Keetmanshoop — Government is set to spend an extra N$6.3 million to repair and complete the vandalised mass houses at Keetmanshoop.
While 150 houses out of the 320 houses at the town have been handed over to their new owners, some of the completed houses could not be handed over as they were vandalised by residents when the programme was put on hold by President Hage Geingob.
This act of vandalism left the houses with broken windows and doors, while kitchen cupboards and burglar bars were removed, and some solar geysers stolen from the rooftops, and as if this was not enough, some of the houses were filled with human faeces as residents close to the houses used them as toilets.
Keetmanshoop municipal public relations officer, Dawn Kruger, confirmed the repairs have started and are expected to finish by April, adding that the tender has been given to three contractors and the houses will be handed to their owners as soon as the work is completed to avoid further vandalism.
"Yes, the tender has been given to three contractors to finish the job to the tune of N$6.3 million for the renovation and completion of houses, and these houses will be given to their owners as soon as they are completed," she said.
Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Kröhne in an interview with New Era said she is happy the houses will finally be completed, adding that the Keetmanshoop Town Council is committed to the provision of affordable housing to its residents.
"We really want to provide affordable houses to our people and it is very important for us to make sure that each and every inhabitant of the town has decent affordable houses," she said.
She further revealed that while 89 of the houses were being renovated, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development committed to build another 88 mass houses at the town's Kronlein suburb in six months, and this, she said, speaks volumes of the government's commitment to the provision of housing to its people.
She called on the community to be thankful for what the council and government are doing, by taking care of the houses, and do away with vandalism and shacks.
"The government and the local authority really want to do away with these informal settlements, and the government came up with this mass housing for us to do away with shacks and have proper houses, so let us refrain from setting up these structures - we need to appreciate things," she said.
Kröhne said the town has ample land and thus private partners must approach the municipality to see how best they can further contribute to the town's development, saying the council does not have the financial capability to do it all on its