Grootfontein Offers Affordable Plots

GrootfonteinWhile thousands of Namibians are crying out for an urgent government intervention to somehow lower the prices of land and housing, Grootfontein is offering affordable serviced land right on its doorstep.

Speaking to New Era, the head of property at the Grootfontein Municipality, Arnold Ameb, said Grootfontein “is probably the cheapest town in the country with a plot costing as little as N$13 000 in the township and about N$70 000 to N$130 000 in prime residential areas in town”.

Neighbouring Tsumeb which is 60km away has almost no serviced and affordable land available and prices have skyrocketed with a prime plot in town measuring about 900 square metres going for N$600 000.

These high prices have made it very difficult for low- to middle-income people to build houses as banking and financial institutions decline most applications for loans.

To date 350 plots were serviced in Omulunga township, 100 erven were sold through private treaty and 137 plots have been earmarked for the mass housing project, Ameb noted.

Ameb says there is still vast unserviced land of 3 000 hectares but there is however no guarantee the land is suitable for housing.

Through other housing programmes such as Build Together only 85 houses have been built in the last five years.

Ameb outlined the challenges of improving livelihoods and creating townships that will lessen the difficulties faced in the informal settlements.

“Another important issue is housing and services to the really low income people in the informal settlements. We would like to fully service and formalize our informal settlements which are rapidly growing. This will allow specific people to upgrade their housing standards and living conditions,” he said.

Ameb said Grootfontein has the largest shanty town in the country.

“Most of the funds received from our land ministry for this project was used on servicing the land as it is a very costly exercise. The land delivery budget from central government for Grootfontein remains very little,” he said.

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Source : New Era