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From Shack to Shelter: Another Milestone for Namibia after Independence

Date Published: 4 March 2016 Three partners handed over a symbolic cheque to the SDFN.

True Public Private Partnership became a reality when three private companies joined hands to support the provision of community driven houses for low income families, by pledging N$ 3 million to SDFN/NHAG in Otavi today.

The escalating demand for low cost housing in Namibia has reached a crisis point and requires urgent assistance, not only from Government, but also from the Private Sector and assistance from every Namibian citizen.

Housing affordability has deteriorated significantly in recent years and Namibia is currently facing multiple major housing challenges. The national housing backlog is estimated to be in excess of 100 000 units, and is increasing by 3 700 units on average per annum.

Empathy for fellow Namibians and supporting Government initiatives were the driving factors that motivated Ohorongo Cement, The FNB Namibia Foundation and The Pupkewitz Foundation to join hands in the fight against poverty eradication, by supporting the Shack Dwellers Federation Namibia (SDFN)/Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG).

The fiscal and economic benefits that accrue when communities encourage the development of affordable homes are rarely taken into account. Healthy communities build a healthy nation and a strong economy.

Supporting initiatives to assist in supplying housing to the underprivileged improves educational outcomes, increases health and wellbeing, boosts economic activity and lowers social service costs for government.

The core competencies of the three private partners are not purely Corporate Social Investment (CSI) driven, as it forms merely a smaller part of its investment and business existence. Instead of trying to run independent in-house initiatives, the three partners decided to work hand in hand with reputable organizations like NSDFN/NHAG, who clearly have a winning recipe when looking at their results & outcomes to date.

“There lies great power in joining forces and when we work together, we can affect bigger change, while at the same time, supporting Government initiatives. Initiatives like these creates solidarity,”
said Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement.

“They have the knowledge and know-how and through this partnership, we support not only our people, but also our planet, while changing lives in the process,” said Sarel Van Wyk, FNB Group CEO.

“The escalating demand for low cost-housing has reached crisis point in our country and requires strategic assistance from Government, the private sector and every Namibian citizen. It is against this background that the Pupkewitz Foundation through the Pupkewitz Holdings/Group of companies step up to the plate to join our valued partners RMB and Ohorongo Cement with the Shack Dwellers Federation in the fight to provide low cost housing, capacity building and empowerment to our fellow Namibian citizens”

SDFN/NHAG was chosen as the organization to support, due to their core competencies, listed below:

  • Capable and effective leadership skills combined with technical know-how
  • Business mind-set of the members & Passion for affecting change
  • High community involvement and accountability
  • Sustainability & longevity of the Fund
  • Measurable outcomes and fully audited reports
  • Capacity Building through transfer of knowledge & skills, which creates employment opportunities
  • Strong community focus which match our partner values

SDFN/NHAG is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), community based organization, that aims to improve living conditions of the underprivileged Namibians, by providing its members with building loans ranging between N$ 20 000-N$ 35 0000.

The loans are repayable within a period of 11 years at an interest rate of 0.5% per annum. Loan repayments of members again strengthens the fund, to increase the provision of even more loans to Namibians.

In the process, the Fund is reinforced and everybody benefits. Reinforcing the fund simply lowers the cost of houses, thus increasing the number of loans / houses to be made available.

It must be stressed that nobody gets a house ‘free of charge’. 

The projects for 2016 has identified the following areas by the partners in collaboration with the SDFN/NHAG to kick off with projects to build in excess of 91 houses in various regions.

A vital part of the success of SDFN/NHAG is to learn from one another by transferring skills & knowledge. This is one of the very powerful tools for capacity building, which is one of the core elements which makes SDFN/NHAG so successful and forms part of every project.

Supporting this project has a number of benefits:

  • Employment creation
  • Long-term and sustainable initiative
  • Providing much needed Housing to lower income families
  • Providing Training & Transfer of Skills Knowledge through capacity building
  • Providing Financial support & assistance
  • Strengthens Namibian Economy via “Buy Namibian”

Companies support organizations that they trust. The partners hope to create such trust from other companies in the private sector, and hope to inspire them to follow suit.
SDFN/NHAG has a dream target to deliver 1 000 houses per annum. We want to thus encourage others in the private sector to assist them in making this dream possible and to be part of changing the lives of many Namibians for the better!

The intention is not only to provide shelter to the Namibian people, but also to enable Namibians with low income to acquire private assets, which will enhance their living conditions, boost economic, social & financial growth and ensures peace and stability in Namibia.

Pending the successful execution of the commitment for 2016/2017, the three partners are committed to consider a longer term involvement.



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