A group of disgruntled community members at Arandis have been camping in front of the town council since Sunday evening, in protest of land.
The group, the majority of whom are elderly and pregnant women, proceeded to petition the town council for the fourth time on Monday morning, expressing their disappointment and anger towards the council, which they say has failed to provide land and housing to low-income earners.
“We are tired of renting, and after numerous fruitless efforts through four petitions to the council, we had no choice but to camp out here despite the cold weather, because we want to express our seriousness about the land issue. We are no longer saving our money for a rainy day because we have been paying rent all our lives and we are afraid this will continue unless the issue is dealt with,” the group said.
They further expressed how they do not feel welcome in their own town due to the lack of urgency that their issue is being treated with.
“We are suffering in our own town, in our own country and are disregarded due to our social backgrounds and disrespected despite our age. We do not have privacy in our shacks as we are sharing small spaces with our children and grandchildren,” they stated.
They further requested the town council to write off the debts of senior citizens, saying there is no way they would ever be able to pay the debt off as most of them only depend on pensions, which is not sufficient.
The group further accused the council of nepotism and corruption when it comes to tender allocations and vacant positions, stressing that this continues to contribute to the high employment rate in the town.
It gave the council five days to respond to their queries, saying failure to do so will force them to walk to Windhoek where they will seek the audience of President Hage Geingob personally.
Arandis Town Council Chief Executive Officer Stanley Norris received the petition and acknowledged receipt of the previous petitions.
He informed the group that the council needs time to study the petition properly in order to give satisfactory responses to the group.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency