KEETMANSHOOP – Outgoing Oranjemund mayor Henry Coetzee said the council has emerged from the year filled with many challenges, of which they managed to overcome together as a community.
He made these remarks during his farewell speech at a function at the town recently. “Much of what we accomplished in those eight years has been a collaborative effort between myself, dedicated staff of the council, engaged civic volunteers and key stakeholders from all sectors,” he said.
Coetzee added this clearly demonstrates Oranjemund and its local areas as a place to live, visit and work in.
The veteran politician also said as a team, they have accomplished much and still have more to do. He then expressed confidence that residents and stakeholders will render the incoming council the same support, as was the case during his tenure.
Over the last eight years, Coetzee credited the strategic plan used to develop the town on three pillars namely transfer, transition and transform.
He explained assets, municipal infrastructure, the transfer of municipal services and promotion of property ownership was some of the issues addressed during his tenure. “
Already in 2018, a memorandum of agreement has been facilitated between the council and Namdeb which underpinned the provision of municipal services since 2018,’’ Coetzee added. He then explained that Oranjemund is currently administered as a fully functional town council. “In fact, during 2017/18, the Oranjemund Town Council received unqualified financial audit reports,” he said.
Referring to the transition pillar, Coetzee emphasised that it involves the community transition from a town administered by Namdeb to a normal local authority with a special focus on community participation allowing direct influence on matters affecting the town.
He added the transformation pillar deals more with economic diversification at the town. “It is so much important for the future sustainability of Oranjemund,’’ the former mayor emphasised.
He went on that a special development plan called Omdis was accordingly negotiated with the mining giant. Coetzee also said plans pursued through technical studies for implementation includes amongst others areas of agriculture, industrialisation, hospitality, housing and manufacturing.