Mass Housing Creates over 4800 JobsPosted: 2014-12-08
Some 4 888 direct jobs have been created through government’s ongoing mass housing programme, but the figure is more than 15 600 short of the 20 556 jobs targeted for the first phase of the project. The unavailability of land in some towns as well as issues related to funding of the project have been identified as some of the reasons for the shortfall.
The number of jobs is, however, expected to increase once all targeted towns have commenced with the ambitious housing scheme – funded to the tune of N$45 billion in total. The latest National Housing Enterprise (NHE) document seen by New Era contains the figures. On average, a Namibian worker feeds at least four people, meaning at least 19 552 people are impacted by jobs created through mass housing thus far. According to the blueprint of the programme, the new jobs to be created in the economy are therefore estimated at 20 556 in the initial and subsequent years of the programme.
In November 2013, government launched the N$45-billion programme through which 185 000 houses are expected to be constructed by 2030 – when phase one is supposed to come to an end. NHE’s senior manager for technical services and property management, Uazuva Kaumbi yesterday said: “The target can still be achieved when the promised number of plots becomes available and when the funding issues are resolved. It might, however, take longer than two years to achieve the target, but it is still part of Phase 1.” The job creation figures were based on a housing output of over 10 000 units over two years, Kaumbi said, adding that: “Most importantly, it included the land servicing projects as well.”
Kaumbi explained that: “The land servicing component was removed from NHE and placed with the local authorities. So the job figures in this regard should be obtained from them.” Several local authorities have struggled, since the inception of the programme, to avail plots on which houses under the programme can be constructed.
He also pointed out that just over 3 400 housing units are currently under construction, which is about 34 percent of the target, thus the job figures will he much less. According to the blueprint, at least 10 827 houses have to be constructed per annum. “The reason for having only 34 percent under construction is because of the insufficient number of serviced plots. Some of the local authorities are still busy servicing the land,” he said. According to NHE figures, the average monthly income for unskilled labourers is about N$3 000 while skilled workers receive about N$4 000 monthly. The contractor, Power Oyeno, tops the employment chart with 1 200 employees followed by GreenCycle (700), Stantoll (350), 7 Sirs Group (327), Ferusa (245) and Namibian Homes (200).