WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD) has allocated over N.dollars 1.3 billion out of its total budget of N.dollars 2.6 billion to regional and local governments as well as the traditional authorities.

Recently motivating his ministry’s 2024/25 budget, Minister Erastus Uutoni informed parliament that over N.dollars 904 million in subsidies will support the operational and service delivery capacity of regional councils, local authorities, and traditional authorities.

The remaining N.dollars 362 million will be used for revision of the Local Authorities Act of 1992, the Councils of Traditional Leaders Act of 1997 and its Amendment Act No. 31 of 2000, and the Traditional Authorities Act of 2000.

The ministry is also finalising the development of the Urban Land Reform Policy and Strategy, he said.

Uutoni also said the money will be further spent on upgrading and constructing ten open markets in various localities, including Bukalo, Eenhana, Keetmanshoop, Okakarara, Omaruru, Omuthiya, Op
uwo, Oshivelo Settlement, and Outjo.

He said the ministry has also allocated N.dollars 16 million to fund activities related to the decentralisation of additional functions from ministries to regional councils.

‘In addition, over N.dollars 1.04 billion has been allocated towards supporting urban and regional planning, infrastructure, and housing development programmes. This allocation is part of the development budget amounting to N.dollars 1.203 billion,’ he said.

According to Uutoni, the ministry plans to spend N.dollars 360 million on massive urban land servicing countrywide, while N.dollars 193 million will be spent on upgrading informal settlements.

The ministry further allocated N.dollars 221 million for housing delivery through government-funded programmes such as the Mass Housing Development Programme and Build Together Programme and support to the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia.

‘The budgetary allocation to this programme will be deployed to sustain and scale up our existing and new policy
initiatives aimed at creating increased and inclusive access to and opportunities for land tenure security and decent housing for our citizens,’ he said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

News Reporter