11 December 2012

Namibia: City Condemns Otjomuise Shacks

AT LEAST one family settled in the area opposite the Otjomuise clinic over the weekend in defiance of warnings by the City of Windhoek.

When The Namibian visited the area over the weekend, a group of people were busy erecting a shack.

Last week, about 100 people started clearing the area and demarcated erven for themselves illegally.

Scheifert Shigwedha, the spokesperson of the City of Windhoek, yesterday said that the municipality condemns this.

He said the City Police were asked to monitor the area. A security company was also hired “to constantly make sure people don’t set up shacks there”.

Shigwedha said he would only be able to comment today on the way forward.

He called on people to refrain from grabbing land. “Settlements should take place in a coordinated manner.”

Last week, the City of Windhoek admitted that there were a number of people living on its land illegally.

The illegal occupancy of land is particularly rife in informal settlements.

The City of Windhoek said there was a bottleneck with land delivery in the capital.

Shigwedha on Thursday told people who illegally build shacks on any municipal land to immediately stop doing so “and rather follow appropriate procedures in obtaining land”.

He said they were working on the problem. “There are direct interventions that are making inroads in order to improve the pace of delivering serviced land and are complementing [the] City’s gradual budgetary project provisions.

“There has been a consistent emerging trend where communities at the grassroots level tend to attempt to take advantage during major seasonal and/ or political events to illegally invade and occupy land.

“This behaviour is inappropriate and further slows down the process of adequately demarcating the land for urban development.”

The area opposite the clinic in Otjomuise is currently zoned ‘undetermined’, with the aim of zoning it for business or office use.

Shigwedha said the land is not suitable for residential use as it is too close to a main road. “The City does not encourage development of residential erven along main arterial roads due to heavy traffic use – thus not safe for residential dwelling.”

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