Namibia’s Land Paradox [column]

Speaking of land has become a clicheacute, so much that owning land in Namibia has become a distant dream for many – for now at least.

The land issue is a paradox in the sense that Namibians are forced to believe that in our lifetime 2.1 million Namibians cannot get land in a country that is blessed with 825 000 square kilometres.

It is a shame that the Namibian citizenry continue to cry on a daily basis over high land prices and aomical housing prices.

If you listen closely to talk on the streets, most landless Namibians do not actually want huge tracts of land, all they want is a piece of land on which they can build a place that they can call home – is that really too much to ask?

Those with overflowing bank accounts can continue scrambling for land on which to have their farms, no one will bother them, provided that urban land is available to any Namibian at an affordable price.

The situation has become so bad that Namibia has turned into a society where car owners are worshipped more than homeowners, simply because it is easier to buy a car than a house.

I know I do not hold extensive knowledge pertaining to financial matters, but how is it possible that banks can provide someone with a N$1 million car loan which must be repaid in five years, yet the very same bank expects people to pay off a N$1 million home loan in 20 years?

Can some of the finance gurus in this country please please, please, and I plead, make me understand why banks operate this way.

Many of the country’s serving leaders continue to claim with confidence that the youth are the future leaders, but boiling-over land dissatisfaction among land-starved young Namibians continue to threaten the very peace for which Namibia continues to get international praise.

Of course, without a doubt, government has tried to remedy the situation by coming up with deliberate policies such as the willing buyer, willing seller, however this policy now seems to have been the fuel poured onto a small burning fire that can climax to uncontrolled levels.

Land is there, yes, but not the land which thousands of Namibians yearn for – urban land.

The situation has become so aerse that many young professionals are contemplating whether they should make peace with being permanent home seekers than homeowners.

The bone of contention here, however, is the fact that some lawmakers that are heading land cabals through which they rake in big money are the very same people that we expect to solve the housing crisis.

In terms of peace and stability, Namibia is paradise, but in terms of land and housing provision, this country is the hell we read about in the Bible.

Source : New Era