’ location,” the petition reads.
According to the document handed to Haingura, Twaloloka victims are also being treated unfairly. The petition states that many Twaloloka residents relocated to Walvis Bay in search of greener pastures and are now being housed by the municipality, but Walvis Bay born residents are not getting the same treatment by the municipality.
“Why is preference given to these newcomers, while we have our own housing backlog? This is not the first time shacks have burned down. Why did those previous fire victims not receive plots as well? We demand equality and fairness.”
The group suggests an ultra-low cost housing scheme to accommodate residents of Walvis Bay.
“The municipality can get loans from the Development Bank of Namibia and we think they will make more revenue if Walvis Bay residents buy these houses on a mortgage basis from the municipality,” Neib suggested.
The rationale behind the repurposing of empty standing Mass Housing homes as quarantine facilities, was also questioned.
The petition also implies that the delivery of municipal services is unfairly distributed.
In this vein the group asks that municipal services be delivered to Narraville and Kuisebmond as promptly as being done for other neighbourhoods including Meersig and the Lagoon area.
The response time of the fire brigade was also brought into question and a suggestion that the youth be trained as firefighters was proposed.