Presidency Silent on Mass Housing

The President’s Office yesterday refused to comment on talks doing the rounds that the national mass housing development programme has been called off and referred all queries to the line ministry overseeing the implementation of the programme – the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

Talk is rife that President Hifikepunye Pohamba, as the chairperson of the National Committee on Mass Housing, will next month meet stakeholders involved in the programme to engage on how to continue with the implementation of the programme.

Minister of Presidential Affairs Dr Albert Kawana yesterday refused to share any information relating to the mass housing programme and referred all questions to the line ministry responsible for the N$45 billion programme through which government plans to build 185 000 houses by 2030. Approached for comment, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Simwanza Simenda, indicated he preferred not to comment until such a time a decision was taken on the mandate of the NHE with regard to the mass housing scheme. Asked whether the project had been placed on hold, the acting PS said: “Those are just allegations and will remain just that.” The NHE refused to disclose the status of the housing initiative.

“This is a government programme and therefore government should pronounce itself, we are only the implementing agency. But as far as I am concerned, we have not received any official correspondence from the side of government saying the programme is on hold,” said NHE’s manager for corporate communications and marketing, Eric Libongani.

“What I can tell you is that all stakeholders involved have been engaged and the project is ongoing,” Libongani further told New Era.

“As far as the NHE is concerned, the mass housing project is well on course and everyone and anyone is welcome to visit the construction sites,” he said.

“It should be noted clearly that the implementation of such a noble project by NHE has brought a positive impact, such as the creation of thousands of jobs, and as we speak we have people who are now earning an income that they were not earning three months ago,” he said.

Source : New Era