High-Level Panel calls for low-income earners to receive land at no cost

High-Level Panel calls for low-income earners to receive land at no cost

People in low-income group living in informal settlements in urban areas must be allocated land at no cost.
This forms part of the recommendations by the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy submitted to President Hage Geingob.
It estimates that about 900 000 people live in shacks countrywide and the panel's chairperson said that the allocation of land should no longer be on the basis of affordability and other market economics.
Johannes !Gawaxab said the ultimate aim should be to mitigate homelessness and landlessness in Namibia.
However, there are considerations to be looked before plots are given for free.
The panel recommends that the offer be limited to lower-income groups and people who have occupied the plots for at least a year.
It also urged the local authorities to align projects with the central government to fast-track the process of formalising informal settlements.
!Gawaxab said that if this proposal is to be considered, local authorities would recover their money through rates and taxes instead of just sale of plots to people who cannot afford them.
The panel also wants the Government to repeal and re-craft the national housing policy.
It says the policy has failed to address the housing challenges.
President Geingob, last month said the recommendations are subject to discussions with Cabinet.