Namibia: Walvis Bay Makes U-Turn On Evictions

WALVIS BAY council has reversed its decision to institute legal action against residents who are illegally occupying eight erven at Twaloloka.

In its last council meeting held on 30 March, the council recommended the commencement of the legal process to evict illegal occupants of vacant erven 6327, 6347, 6362, 6410, 6486, 6630, 6674 and 6693. Once cleared, the erven were to be sold through public bidding with 71 other erven.

The municipality's public relations officer, Caty Sheya, confirmed the eviction.

"Council resolved to evict the occupants and the sale of those erven will then proceed," she said.

However the town's mayor, Trevino Forbes, has said the evictions will not happen until the council has found alternative land to settle the people.

"The council decided not to include in the sale those erven where people are currently staying even though they are there illegally. We will not be evicting those people from that land. We cannot solve a problem by creating another problem," he said.

Although the issue was recorded in the council minutes, Forbes said the decision was rejected.

"This council is not there to make people's lives difficult. We can't have people running around looking for a place to stay where there is nothing. They are land grabbers after all. Where will they go?" he asked.

The municipality will announce the sale of the 71 other erven in due course. The upcoming sale will be for erven zoned as single residential at Kuisebmond and Meersig.

No land is up for sale at Narraville. Walvis Bays is struggling with a huge housing backlog as most of the town's land is private property.

Former town councillor Gibson Goseb says there must be genuine political will to service Extension 8 that can yield around 300 erven.

"That too will take time as the servicing of an extension can be between three and four months. The council should prioritise the servicing of Erf 8635 at Kuisebmond that can yield 194 erven that will assist the council to address the housing shortage. That can have a sizable impact on addressing the housing backlog," he said.

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