Housing development takes off at Swakop
News - National | 2019-11-19
by Adam Hartman
THE Block 9 Endowment Trust's housing development of business partners Sylvanus Kathindi and Sebby Kankondi at Swakopmund handed over service infrastructure worth N$56 million to the Swakopmund municipality on Friday.
All services were constructed in a record seven months since April on a 14 500m² plot bought by Block 9 from the municipality for N$14 million.
The plot will be developed into 112 mixed-use erven ranging from residential to general business and institutional. According to Kathindi, 80 erven have already been sold.
While the development is private, the handing over of service infrastructure to the management of the municipality saved the latter from having to develop its own services on the one hand, and allows it to earn valuable rates and taxes on the other. Swakopmund constituency councillor Juuso Kambueshe and urban development deputy minister Derek Klazen said the development was key to socio-economic growthl and stressed the important role the private sector plays in assisting the government, through local authorities, in providing much-needed services.
Kambueshe, who was the mayor at the time when the plot was sold, shrugged off past rumours that the plot was "reserved for comrades", hence the delay.
"This was a proper transaction without any favours. It was paid for, and the developer has delivered on the agreed terms and conditions," he said, adding that delays were due to transfers and bureaucracy.
It took nearly nine years for the development to see the light of day - most of the time it was delayed by "red tape", according to Kathindi, who added that the public-private partnership was a valuable contribution to the town's development.
Klazen called the general delays in development due to bureaucratic red tape an "embarrassment".
According to him, the new Urban and Regional Planning Act which was promulgated last year will hopefully streamline processes to ensure developments receive the green light quicker.
He said it was old laws that held back progress.
"The private sector can help the government with the development and servicing of land, and they therefore need to be enabled to do so. The government cannot do it themselves," he stressed.