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Housing in Namibia

Karel Prinsloo

Namibia fought a brutal war for independence for twenty four years from 1966 to 1990 between South Africa and Namibia. At midnight March 20, 1990 Namibia gained independence. Twenty four years later, Namibians are fighting a new war inside the borders of their country. This is not a war fought with guns but a war of economics. A war of extreme inequalities and distribution of wealth. It is a new form of Apartheid, not ruled by race and colour but a clear divide between the rich and the poor. In recent years, housing has become a major issue in the equality gap with house prices rocketing sky high and making the dream of owning a house almost impossible for the majority of Namibians. Even worse, it is making the dream of living in a brick house almost impossible for large parts of the population. Since 2000, Namibian property prices have increased by more than 550 %. Namibian housing prices are now ranked fourth globally for the biggest price increase after Hong Kong, Dubai and Brazil. The rental market has followed the exact same worrying trend. Namibians are being displaced inside the borders of their beautiful country. Even people with proper jobs are forced to move out of traditional brick houses and are setting up corrugated iron shacks on the outskirts of every major population centre in the country as they just can not afford the high rents. The hills around the capital Windhoek are covered with shinny new shacks...

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