German building block facility to boost housing delivery
German company, Polycare, plans to set up a production facility in Okahandja over the next six months that will use desert sand to make building blocks for affordable houses. Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, announced this during a media briefing on the outcome of the first-ever Invest in Namibia international conference on Wednesday. “Through this facility, Polycare will be able to assist Namibia to tackle the housing shortage and create local jobs,” he said.
The company had a model house on display during the conference to demonstrate the technology and building blocks used. Ngatjizeko noted that the reusable bricks are four times stronger than conventional concrete bricks and can be used to build structures like schools, homes and medical centres. Construction can take as little as two days. “The company has developed an innovative, low-cost, strong, durable and environmentally friendly building system which produces Lego-like building blocks that are 87% desert sand and 13% polyester resin,” said the minister. The City of Windhoek (CoW) and Polycare had talks to explore the possibility of working together to construct low-cost housing.
Ngatjizeko said the proposed homes will integrate renewable energy applications in order to address the lack of electricity in the informal settlements. He further noted that CoW and the Rundu Town Council have agreed to work with a Chinese company to explore opportunities in the servicing of land, and low- and middle-income housing development in efforts to address the housing backlog. The minister also noted that the Premier of Gauteng Province in South Africa, David Makhura has engaged the CoW in discussions on modalities for assistance in township economic development, including low-cost housing interventions. Makhura visited informal settlements and the site of houses built by the Shack-dwellers Federation of Namibia in Otjomuise to get an understanding of housing modalities used in Namibia. The conference ended Wednesday. – Nampa
11.11.2016 The Patriot