Government last year sold 62 houses for N$6 million to government employees, according to the Ministry of Works and Transport. This means each house was sold for an average price of N$98 000. The Deputy Minister of Works and Transport James Sankwasa announced the windfall sale while presenting his budget speech on Wednesday when he announced that the works ministry will require N$312 million to maintain government properties during the 2016/17 financial year. “The exercise on the sale of government pool houses is an ongoing process. During the Financial year 2015/2016, Sixty two (62) Government Pool Houses have been sold to the occupants and an amount of N$6.08 million has being generated,” said Sankwasa. He said the ministry continues attending to subdivisions of affected properties countrywide and the valuations of the various properties. Sankwasa also said the works department is also addressing the issue of properties erroneously transferred to Local Authorities and some individuals.
The budgeted amount includes the operational budget (utilities) for paying rates and taxes to Local Authorities in the amount which amounts to N$25.1 million while N$ 84.8 million is provided for under Property Rental and Related charges which will be used for financing the rental of office accommodation for offices, ministries, agencies “to ensure that Government Institutions have reasonable and adequate facilities to operate from.” The program, according to the deputy minister also includes the purchasing of land for development and property assessment studies. Sankwasa said the increase in the number of ministries and government agencies resulted in an increased demand for office accommodation. The ministry also indicated that it managed capital construction projects on behalf of line ministries over N$450million.
“With the typical building construction project cycle as introduced by the Department now fully in place to guide the budgeting process by line Ministries, it[project cycle] successfully contributed to realistic and balanced implementation of capital projects and programmes on the development budget for the 2015/16 financial year,” he said. Sankwasa requested an amount of N$ 12.1 million for the provision of Horticultural services to GRN office buildings and service centers for the 2016/17 financial year. This will cater for gardening services at Government Office Buildings and service centers including planning, layout, planting, watering, fertilizing, pruning, cleaning, general maintenance, supply and maintenance of pot plants, maintenance of swimming pools and provide plants for decorations during National events.