Saturday 17 April 2021
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Fed-up housing applicants want to be involved

Disgruntled Mariental community members have accused the municipality of dishing out Build-Together houses without the right scope and demand to be involved in the process for transparency.
One of the applicants, who availed her documents to The Patriot, applied for housing in 2007 and a decade later, she still lives under her mother’s roof.
“I applied in 2007 and every time I was told to wait. Last year, when I was not called to get my house, I was told that my name was not on the list, which is shocking even when I provided them with a copy of my application.
What is shocking is learning that the houses were given to police officers and people who work in the municipality. These are people who applied after me and some do not even qualify to get the Build-Together houses,” said Meisie Witbooi.
At the age of 50, Witbooi lives with her mother, children and grandchildren totaling 19 people in a three-bedroomed house.
A week ago, a group of angry home-seekers marched to municipality offices to hand in a petition highlighting their discomfort regarding the housing matter. The petition, in the hands of this publication, states that the community wants a community representative at municipality level, as stated in the Local Authority Act.
The petition calls on the municipality to publicise the applicants’ list so that everyone knows who and how they get the houses.
The group also calls for the advertising of erven so that everyone is accorded the same opportunity to apply. Among other pertinent issues, the petition calls for the removal of a certain Mr Matesu and Ms Boois, who work with the matter to be removed from office. The petition gives the municipality 14 days to respond to the group.
“We hear that our petition has become a laughing matter in the corridors of the municipality. Talks are that we are just a group of people making noise so they do not take us seriously.
So, if they do not reply, we will go and erect our shacks at the serviced land so that we all have a place to call home. That is what they want. We want the police officers who got the houses to come and remove us,” said another community member Rogetha Haack.
To qualify for a Build-Together house, your salary must be below N$2 000 monthly with a pay slip as proof. This was thought to be a relief for the community members but it seems the administrative irregularities still do not allow for the process to be as such.
“My daughter applied for a Build-Together house and she was told that her salary is very high so she did not qualify.
So how is it right that the police and municipal employees qualify for the Build-Together houses?” asks Witbooi.
Haack adds; “Our elders applied ever since the programme started in 2006 but they still do not have houses. They are now and then told that their names are not on the list, sent from office to office while the born-frees are getting houses.
Our elders will die without houses and it is not fair.”
The angry members feel that there is some sort of double standards because when the programme started, the word from the President was that even the women selling fat cakes must be able to get a house.
Later, the regionals governor, Esme Isaack, announced that the police should be given priority. As such, the houses have now been given to a few police members leaving elders who applied a decade ago still homeless.

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