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Supporting Vision 2030’s objective for a better quality of life for all Namibians:
EBH Namibia announces an affordable housing project for its employees
20 August 2014

In 2004, the government of Namibia announced its Vision 2030 – a wide-reaching development plan which aims to make the country a prosperous, harmonious and industrialised state by 2030. Central to this vision is to improve the quality of life of the people of Namibia ‘to the level of their counterparts in the developed world’. In recognising the importance of partnerships to achieve sustainable development, the government called on all members of society, including the private sector, to join together in ensuring the fulfilment of Vision 2030.

As a major contributor to the Namibian national economy, ship repair company Elgin, Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia, has always heeded the call for the socio-economic uplifting of Namibia’s people through job creation, supporting the local communities in and around Walvis Bay. This supportive ethos has now been taken an important step further, with the announcement of an affordable housing project for EBH Namibia’s employees.

“EBH Namibia has always been serious about social responsibility, and we have initiated a number of projects which are based on the needs of our local community. We decided to take our involvement in the community to the next level by addressing the local housing shortage,” says Hannes Uys, Chief Executive Officer of EBH Namibia.

It was when employees of EBH Namibia requested assistance from management to procure affordable housing that Uys decided to start researching the local housing market. Finding that there was a shortage of affordable housing in the area, the company approached the local council - on behalf of its employees - to facilitate the process of procuring land. In April 2014, EBH Namibia purchased 10 hectares of undeveloped land accordingly.

“The land will be developed in due course, and will be used exclusively for the housing project. The first time home-owners employed by EBH Namibia, who have previously not had access to affordable housing, will be given first option. They will purchase the houses directly from the developer, via bank-approved loans,” explains Uys.

The company is in the final stages of awarding the tender to develop the land, and the successful developer will be announced thereafter.

“Like any sustainable project, we view this as a long-term process which has to be carefully planned. There is still much work to be done to prepare the land and create the relevant infrastructure before actual construction can take place,” says Uys, explaining that reticulation of the land is planned to commence soon after the tender has been awarded.

“Housing remains a critical issue in Namibia and as contributors to the economy it is incumbent on the private sector, in partnership with government and other stakeholders, to ensure that our shared vision of improving the quality of life of all citizens of this country becomes a reality,” says Uys. “As in any developing country, access to adequate housing is pivotal to social and economic well-being and progress.”

He continues: “We are thrilled to have come this far in initiating the process of establishing an affordable housing project; and are looking forward to the day when a number of our employees obtain something that every individual should have – the key to their own front door!”
 
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