Friday 18 June 2021
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Standard Bank to continue restoring decent housing

Since its inception in 2015, Standard Bank, Buy-a-Brick initiative together with its partners, the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia and the broader Namibian public has managed to raise over N$ 7.1 million that has been used to provide decent housing to more than 200 people who form part of the low- to- no income group in Namibia.
Buy-a-Brick is a corporate social investment campaign geared towards addressing Namibia’s housing needs for disadvantaged communities.
It also facilitates with research for alternative building materials and building methods that will reduce the cost of building as well as increase the speed of constructing houses.
During the 4th Buy-A Brick initiative held in Windhoek, Standard bank CEO, Vetumbuavi Mungunda highlighted that the Buy-a-Brick plans on constructing 1000 houses annually for Namibians from the low-to-no income group as the provision of housing is a topic that is close to many Namibian hearts.
The construction of the houses will be a joint effort between the Bank, MTC and Bidvest who have shown interest in taking the project further.
“Housing should become an important pillar of our CSR programs and a key pillar of government because it restores dignity, provides shelter, warmth, opportunity for individuals to engage, dream and hope” Mungunda said.
He noted that when the Buy-a-brick initiative was first launched very few people, would not have predicted that the project would evolve into a national initiative that would make a significant difference in the lives of many ordinary Namibians.
“Besides colleting and mobilising contributions and building houses, I believe this initiative is well on its way to realising its primary and most difficult task of raising public consciousness about the plight of the poor.
About 30 percent of the Namibian population does not work; that is a big percentage of people and for those that work among them, there are about 20 percent of them that fall under the category of low income, these are domestic workers, security guards who earn less than N$ 2000” he said.
Whilst the country is still looking for ways to create employment, Mungunda suggested that Namibia immediately looks into several other ways that can help the low-to-no income people have better housing.
“I believe that the time is now right to enhance collaborative approach amongst Namibians for the sake of the poor and in order to invite more formal participation from the corporate sector, we would want to take the Buy-a-Brick national by establishing a steering committee comprising of other likeminded national organisations. ” he said.
Mungunda further stated that Standard Bank is working towards deviating the Buy-a-Brick initiative from the Bank as to allow the initiative to create its own national character.
“We believe that this is a national initiative that should be supported by all and steered by all.
Thus the corporate sector and the public at large should contribute to making the Shack Dwellers Federation the focal point of efforts to finding solutions for the over 500 000 Namibians that are unemployed” he said.
MTC Acting CEO, Thinus Smit noted MTC has decided to give more than just mobile connection to the people of Namibia as it has seen that life was challenging for various people in Namibia.
“We all need to see Namibia as one and many more corporates should be associated with projects that make a real difference in the lives of others” he said.
Smit concluded by stating that corporates also have the responsibility to look outside their expertise and make a change with as little as they can because the small contributions make a difference.

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