During the 2020 Cabinet Retreat, housing was identified as one of 3 priority sectors alongside Agriculture and Education as strategic enablers through which Namibia’s economic emancipation must be pursued. The latest data form the Namibian Statistics Agency indicates that Namibia has 113 informal settlements with 230,000 shacks and a population of 401,748 inhabitants. To cement the Government’s commitment to reducing inequality and providing decent shelter, the economic advancement pillar under HPPII will pursue activities that will accelerate the delivery of ultra-low-cost housing in various regions of the country as a means to catalyse economic activity and simultaneously boost the construction sector.
To achieve an optimal return on investment, Government will promote the institutionalization of early value engineering at feasibility, concept or design stage, for the implementation of all capital projects conducted under HPPII, starting with housing delivery. Value engineering can be defined as a formalized and organised approach to providing the necessary functions in a project at the lowest cost. This approach to design and construction promotes the early substitution of materials and methods with more cost-effective alternatives, without sacrificing functionality and quality.
Currently, this philosophy has been briefly mooted in Vision 2030 and NDP5, where alternative construction methods and models have been encouraged, and the FIDIC suite of contracts which outlines mechanisms for the contractor to submit value engineering proposals during the construction stage. Finally, the Resolution 24 of the 2nd Land Conference held in 2018 motivated for “Relevant Government Agencies to develop standards for local and alternative building materials and redraft standards for building low-cost houses”, and to “Investigate how to incorporate housing development and construction into the local value chains to support economic development.” Given the scarcity of land and the limitation of affordable housing in Namibia, an innovative and novel approach to designing and delivering housing, and indeed any other capital projects, is warranted. Which is why this activity will promote the infusion of the value engineering ethos into the accelerated provision of housing as a critical element to support sustainable stimulative economic activity.
In addition, Government will collaborate with all stakeholders to source funding for land acquisition with a central focus on effective and affordable Housing delivery throughout the HPPII period. In conclusion, given the limited fiscal space and unrelenting socio-economic pressures from COVID-19, attracting sustainable private sector investment into the economy becomes a critical undertaking. The Government is committed to fostering synergetic partnerships with members of the private sector who share the passion and dedication for inclusive growth in Namibia. Today more than ever, we have to stress the need for advancing our economic development in a manner where no one is left out, no matter the race, gender or creed.