RIYADH: Before the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, real estate prices were surging in Qatar and neighboring countries, causing people to rent their properties at high prices and cash in on the increased market demand.
Taking place in the Arab world for the first time, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is an unprecedented event.
During the tournament, FIFA Tournament Time Demand Model has forecast that upward of 1.7 million people will visit the host country, with 500,000 visitors on the busiest days. Because of this, visitors to the emirate of just 2.8 million people are concerned about accommodation or prefer to stay in neighboring countries.
Despite some concerns, organizers are reassuring people there would be enough accommodation for all fans. Thousands of hotel rooms FIFA had reserved were recently released to ease the crunch, possibly decreasing prices.
The authorities have continued to provide housing to all World Cup fans. Still, according to Doha News, landlords have recently capitalized on the opportunity to charge outrageous prices, though residents claim this is at their expense.
Doha News reported that residents are being evicted, asked to sign short-term or 24-month lease agreements, or even had their rent raised significantly.
The World Cup is widely responsible for this situation, with many believing landlords are trying to take advantage of the visitors’ profits, making living conditions challenging for long-term residents, Doha News added.
According to Qatari law, a lease renewal can increase rent by up to 10 percent. Still, Anum Hassan, head of research for Valustrat’s Qatar office, disclosed that rents have increased by 40 percent in some districts of Doha over the past year.
During the World Cup period in 2022, the government removed the price cap, allowing landlords to charge between SR15,500 ($4,124) and SR20,600 per night.
Booking a villa through Airbnb for 29 days of the World Cup costs at least SR48,860, but prices can reach hundreds of thousands.
Despite this, the real estate market continues to benefit from the games. A recent report from Property Finder, one of the region’s leading property technology companies, revealed a 2.97 percent increase in residential sales in September and October due to this month’s FIFA World Cup.
Afaf Hashim, the country manager at Property Finder in Qatar, said: “Investors and first-time property purchasers are now more confident to invest in the Qatari property market in response to renowned sporting events happening in the country.”
Investors and first-time property purchasers are now more confident to invest in the Qatari property market in response to renowned sporting events happening in the country.
Afaf Hashim, Country manager at Property Finder in Qatar
“The Ministry of Justice is also taking the required actions to make the market more transparent, which will pave the way for further investments shortly,” she added.
According to the report, investors and end-users are increasingly interested in properties listed for sale in Qatar, which has recently emerged as a hot spot for property investment.
There was a 4.98 percent increase in leads but a 7.71 percent increase in impressions. Some areas saw considerable gains in rental prices, while others saw substantial declines. For instance, Al-Hilal’s rent fell by 83.9 percent, while Salata’s increased by 93.75 percent.
Adam Stewart, the Qatar head of Knight Frank, told Arab News that the tourism and hospitality sector will contribute 12 percent of the country’s gross domestic product by 2030, worth about $55 billion, by which time tourist arrivals are projected to reach 7 million.
Set the ball rolling
Knight Frank does not expect a slowdown in the Dubai real estate market’s demand in the short to medium term; in fact, the opposite is expected, Faisal Durrani, partner and head of research in the Middle East at Knight Frank, told Arab News.
The mainstream market is expected to register price growth of 5-7 percent by the end of 2022, with a similar figure expected in 2023.
Faisal Durrani, Partner and head of research in the Middle East at Knight Frank
“The mainstream market is expected to register price growth of 5-7 percent by the end of 2022, with a similar figure expected in 2023,” he said.
He also added that a new wave of tourism is expected in Saudi Arabia’s Dammam Metropolitan Area following the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“Following the Saudi government’s recent announcement to allow Qatar World Cup ticket holders easy access to multiple entry tourist visas, the Kingdom is expecting to play host to some of the football fans unable to be accommodated in Qatar,” he said.
As a result of its proximity to Qatar and relative affordability, Dammam is expected to be a popular alternative to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Manama during the World Cup, he added.
However, Alex Galtsev, founder and CEO of Realiste, a personal artificial intelligence firm on real estate investing, believes Qatar’s FIFA 2022 World Cup will benefit the Middle East real estate market.
“As a major tourist attraction and financial hub in the region, Dubai will be the main beneficiary outside Qatar,” he told Arab News.
There has already been an increase in demand for local hotel chains and resorts. “Because of limited accommodation options, tourists had to seek alternative options that were more affordable, such as short-term rentals. In turn, this has led to a 50 percent increase in rental prices in Dubai over the last three months,” Galtsev added.
Qatar’s FIFA guests opted for areas near downtown where the major tourist attractions are located rather than cheap suburban locations surrounded by desert. As a result, the districts near the waterfront are the following most popular renting areas.
However, Galtsev said that the demand for the short-time rental would significantly decrease after the event.
Despite these soaring prices and owners renting out their properties, what matters is the result and how they will affect the market overall.
South Africa’s land reform policy remains highly contested. But, in our view, a number of persistent myths about farmland statistics and the structure of commercial agriculture skew debates. This makes it difficult to reach some common understanding about the realities of land and agriculture in the country.
In 1994 when South Africa became a democracy, white farmers owned 77.580 million hectares of farmland out of the total surface area of 122 million hectares. The new government set a target of redistributing 30% of this within five years. This target date has been moved several times and is now 2030.
According to popular belief between 8% and 10% has been redistributed so far. But as we show below this is incorrect as it omits a number of key statistics.
Only 17%-20% of the 77,58 million ha is suitable for field crop, irrigation and horticultural production. More than 55% of farmland is only ideal for extensive grazing (land that is poor and dry but animals can roam widely, the Karoo being an example), and another 20% for intensive pastures and animal production (land, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands being an example, that receives good rains and has good pastures for grazing).
This shows that the potential of farm land being used to create full-time sustainable livelihoods is limited. This suggests that a careful and measured approach needs to be adopted in redistribution efforts.
These realities are the basis for our arguments against five standard myths about agriculture and land in South Africa. That’s not to say that there isn’t a great deal still to be done. But failure to recognise the gains that have been achieved means that policies can’t be developed based on what’s been achieved so far.
Myth 1: 40,000 white farmers own 80% of all South Africa’s land
First, let’s turn to the number that’s quoted about white farmers.
The number of 40,122 commercial farmers is widely quoted as the total number of farmers earning a commercial income from farming. The number comes from the 2017 census of commercial agriculture.
But the number is flawed.
Firstly, the census only considers farmers who are registered for VAT (for which the the threshold is a turnover of R1 million a year (about US$59 000 today).
Adding in two other groups – the number of households involved in commercial farming as their main source of income and those that practice farming as a secondary source of income – the total number of households comes to 242,221.
It’s difficult to estimate the “race” of commercial farmers. But, using different data sources including the 2011 population census, the 2017 agricultural census and the 2016 community survey we estimated that most commercial farm enterprises are black owned. And that only 18% of these households are white.
Now to the 80% figure.
In 1994 white farmers owned 77.58 million ha of freehold land. We estimate that white farmers now own 61 million ha of freehold farmland. This follows the implementation of redistribution and restitution programmes and other transfers of land to the state and black farmers. It still represents 78% of freehold farmland but covers only 50% of the total surface area of South Africa.
Fact: white commercial farmers (around 44,000 farming units) own 61 million ha – 78% of the farmland that comes with private title deeds or 50% of all land in South Africa.
Myth 2: Commercial agriculture is characterised by large-scale white farmers
This myth results from a misinterpretation of the concept of “commercial” and “scale”.
Commercial agricultural production indicates production beyond subsistence needs, with some (or a major share) of the total production sold to the market. This usually also involves the purchase of production inputs such as seeds and fertiliser.
But commercial production happens at various levels or “scales of production”.
The scale of farming is not determined by land size. Instead it refers to the gross farm income (or turnover) of the farming enterprise.
Land size is not a good indication of the scale of the farming operation. For example, a small irrigation farm of 10 ha can deliver millions in turnover while a 10,000 ha extensive grazing farm is unlikely to exceed R1 million in turnover per annum.
If we unpack the census of commercial agriculture, commercial farming in South Africa consists largely of small-scale family-based operations. Almost 90% of all VAT-registered commercial farming businesses can be classified as micro – or small-scale enterprises (turnover below R13.5 million). While this is true, it’s also a fact that there are just over 2,600 large farms with turnover on average above R22.5 million per annum. These farms are responsible for 67% of all farm income and employ more than half the agricultural labour force.
If we take account of the farms that are not registered for VAT it is evident that 98% of all farming operations in South Africa are small-scale operations.
But, a mistaken leap is made to say that all white commercial farmers are “large-scale” operations, and all black farmers are “small-scale”. In the process, most writers on South African agriculture confuse the “scale of the operation” with the “race” of the operator.
Fact: most white commercial farmers in South Africa are small-scale and family-based operations. Only a small minority (2 600) are large-scale operations. Most of these are owned by white farmers.
Myth 3: Commercial farmers are hoarding land and not selling any farms
It is often argued that white commercial farmers are holding on to their land and not offering it for sale to potential buyers.
Deeds office records provide insights into the activity in the farmland market. Between 2013 and 2021, the annual number of farm transactions recorded varied between 2,000 and 4,000. In 2021 2,585 farms were sold and registered to new owners. Most (58%) of these were farms smaller than 300 hectares.
Between 2003 and August 2022, the state acquired 2.8 million ha which brings the total area of farm land acquired by the state since 1994 to 3,12 million ha (or 4% of freehold farmland). This suggests that the state is also active in the market.
Fact: The farmland market is active with around 2% of total farmland with private title deeds traded annually.
Myth 4: All black farmers with private title deeds acquired their land through the land reform programme
Deeds records show that since 1994 black South Africans have privately acquired a total of 1.78 million ha of farmland through normal self-financed market transactions.
Over the same period the government redistribution programme has assisted beneficiaries to acquire a total of 7.2 million ha of farmland. Thus, for every four hectares transferred by the State to black South Africans, private transactions contributed another one hectare to the process.
Fact: Black farmers have acquired almost 2 million ha of farmland (2,3% of total freehold farmland) on their own without any assistance from the state sponsored land redistribution programme.
Myth 5: South Africa has only redistributed 8% of farmland to black people
The debate on the expropriation of land is largely driven by the myth that white farmers are hoarding land and are inflating prices, and therefore, it is impossible to remove the racially skewed land ownership patterns in South Africa.
These arguments typically ignore the statistics on the land market and the fact that black South Africans have been acquiring farmland on their own. These arguments also conveniently ignore other factors, such as bureaucratic inefficiences, patronage and corruption – that have slowed down land reform.
In addition, the incorrect presentation of the progress with the land reform process is also maliciously used to inflate the argument for expropriation. If South Africans are true to themselves and correctly report the statistics, then they will be much closer to the 30% target. We estimate, using various official datasets, that up to August 2022, the land statistics were as follows:
Based on these numbers extracted from official sources it is evident that South Africa has made much more progress than what is been punted around. It is, therefore, disingenuous of analysts and commentators not to take account of the real progress made here.
Fact: Taking account of all the pillars of the land reform programme, it is estimated that 24% of all farmland has been redistributed or land rights have been restored. This is close to the 30% target, which could be reached by 2030.
Johann Kirsten, Director of the Bureau for Economic Research, Stellenbosch University
Wandile Sihlobo, Senior Fellow, Department of Agricultural Economics, Stellenbosch University
LINCOLN — Shooting and scoring are integral parts in the game of basketball.
The Danville boys team have spent countless hours during the offseason and even during the preseason trying to improve its shooting.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, that hard work didn’t pay off in their season-opening contest on Tuesday night in the Lincoln/Eaton Thanksgiving Tournament.
Danville shot just 32.8 percent from the field in a 57-47 loss to the Champaign Centennial Chargers.
“No at all,” said Danville coach Durrell Robinson about his team’s shooting performance. “We practice shooting all day, every day. At some point, we have to make open shots.
“The majority of our missed shots were because we didn’t finish in the paint. I don’t know exactly how many layups we missed, but I know it was more than five and we lost by 10 points. That doesn’t help at all.”
And when that poor shooting was coupled with eight turnovers in the third quarter, it was worst possible combination for the Vikings (0-1 overall).
The Chargers (1-1) opened the second half on a 16-2 turn, turning a tie at halftime into a double-digit lead that Centennial would never relinquish.
“We gave up 23 points in that third quarter and we’re outscored 23-11. That was the difference in this game,” Robinson said. “Our turnovers led to fastbreak points for them. Give them credit, they did a good job of executing but we shot ourselves in the foot, trying to overdribble.
“Centennial is always a disciplined team and they showed that, while we showed our lack of discipline.”
The Vikings also lacked a balance scoring attack as returning starters Ja’Vaughn Robinson, O’Shawn Jones-Winslow and Jonathan Ireland combined to score 38 of their 47 points.
Ja’Vaughn Robinson had a game-high 17 followed by Jones-Winslow with 11 and Ireland finished with 10.
“We need to get something from our interior,” said Durrell Robinson as his guards and wings scored all of their points. “That will help with the balance and it will take pressure off our guards.”
Belleville West 62
LINCOLN — The Vikings dropped to 0-2 on the season with a loss to the Maroons on Wednesday night.
No additional information was available.
PREP BOYS BASKETBALL
Lincoln/Eaton Thanksgiving Tournament
Champaign Centennial 57, Danville 47
Danville (47) — Ja’Vaughn Robinson 7-19 2-6 17, Bryson Hinton-Perez 2-5 0-0 5, O’Shawn Jones-Winslow 5-13 0-1 11, Terrien Gouard 0-0 0-0 0, Jonathan Ireland 4-12 1-1 10, Quentin Alblinger 0-2 0-0 0, T.J. Lee 0-2 0-0 0, Devan Larkin 0-0 0-0 0, Demarcus Lucas 0-0 0-0 0, Javion Smith 1-4 2-2 4, Kaden Young 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-58 5-10 47.
Centennial (57) — Kellen Davis 2-6 1-1 5, Todd Makabu 3-8 3-3 10, Demariea Willis 2-6 5-6 9, Gumane Springfield 5-7 2-4 12, Sathvik Thatikonda 7-13 1-1 15, Preston Sledge 3-6 0-1 6, Gavin Taylor 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-47 12-16 57.
Danville `9 `10 `11 `17 `— `47
Centennial `10 `9 `23 `18 `— `57
3-pointers — Danville 4-21 (Robinson 1-8, Hinton-Perez 1-2, Jones-Winslow 1-1, Ireland 1-7, Smith 0-3), Centennial 1-4 (Makabu 1-2, Davis 0-1, Sledge 0-1). Turnovers — Danville 15, Centennial 18. Total fouls — Danville 15, Centennial 13. Fouled out — none.
Records — Danville 0-1 overall. Centennial 1-1 overall.
Halcyon (Pvt) Ltd, a quality certification consultancy, and RR Environmental Services, an environmental consultancy recently, received the ISO 9001:2015 quality certification, marking a new chapter in their journey towards excellence.
This is the first time in Sri Lanka that a quality certification consultancy firm and an environmental consultancy were awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certification, company officials said.
“Being awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certification is a demonstration of our commitment and responsibility. I am grateful to our customers and staff who are the pillars of our success,”, Managing Director, Halcyon, Rasitha Niroshana.
Halcyon has a history of 16 years and has guided over 500 companies, in various sectors, to obtain various quality management system certificates. RR Environmental Services, a subsidiary of Halcyon, has advised companies to reach sustainable development goals through their environmental governance.
Halcyon guides companies in their journey to receive ISO certification by providing the necessary consulting, training, and education. Among these certifications are ISO 14001:2015 on enhancing environmental performance of a company, (ISO 22000:2018), (FSSC 22000), (BRC) on food safety management, ISO 45001:2018 on occupational health and safety, ISO 9001:2015 on quality management systems, ISO 13485:2016 on medical devices and related services. Halcyon guides companies on how to adhere to these standards.
Oceans and bays
The sportfishing fleets operating out of the San Francisco and Bodega bays continue to see limits of Dungeness crab and rockfish. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct another whale entanglement assessment on the first of December and the results will determine the opening of the commercial crab season.
Golden State Sportfishing has experienced limits action on white sturgeon fishing in the Carquinez Strait. Many of the fish are within the slot limit of 40-60 inches, however, all fish above and below that size must be released. The daily limit is one per day and up to three per season. A bite this good without much rain is a promising sign for the remainder of the season.
Lakes and rivers
There is still good water clarity in the Napa River despite the recent rain. With the onset of cooler weather, we will begin to see the bite become less active. The striper bite has slowed down for the first time in weeks. Anglers are still reporting a decent bite, just fewer numbers of fish being caught. The most current reports indicate the bank anglers are catching the usual schoolie size with a few 18- to 24-inch stripers with anchovies and sardines being the most effective bait. Live bullheads, mudsuckers, and jumbo minnows seem to be fairing the best. Trolling, and casting Rattletraps, LV-500’s, Swimbaits and Broken Backs throughout the river will still produce fish, but much patience is needed when casting in the colder water. This time of year, the spooning method with 2-4 ounces of P-Line Lazer Minnows is most effective when looking for stripers in the cooler shallow depths. The sturgeon bite in the river is still slow to fair at best, but a few are being caught each week. Look for more fish to start moving into the system. This time of year, try salmon roe as a top bait.
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Napa Resource Conservation District needs acorns
Each fall, the Napa Resource Conservation District collects, plants and distributes acorns from local native oak trees in an efforts to re-oak Napa County.
To volunteer for this project, look for acorns on your property or local parks. Valley oak, coast live oak, blue oak and black oak acorns are ones that need to be collected.
Refer to naparcd.org/collect-local-acorns for information on the most viable acorns and the documentation needed when submitting them to the drop off at 1303 Jefferson St., Suite 500B, in Napa.
Whales and microplastics
A new study from Stanford has revealed the staggering and concerning amount of microplastics whales eat every day. The biggest mammals on Earth are forced to consume up to 10,000 of the tiniest man-made pollutants daily, a number far higher than previously imagined. The study published in the Nature Communications Journal this week shows the consumption of microplastics comes not from the mammal gulping them down directly in ocean water, but through one giant step down in the food chain as they consume krill, their primary prey.
Microplastics are a growing concern to the health of the world’s oceans, where they are now widespread. About the size of a grain of rice, the toxic particles are polymer fragments created through the erosion of plastic waste. They have also been found in a range of far-flung environments, from the floor of the Mariana Trench to the summit of Mount Everest, and even in the fresh Antarctic snow.
Krill, the shrimp-like crustaceans that form almost the entirety of a blue whale’s diet, can consume microplastics due to their “gastric mill” digestion system and complex digestive enzymes.
As part of a decades-long research project on the habits of whales, scientists at Stanford studied the feeding channels of blue, fin and humpback whales around 50 to 250 yards below the water surface. This region of the ocean is home to the highest population of microplastics-filled krill. The amount of microplastics at that depth, largely in the intestines of the crustacean, is tenfold higher than on the surface, the study found.
Specifically, the study found that blue whales, which can weigh up to 200 tons, consume approximately four tons of krill and eat 10,000 toxic particles a day, while the humpback whale primarily eats small fish but still consumes around 200,000 pieces of microplastics. Fin whales, which eat both krill and fish, ingest between 3 million and 10 million pieces.
Scientists think the consumption of microplastics by krill may make them less fleshy, reducing the caloric value to their giant predators.
Brent Randol can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-481-3319.
Harare, Zimbabwe — As Harare’s housing shortage deepens, many Zimbabweans make do in squalid conditions or informal settlements. And fake agents prey on those desperate to find places to rent.
About five years ago, Daniel Chihwayi had a place he could call home. It was a one-room rental in Matapi Flats in Mbare, a high-density suburb south of Harare, which he shared with his wife and three daughters. It wasn’t the best living arrangement. It was too small for his family, and the general living conditions were squalid. But it’s what he could afford, costing him about $20 a month.
But in 2018, a fire gutted the entire flat, leaving Chihwayi and other families out in the cold. As a temporary solution, the then-area councilor housed them in a run-down workshop opposite the ruins of what used to be their flat, promising them a more permanent solution. Today, Chihwayi and his family still live in this workshop, which is partitioned with boards and houses about 15 families.
If he could afford rent elsewhere in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Chihwayi would have already moved. But a place elsewhere in the city would cost him double what he used to pay in Matapi Flats.
The situation exemplifies the consequence of a growing housing shortage in Harare, where cheap rental housing is rare and home ownership remains a dream for many.
In Harare, where about 16% of Zimbabwe’s population lives, few people own homes. About 46% live in rented accommodations, according to the 2017 Inter-Censal Demographic Survey.
For those hoping to own, the current waiting list – a program in which aspiring homeowners pay an annual amount so the government can allocate them land to construct a house – is about 800,000, an increase from 151,000 in 2019, says Innocent Ruwende, the Harare City Council’s acting corporate communications manager.
Given the difficulty of owning a home, most opt for rented accommodations. Those who can’t afford to rent in the suburbs, where rents are expensive, go for cheap government housing such as Matapi Flats.
The flats are part of a government low-cost housing program dating to the British colonial government. They were constructed to accommodate government workers. Most are single rooms, ideal for one person, but now occupied by larger families. They are poorly maintained, but many who rent them do so because they are more affordable than other rented accommodations across the city.
Outside the flats, it’s common to see children lost in their games, unruffled by pools of open sewage nearby.
Chihwayi worries about dilapidated conditions in Matapi Flats, which he calls a public health concern. “We frequently have sewer bursts. The area is highly infested with mosquitoes because of stagnant pools of sewage, and rats are a menace,” he says.
Although residents have tried to make the place habitable — a responsibility of the municipality — diseases and infections such as flu, malaria and diarrhea are common, Chihwayi says.
A 2021 study by Dialogue on Shelter Trust, an organization that advocates for affordable housing and infrastructure, blames the poor conditions partly on the city’s obsolete infrastructure, which dates to colonial periods and has been poorly maintained.
The infrastructure is also insufficient for the city’s current population. For example, Harare’s piped water system was designed for a population of about 300,000 in the 1950s, according to a 2021 Human Rights Watch report. Now, it caters to over a million people.
But Ruwende says the Harare City Council is rehabilitating the infrastructure. Already, they are rehabilitating the city’s sewer pipe system, through a program that began three years ago, he says.
The government is also implementing an urban regeneration initiative to modernize affordable government housing like Matapi Flats, says Daniel Garwe, minister of national housing and social amenities, in a written response to Global Press Journal. To curb the housing shortage, Garwe says, the government will deliver over 470,000 units by 2030 through the National Housing Delivery Programme.
For now, people like Chipo Jiri, 41, will have to wait. Sharing the same room with her 21-year-old son and daughters has been difficult, Jiri says.
Fake Housing Agents
Even those who can afford rented accommodations often fall prey to fake housing agents. When Tatenda, who chose to use only her first name for fear of stigma, needed a house, she enlisted the help of housing agents. She had lived with her parents until she got married.
“That’s when I realized it wasn’t easy to secure a house,” she says.
She had seen several groups on Facebook where people could find houses for rent. The first agent she contacted said he had a vacant house, but she needed to pay a $20 viewing fee before he could give her the address. He shared an office location where she could pay the fee, but it was far from Harare. There was another option. She could pay through mobile money, then the agent would send her the address.
“After I sent the money, he then became unavailable, and I was blocked on his mobile phone,” she says.
She thought the first time was only bad luck. So, she tried again — a different agent — and found herself in the same conundrum.
Reuben Akhili, programs manager for the Combined Harare Residents Association, which advocates for municipal services and local governance on behalf of residents, says the association has witnessed an increase in unscrupulous third-party agents. Some of the houses they advertise are already occupied, he says.
“It has become a scheme of fleecing people money because they have seen a gap in the availability of housing,” he says.
In a written response to Global Press Journal, Nicodemus Kuipa, chairman of the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe, says such unscrupulous housing agents are not registered with the council.
“Their operations are not provided for in the Estate Agents Act,” he writes. “The Act provides for the functions and powers of the Estate Agents Council, the registration of estate agents, and the regulation of the practice of estate agents in Zimbabwe. The Act does not cater for [unregistered] housing agents and as such they are ‘bogus’ and operating outside the law.”
The Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe and the police are working to root them out, Kuipa says. He urges those looking for rentals to first confirm agents’ registration with the council before enlisting their service.
Just a few meters off Shawasha Hills, an affluent suburb east of Harare, makeshift structures line the road. Ruth Mberi, a mother of two, has lived here since 2013. She built her house with mud, reeds, thatching grass and poles.
“A lot of people call us squatters, and it’s something that pains me,” she says.
Although Mberi finds relief in the fact that she doesn’t have to pay rent, she has no access to water or proper sanitation facilities. “I use a pit latrine which is 2 meters deep. It’s not built up. I just dug a hole and laid some scrap metal as the floor and erected a thatched wall around it,” she says.
She adds that in December, land developers came to peg housing stands in the area. “I was told that we should be prepared to move, but because I do not have anywhere else to go, I just wait for that day to come and will see what I will do then,” she says.
An estimated 33.5% of the urban population in Zimbabwe lives in informal settlements, according to a 2018 study by Dialogue on Shelter Trust.
These settlements have been growing, says Garwe, and are a health threat to residents. “They lack basic services such as water, sewer, roads, electricity and security of tenure, amongst others,” he says. In some situations, the settlements violate the city’s layout plans because structures are built on undesignated land such as wetlands.
His ministry is on a mission to regularize some informal settlements to ensure that they comply with the basic requirements, such as having proper sewer systems, water and roads. Plans are underway, with an initial phase that targets Caledonia in Goromonzi rural district, Harare South, Hatcliffe North, Gimboki South in Mutare and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo.
“Other areas requiring such initiatives will be considered as the program gathers traction,” he says.
Despite current government initiatives, other challenges mean that Chihwayi and others who lack sufficient housing might have to wait longer. For example, construction of at least 10 new housing projects stalled due to chronic underfunding, according to 2021 parliamentary records. Data from the finance ministry also indicates that the National Housing and Social Amenities agency had spent only 17% of its allocated budget (2.8 billion Zimbabwean dollars, or $4.5 million) as of Sept. 30, 2021 — the worst budget utilization rate of all 35 agencies shown in the data. Garwe did not respond to Global Press Journal’s requests for a comment on budget utilization.
Chihwayi hopes to own his own place one day. Renting, he says, isn’t sufficient. “It’s a place you can never be comfortable because you can be told to move any time,” he says. “Even if I get a wooden cabin on a place I call my own, I can stay comfortably.”
Gamuchirai Masiyiwa is a Global Press Journal reporter based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Gamuchirai Masiyiwa, GPJ, translated some interviews from Shona.
Fox Sports decided to play Kanye West‘s “Flashing Lights” before a commercial break in the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday afternoon.
West lost many endorsements and sponsorship deals after the rapper’s anti-Semitic remarks. West lost his contract with Adidas, a fashion company, closed down his Donda Academy school and had high-profile athletes leave his sports agency. Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown showed support for West in a statement after the sports agency lost NFL defensive lineman Aaron Donald and NBA star Jaylen Brown.
West was also kicked out of Skechers headquarters last week in a list of companies against the rapper’s views.
After the Bears kicker made an extra point, Fox decided to air a West song as they chose to throw to a commercial break late in the first half after a Bears touchdown. West’s 2007 hit, “Flashing Lights,” played as Fox showed a montage of a Cowboys penalty. Then a touchdown pass by Bears quarterback Justin Fields to wide receiver N’Keal Harry. The montage ended after it showed Harry blowing a kiss to the Cowboy fans in attendance.
The Cowboys defeated the Bears 49-29 in Sunday’s game.
Fox’s decision to play one of West’s songs before a commercial break did not go unnoticed by some blue checkmarks on Twitter.
Watch and listen above via NFL on Fox.
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Rapid population growth at Osona Village near Okahandja necessitated the upgrade of the power grid from 1MVA to 2MVA. The residential and commercial property area has over 8 000 residents and more than 1 600 housing units.
The residential village is in the process of constructing 500 additional houses, which are expected to be completed within the next six months.
The inauguration for the power upgrade took place on Friday where it was stated the electricity improvement is also in anticipation of the development of more residential and commercial properties in addition to existing businesses and facilities.
Representing Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower), chief operating officer Fritz Jacobs confirmed the rapid growth of Osona Village dictated the power supply upgrade.
“We will keep an eye on how the demand is growing, and also for the village to manage its power supply in terms of their planning and their medium- and long-term plans. This is so that the planning and the increase and upgrades are done timely because that will ensure that supply is maintained and is reliable,” said Jacobs.
He added that NamPower has also implemented measures to ensure electricity supply is reliable, including installing a voltage regulator to keep the output voltage as constant as possible.
NamPower, he emphasised, is committed to ensuring security of supply to support socio economic growth in the country.
At the same event, Okahandja municipality CEO Alphons Tjitombo, assured support to deliver affordable housing to the community and rendering affordable and reliable services while attracting substantial investment to the town.
Also, executive director in the energy ministry, Simeon Negumbo, delivered remarks on behalf of minister Tom Alweendo and stated Namibia remains a net importer of electricity.
“We import between 50 to 70% of the electricity consumed annually. This is not a tenable situation because some of the electricity is imported from systems that are themselves constrained. The ministry in conjunction with the Electricity Control Board and NamPower is responsible for closing this input gap but must do so in the least costly manner,” said the minister.
He added this is done primarily through the National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP) 2022. He continued that to date, about 30% of domestic electricity comes from renewable resources, mainly solar.
“However, the plan is cognisant that we must invest in transmission infrastructure and battery storage technology to take advantage of renewable energy resources fully. The infrastructure we are integrating today will enable Osona Village to improve reliability, reduce network constraints, minimise unplanned interruptions and allow for the expansion of the network to cater for future developments,” he pointed out.
Alweendo further noted electricity is a crucial enabler for economic growth and social development.
Ebru Karatosun – ANKARA
“Persons to be appointed can be athletes or young people who are successful in their field,” said Kasapoğlu, stressing that the priority among the criteria will be language and to have full knowledge of the fields.
The 13 countries determined in the first stage are the places where Turks live intensely, the minister said.
“This is sports diplomacy. The attaché offices and sports consultancy will have a mission for university students and young people born in Europe.
Meanwhile, the southern province of Antalya, preferred especially by football clubs in their inter-season camps, is very popular in terms of sports tourism.
“There is an excellent infrastructure also in [the Central Anatolian province of] Afyon, especially the hotel infrastructure,” Kasapoğlu said.
The government’s support for private sector ownership of this sector will continue, he added.
“Türkiye is no longer a demander in international organizations, but a desired point,” the minister said. “Every week, there are definitely offers about a few organizations. We have hundreds of organizational options. We will not say no to whatever is in the interests of our country and sports community.”