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MILE Strengthens Partnership with Namibia

In many African countries and developing countries generally, the lack of sustainable housing is a major challenge.  Media reports suggest that urbanisation is the main cause for urban poverty and homelessness in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some countries provide free housing schemes and others don’t.  Every country has a different approach to human settlements and it is with this mindset that the Ministry of Housing from Namibia sent a delegation to attend a recent study visit to learn more about South Africa’s approach to Sustainable Housing.

The learning exchange entailed the delegation visit different Municipalities within South Africa to learn more about their approach to housing. Their final stop in their week-long tour of South Africa   was in Durban to learn with the eThekwini Municipality. Hosted by the South African National Department of Human Settlements in partnership with eThekwini Municipality at the Mayors Boardroom in Durban City Hall, the delegation was given a warm welcome by the Deputy Mayor: Cllr. Nomvuzo Shabalala who reaffirmed the City’s commitment to work closely with our West African neighbours.

The Learning Exchange included information presentations that were made by eThekwini officials around the City of Durban, eThekwini’s approach to Housing and the MILE programme.

During the question and answer session many important points were noted around housing. These included: revenue for projects, free low cost housing, the complications involved in moving people from informal settlements to temporary settlements to low cost housing, limited free water and electricity among other pertinent issues.

After the discussions it was decided by National Government and Namibia that MILE will play a facilitative role between eThekwini and Namibia in terms of further engagements around housing working via the International and Governance Relations Unit.

The Deputy Director General of Housing in Namibia, Mr. Cornelius Thaniseb was pleased with the study visit and expressed his satisfaction with eThekwini’s developments in the housing sector.

“We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to the staff members of eThekwini Municipality for the good programme and the time spent with us. The issue of providing housing is a very big challenge for Namibia. Since 1994 the South African government has done a lot inn terms. It is quite an achievement. We have learnt some valuable lessons that we will take back home with us. When we wake up one day and see the houses are provided for the lower income people then we will reach our principle as a city.  We have learnt quite a lot and look forward to further exchanges like this in Namibia. We hope to continue exchanging notes,” emphasised Thaniseb.

A detailed learning note will be uploaded on the MILE website soon.

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