By Donna Collins
OPPORTUNISTS are scamming the public regarding over 3 000 hectares of Walvis Bay desert land that the Municipality is working towards making available; and any exchange of money at this stage is illegal.
In his address during a recent council meeting, Walvis Bay Mayor Immanuel Wilfried referred to his concerns of ‘Farm 37’ which is Government-owned land falling under the jurisdiction of Walvis Bay.
“There are individuals and groups of people who are currently spreading incorrect information and misleading the public about the status and development of Farm 37, and have even gone as far as collecting money from people to reserve erven,” he fumed.
“We are appealing to residents not to fall into those traps because it is highly unlikely that they will see their money again and they will not be able to reserve any erven through these dubious means.
“Anyone entering into an arrangement over an erf in this manner will do so at their own risk, because when it comes to land only the local authority is empowered by the act, and no one can just decide who can allocate land to whom.”
Wilfried told Confidente that council was alerted to this scam after numerous people came to the Municipal offices asking who for the custodian of Farm 37, explaining that deposits to secure portions of land were being paid into various accounts.
“Our public relations division together with the office of the Chief Executive are busy with a full investigation to find out who has paid money into what accounts, and are tracing banking details as we need to get to the bottom of this scam,” said the Mayor.
“Currently we are collecting all the proof to see how much people are paying for a piece of the promised land”.
Wilfried reiterated there are negotiations underway between various ministries and the Walvis Bay council over the sprawling Farm 37, and no one can jump the gun before everything has been put into place.
He also stressed that only the Walvis Bay council has the mandate to make any official announcements and decisions regarding this land and its distribution. And only once the land is available will the council sit around the table and work out a modus operandi.
“To put up a township of this magnitude would take about five of the matter, we want to fast-track the process once it is in our hands.” years, but because of the urgency
“We currently have about 68 000 people living in backyard squatter shacks in Walvis Bay, and council is working towards securing land to ultimately relocate these people and give them a better life.”
He further explained that the allocation of erven at Farm 37 will be done strictly according to the official waiting list. But in the meantime, the public has a duty to report such dishonest people to the police, to prevent a situation where the scammers rob people of their money with false promises, he added.
It was said that last month that the Walvis Bay council had met with NAMPAB township advisory board on the issue of Farm 37 in order to address a number of issues that potentially posed as stumbling blocks. These issues were amicably resolved and official approval for the establishment of Farm 37 made a formality.
“Only once we have received that first round of approval can we move forward to the series of requirements to satisfy the Townships Board, before a go ahead for the provision of services.
“By the time we provide feedback to the public again, we should have a better idea of the timeline it would require to develop the first phase of Farm 37, but before then, the public must ignore any unofficial information or entering into financial transactions with anyone,” concluded Mayor Wilfried.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015