Government will have to fork out more money to repair vandalized houses built under the mass housing programme in Keetmanshoop after community members vandalized a huge chunk of those houses.
About 320 houses were planned for Keetmanshoop for the first phase of the programme.
Located near the Ileni Informal Settlement where tribal-charged fights broke out last week, most of the houses either have their windows broken, kitchen cupboards removed, burglar bars damaged, solar geysers stolen and floor tiles damaged.
Due to its location near the informal settlement, some of the residents at the settlement have been shopping illegally for material to build their shacks.
Businessmen at the town have also been accused of sustaining a market where stolen goods such as the solar geysers from the mass houses are sold. Scrap yard owners have also been benefitting unduly from the vandalism of the houses as desperate community members ransack the houses for any metal objects that can be sold.
When The Patriot visited the site on which the houses are located this week, there was no sign of any security apparatus to care for the houses until they are handed over to the potential owners.
National Housing Enterprise CEO Gisbertus Mukulu said the repairing of the houses is the responsibility of the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.
“The houses have not been handed over to use yet, therefore they are still under the care of the Ministry until such a time that they are handed to us. We will not be able to sell houses that have defects that situation must be rectified,” he said during a telephonic interview.
Residents fear that the longer the houses stand unoccupied, the more it will be at risk of vandalism.
And with the recent economic crisis that has engulfed the country, it remaint to be seen where funds to repair the houses will be sourced from.
The construction of the houses in Keetmanshoop under the mass housing project was seen as the solution to the southern towns housing deficit.
The municipality has a housing waiting list topping 2000, but there is no serviced land.
With the town being allotted 320 houses under the mass housing programme, only 65 were completed by April 2016.
The houses were constructed by the Namibia Homes company.
The project will benefit both the unemployed, lower-middle, middle and high- income groups.
The mass housing project aims to build 185 000 houses across the country by 2030 at a cost of N$45 billion.