The Namibian (Windhoek)

22 November 2012

Namibia: Bethanie Social Housing Project Progressing

BUILDERS are progressing well to complete the N$800 000 social housing development project at Bethanie village in the South.

The project, expected to be completed by the end of next week, will provide shelter to 12 households.

“We look forward to handing over the house keys to the council by the end of next week,” said contractor Jan Brandt.

The Bethanie Village Council chief executive officer, Willie Humphries, said the project included the construction of four houses for pensioners, and another four which would be leased out at an affordable price.

“Pensioners won’t pay any rental fees, except paying for water and electricity,” said Humphries, adding that money generated from renting out the remaining four houses would be used to subsidise future housing projects.

Humphries said vulnerable people and pensioners would enjoy preference during the allocation of the houses.

Some critics questioned whether the council had spent the whole N$800 000, funded by the central government through its Build Together programme, on the housing project.

“If one looks at the standard of the houses, one wonders whether the combined cost of the houses can be valued at N$800 000,” said one resident, who declined to be named.

Humphries rejected the criticism.

“People must take into consideration the transport cost before questioning how much the council has spent on the housing project. All building materials were imported from other towns such as Keetmanshoop and Windhoek. Therefore, it’s logical that the cost of building a house at Bethanie will be much higher,” he said.

According to Humphries, the houses cost about N$100 000 each.

The pensioners’ houses are divided into two units, each consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and a combined kitchen and dining room. They are not painted and the outside walls are not plastered.

The houses that will be leased are painted and plastered.

Last week the council chairperson, Andreas Knouwds, called on Local Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo to upgrade the village to a town, claiming that it had made strides in economic development.

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