The majority of the population living in the informal settlements of Windhoek, Namibia, have limited access to public municipal services. This paper integrates results from a sample of 97 randomly selected households, interviews with experts and community leaders and review of literature to describe and analyse the relationship between land tenure and municipal services in the informal settlements. Findings from our study show that formalised land tenure is a condition for households to access municipal services privately. However, 85% of the sample of the households in the informal settlements do not own land under current land tenure policy. Further, the need for communities ‘to own land’ seemed more immediate and pressing compared to water access, which is seen as a way to govern themselves towards raising funds for land acquisition. But lack of land ownership remains a constraint.