Aids Care Trust in Danger of Losing Land

THE AIDS Care Trust (ACT) of Namibia has until November to develop land bought from the municipality at a reduced price almost 12 years ago, or risk losing it.

ACT had initially applied to subdivide the land to build offices similar to those of the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) in Katutura.

However, at its latest council meeting, the municipality of Windhoek indicated that an application dated 30 October 2013 was received from the ACT to rezone Erf 2656 in Wanaheda from ‘institutional’ to business’, but that it had turned it down.

“The AIDS Care Trust (ACT) as a non-profitable organisation would like to pursue a business model similar to that of the Red Cross Society by building offices to generate sustainable income to support the operations,” read the application sent to the council.

The 4000 square metre land is situated in Wanaheda’s Omongo Street and was sold to the ACT on 9 August 2002 for N$79 560, which was paid in full.

ACT board chairperson Dirk Conradie yesterday said the rejection of their application was news to him since they were still waiting for the response from the municipality, which was due tomorrow.

The council aised ACT to consider a subdivision of 30% of the property, upon which a subdivided portion may be rezoned.

The council also made recommendations that ACT should be given 30 days to indicate whether they will consider a subdivision in order to activate the additional two years to develop the property from the date of the Council Resolution.

“Should the applicant then fail to adhere to the above recommendation, the development period be upheld, which expires in November 2014 and that the property reverts back to council, should development not take place.”

The city also decided that no further applications for rezoning on ‘institutional’ land should be allowed.

Contrary to council’s comments, Conradie yesterday indicated that they had transferred the property into the name of the Trust last year already, before requesting The Namibian to get further details from ACT director Sarah Damases. Damases could not be reached for comment.

Conradie, however, acknowledged that they had not done the transfer earlier, as they were unaware that the property was not registered.

Questioned on when they planned to develop the land to avoid losing it, he said “it’s none of anybody’s concern when we will start with the development. We have enough time,”.

The City’s decision comes as a blow to the financial stability of the AIDS Care Trust as the organisation lost its financial backing from Namibia Network of AIDS Services Organisation (Nanaso) at the end of last year after being accused of alleged mismanagement.

ACT is a non-profit organisation which aims to improve the lives of ‘many hopeless People Living with HIV-AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), widows and widowers’.

Source : The Namibian