City admits that waiting list for land is vulnerable

16 February 2021 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek’s land application waiting list is vulnerable and can be tampered with, the City’s strategic executive for housing, property management and human settlement has said.
Faniel Maanda revealed this on Monday in response to Landless People’s Movement (LPM) councillor Ivan Skrywer, who queried the list’s legitimacy during a council meeting where key issues around housing were hotly debated.
The master list dates back to 2000 and it has over 30 000 applications for land on it.
“People are saying the list is a hoax to keep those without connections landless. Is the list secure in its current form? Can it be tampered with? People must be able to trust the system,” Skrywer wanted to know.
In reaction, a candid Maanda said: “From an operational point of view, what we’re concerned with is the overall integrity of the list. It’s vulnerable. It can be tampered with.”
According to Maanda, to arrest this vulnerability, the list must be cleaned up (an exercise that involves the verification of applicants with the deed registrar), digitised and sent to council for final approval. Thereafter, the list will be considered manipulation-proof and made public for scrutiny.
The councillors also resolved to pre-allocate 5 000 Windhoek plots over the next three years as part of their agenda to expedite land delivery in a city where more than 150 000 people live in informal settlements.
“Households residing in informal settlements and those on the waiting list are growing more frustrated with a sluggish land delivery process which stands in their way to secure land tenure and associated benefits,” reads a section of the council dossier.
The pre-allocation land delivery exercise is twofold: it will target people on the waiting list (greenfield) and those who live in informal settlements (brownfield).
“The issue is pre-allocation. The list will be cleaned up and digitalised and submitted to the council. This is a critical issue. We need to resolve this,” Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement’s llse Keister said in frustration.
Her sentiments were echoed by National Unity Democratic Organisation’s Joseph Uapingene: “The housing issue is a sensitive one. We all want to achieve this in a short period, but we have a problem with funds. – Nampa