President Hage Geingob has expressed contentment to learn that 57% of proud homeowners at the Osona Village south of Okahandja are women. The village, developed for low and middle-income earners, currently has over 1 000 homeowners.
The 1 100-hectare village project, which is worth N$230 million, is an initiative of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) in partnership with local business Preferred Investment Property Fund under its unlisted investment programme (UIP) for the construction of houses.
In 2014, Geingob was invited for a groundbreaking ceremony signalling the start of the construction of over 1 000 houses. GIPF CEO David Nuyoma on Friday during the Osona site visit informed Geingob that the majority of homeowners are women.
Most of these Osona residents commute daily to and from Windhoek. "What is also fascinating to see is when the statistics were produced yesterday [Thursday], 57% of those that are here as homeowners are female, which is indeed a huge transformation and empowerment. What we have also noticed is that the houses are affordable ranging from N$400 000, but on average it is N$600 plus because there are those who have opted to have bigger houses on average of N$660 000," Nuyoma said. Preference has to be given to men and women in uniform from the ministries of defence, health, safety, and security, as well as environment and tourism, but applications from all other government ministries and private individuals are also being considered. "Comrade President gave us clear marching orders that day that there should be provision for uniformed officers, civil servants and that is what has happened.
About 74% of those who own homes here are in those categories and 16% are employed by various parastatals like NamWater because they have a huge facility here and 10% from the private sector. We are keeping within the terms of reference Comrade President," Nuyoma indicated. On his part, Geingob encouraged those who are still not homeowners and are able to commute, to explore the possibility of Osona for property ownership.
"As somebody was saying there are more women - those retired are also here. It is a pleasure seeing people laughing around like this, people sitting around the fire to enjoy the peace and maintain it. If someone can say they can walk around without the fear of being robbed, I hope that will be true in Windhoek as we make everybody in Namibia own something," Geingob added.
The head of state called on the private sector to emulate the Osona development to help government address the housing crisis.
"That brick that was laid has multiplied into at the moment 1 015 houses that are complete and all of them are taken, there are one or two where the residents are yet to move in. I can only imagine them buying their furniture and arranging transport to come here," Nujoma added.
The GIPF has serviced land for a total of 4 494 units thus far countrywide.
"It is all over, from east to west, north to south, or south to north and central we are providing houses, this is not the only project, it is just one of them and we have also put aside N$1.5 billion for end-user financing for our members, but we will deliver some more as the need arrives," he said.