By Elvis Muraranganda
THE growing demand for land and affordable, quality housing is threatening to destabilise the Khomas region, if not correctly handled.
These were the words of Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua, during her State of the Region Address this week.
The Khomas region has seen increasing incidents of land grabbing, especially in the Havana, Goreangab and 8ste Laan areas, leading to clashes with the City of Windhoek, while some cases have headed to the courts.
McLeod-Kat j i rua stressed that due to the influx into Windhoek, the population in the region is growing drastically, day by day, and this has put a strain on the regional police, in terms of manpower, as well as on infrastructure and general resources, to meet basic requirements.
“The recent outcry for land and housing is a cause for concern, and might destabilise the region, if not addressed early, as there are sporadic reports of land grabbing in Windhoek,” McLeod-Katjirua explained.
“All these are challenges need to be tackled head-on, for the security situation in our region to be sustainable,” she said.
The land question has been a bone of contention, and has led to birth of many movements pioneered by land activists, who have been frequently demanding effective delivery.
The situation intensified, as the demand for a Second National Land Conference took centre stage, which the government has agreed to host.
“Our region will help in organising and hosting the Second National Land Conference, which will aim to address the challenges of land reform in the country,” McLeod-Katjirua said.
“President Hage Geingob, in his 2017 New Year’s message, informed the nation that the government will forge ahead with the hosting of the conference in September.”
McLeod-Kat j i rua noted that the conference will review the resolutions of the 1991 Land Conference, and chart the way forward.
“I shall also keep urging our people of Khomas, and the rest of Namibia, to be very patient while the government, through the Ministry of Land Reform, is organising the hosting of the conference that will deliberate and pass resolutions on some of the pertinent issues on land reform in the Khomas region and the country.”
According to the governor, the scarcity of agricultural farmland in Khomas, and beyond, is one of the challenges that the country’s Land Reform Programme will continue to be faced with.
“There is growing demands for resettlement in the region; hence the competition becomes high in the process, (amid fears) that only a few could make it to the allotment.”
On other issues, McLeod-Katjirua said that despite enormous investment initiatives, levels of unemployment continue to grow, especially among the labour active youth in the region.
She remarked that, in general, there was very effective and efficient performance by the public and private sectors during the 2016/17 financial year, in her region.
Capacity building efforts, she said, are paying off, while poverty and inequality levels are being reduced in the region.
“However, we still have unfinished business, and issues of serious concern, which are not insurmountable.
“They just require a bit of more hard work, despite economic challenges and hardships. Youth unemployment will continue to be our priority number one, on the regional agenda, for the 2017/18 financial year,” McLeod-Katjirua added.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015