Lifestyle‘There goes the neighbourhood’ Previously disadvantaged Namibians moving into City’s posh suburbs by
By Jeremiah Ndjoze - July 2010
THERE was once a time when the sight of Jeremiah Ndjoze’s dark skin and short black hair in the middle of Klein Windhoek would have been mistaken for a thief by some and a tourist attraction to others in pre-independence Namibia.
But 20 years on, the City of Windhoek’s neighbourhoods are undergoing a rapid desegregation. More so, to an extent that neighbourhoods like the formerly affluent Windhoek North is currently 95% dominated by the previously disadvantaged Namibians.
The latter was confirmed by Daniel Beukes who is the current director in the Directorate of Deeds in the Department of Land Management and Administration at the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement. “Desegregation is taking place in these neighbourhoods and we have the records to prove it.
Take a neighbourhood like Windhoek North for example. The only time one would see a black person in this area 20 years ago was when that person was attending to some domestic job in the area. But now every second house in this area is owned by either a ‘brother or a sister’ (black person),” Beukes said.
Since independence, the proportion of blacks living in the affluent suburbs in Windhoek City has more than doubled. Ockert Du Plooy, Principal Real Estate Agent at Seeff Properties confirmed the aforesaid trend. “It is my seventh year in the industry and I have experienced quite a lot of previously disadvantaged buyers looking at buying properties in uptown suburbs, there is an increase of 40 to 55%,” he said.
According Du Plooy, this sudden influx of previously disadvantaged Namibians in these suburbs can be attributed to the fact that “the banks relaxed their lending criteria for first time buyers.”
Another analyst however points to the fact that after independence, people’s incomes changed as many previously disadvantaged Namibians landed better jobs. “Around 1995 a lot of black Namibians were already in the suburbs. One can also recall that this was around the time when many of the previously marginalised Namibians were now scooping positions as directors at parastatals and in government,” Martin Mwinga an economic analyst at First Capital said.
According to Mwinga the prices of houses in suburbs like Ludgwigsdorf, Hochland Park, and Klein Windhoek are seldom less than N$1 million.
“So, for one to get a house in any of these areas, one should earn a net salary of at least N$25, 000,” thus Mw...
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