Housing delivery a prerequisite for economic development: Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said adequate housing delivery is a prerequisite for sustainable economic development and shared prosperity, that is why Government is seized with ensuring that there is consistent and sufficient delivery of housing.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila made these remarks on Friday when she handed over the first batch of 10 houses constructed under the Windhoek Informal Settlement Upgrading Affordable Housing Project in Havana informal settlement.

She said Namibia and Africa at large face the twin challenges of rapid urbanisation and an acute housing shortage, which have been further compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an unprecedented pressure on housing supply and urban service delivery, as well as contributing to the increase of informal settlements and related developmental challenges.

“Article 16 of the Namibian Constitution says that all persons shall have the right in any part of Namibia to acquire, own and dispose of all forms of immovable and movable property, individually or in association with others. Therefore, this project is important in many ways. First, it seeks to address one of the critical needs of any human being – decent shelter and a dignified living,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

She added that the project will also contribute to the economic recovery agenda, and economic history has taught Government that the construction sector, including housing construction, is one of the effective drivers of economic recovery and growth. But like any other sector of the economy, the construction sector has been adversely impacted by the economic slowdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the sector has the ability to swiftly rebound if deliberate measures such as the affordable housing initiatives are implemented, according to the prime minister.

“During the Second National Land Conference, President Hage Geingob declared a humanitarian crisis over the situation in the informal settlements. Thereafter, a pilot project commenced in Windhoek, to transform peri-urban settlements into sustainable human settlements that are planned, serviced and occupied through various tenure options,” she said.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said that the government’s efforts to restore dignity to people will be incomplete without the delivery of decent shelter and sanitation, and equally concerted efforts must be made to promote rural economic development through delegation of key central government functions and decentralisation of industries in tandem as a means of addressing the factors driving rural-urban migration.

Source: Namibia Press Agency