GRN Houses Falling Into Ruin

Numerous government houses in Grootfontein are in an aanced state of dilapidation and are literally falling apart.

Residents claim that reports lodged with the Ministry of Works and Transport offices in Grootfontein regarding the highly deteriorating state of the government houses always fall on deaf ears. They further allege that no attempts have been made to repair any of the broken houses.

“We are living in constant fear of the houses coming down on our heads at any moment with these heavy rains that are accompanied by gale force winds and this might happen soon,” lamented Gabriel Hoeseb, 50, one of the residents.

“Luckily the storms have been forgiving thus far because our houses are barely standing, but they are falling apart bit by bit with each passing day and might come down on us sooner rather than later if the heavy rains continue. The ceilings in some parts of the house have peeled off completely. We make use of bricks to anchor the roof and keep it from flying off when the wind blows,” said long time Grootfontein resident Hoeseb.

Many people have started moving out of the decaying homes to buy Build Together houses in other locations to avoid injury and escape what they call inhospitable living conditions.

According to husband and father of seven Martin Katambo, he has had to move his family into a semi-completed house to shelter his offspring.

“In Grootfontein people just sit in their air-conditioned offices doing nothing except counting down the days to getting paid. They sell two to three plots to people coming from towns such as Windhoek while we the residents cannot even get one, they are very biased and one-sided. They choose not to see problems we as a community are facing, ” said a dismayed Hoeseb. “We do not want to cause problems for the government and will be very happy to see these problems resolved as soon as possible,” he added.

Another resident who requested anonymity said she does not understand why her home was being left to rot away while she pays for it.

“The government deducts money from our salaries on a monthly basis without hesitation or failure, so why is it so hard for them to deliver monthly in the same manner they deduct money from our salaries fast and without hesitation. The houses are ruined and whenever it rains water seeps in. I fail to understand why the ministry of works has not repaired any of these houses after months of our complaining,” she said.

When approached for comment, the Ministry of Works and Transport Head of Department Godfied Mumbango said it was difficult for him to comment on the situation because he has only been on the job for three months.

“I am a new person in office and have not received any complaints yet but I have seen those houses and their condition is not good at all. I will have to meet with the housing committee to try and resolve these issues,” promised Mumbango.

Mumbango outlined a workforce shortage and negligence as some of the problems he faces.

“People do not want to take care of government houses and buildings, this includes schools, hospitals and even hostels. We cannot keep fixing the same problems as there are many houses that need attention and we are trying our best,” he said.

An employee of the Grootfontein Municipality’s Department of Properties and Community Issues who asked not to be mentioned by name laughed off allegations that preference is given to people coming from other towns over Grootfontein residents.

According to the official, selling two plots to a single buyer can happen on rare occasions and in the past the number of plots available often exceeded the buyers. “But at the moment selling two plots to a single individual is impossible,” said the official.

Source : New Era