Nationwide Petition on Land and Housing in Namibia

Demonstration and handover of petition by DRC Concerned Residents at Swakopmund Municipality in 2012.

With this nationwide petition, We, the landless and homeless Citizens of this country, call on the Right Honourable Prime Minister and all esteemed members of the National Assembly to debate at the opening of Parliament in 2015 as a matter of utmost importance, the following Motion for an Amendment to the Constitution.

Whereas we recognise the right to human dignity, the right to life and the pursuit of happiness as the founding principles of the Republic of Namibia, and whereas we recognise the deep scars of inequality left by colonialism and apartheid, we herewith call on the Government of Namibia to immediately address the housing problem through urgent reform of the Supreme Law of the Land.

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Proposed amendment to the Constitution

  1. The State shall henceforth guarantee a minimum of one piece of residential land to every citizen, no matter their circumstance, as their full and inalienable right as citizens of Namibia. Access to land to live on is the practical fulfilment of the founding values of the Republic, based on the ideals of justice, dignity and equality.

a) In accordance with this amendment, henceforth every Citizen of the Republic shall in due course, be allocated a suitable piece of residential land to live on as their fundamental Constitutional Right.

b) The Constitutional guarantee to land, as set down herewith, protects the inalienable right of every citizen to a home and a suitable piece of land to live on. Subject to this amendment, no citizen of the Republic shall be homeless or landless. This is the practical fulfilment of the promise of independence.

c) The size and location of such residential erven in urban and rural areas shall be based on the needs of the residents of any given area, factoring in the capacity of the local authorities, as well as the industrial requirements and natural resources of the particular regions, but such erven should at any rate measure no less than 500 square metres per household;

d) The order of priority in the allocation and the sizes of erven in towns and villages shall be subject to a consultative democratic process at local level, within the national legislative framework, to ensure the basic freedom of each Citizen to live on a piece of land as their own inalienable right and freedom under this Constitution.

e) All such land allocation by the State shall furthermore be subject to full public scrutiny and transparency.

f) Where local authorities are not able to carry the full cost of installing basic municipal services, including bulk water supply, electricity and sanitation services, to such residential erven as proscribed and legislated under this amendment, such services shall be made available at a rate not exceeding the actual cost of installing said municipal services.

Endorsed by the DRC Concerned Group on 19 November 2014

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