KEETMANSHOOP - The transformation of Oranjemund from a restricted town to an open town with a town council as a service provider is going well despite the current economic situation that is prevailing in the country, mainly attributed to the reduction in global commodity prices.
This is according to the town’s mayor Henry Coetzee, who indicated during the official opening of this year’s Diamond Festival that the town council has done a massive job to ensure that residents have services and that other investment opportunities are created for the mining reliant town.
He said that since the opening of the town in 2017, which meant that people no longer need permits to enter the town, with this came an influx of people and investors looking for opportunities. Coetzee noted that although the town council has done its best to keep up with these, more needs to be done to cater for future expansion.
“It is clear that existing infrastructure may not sustain a population larger than the current one and not to mention the anticipated large investments, hence the need to invest more into the current and future infrastructure development of the town,” he said.
He added that although many local authorities are struggling to similar challenges of dilapidated infrastructure which hampers service delivery, the transformation of Oranjemund presents a chance to tackle these challenges head on and write a positive chapter in the history of the town with a view to create a town that is economical sustainable.
He further noted that although it is not a secret that the economic conditions are not favourable, rendering of serviced land and housing development should be addressed, and he was happy to note that the council has made significant strides in this regard, and hope to continue doing so with government assistance.
“Government has funded new infrastructure development to the tune of N$48 million since proclamation of the town, so, although it is an expensive exercise to undertake the construction of new services, the town council is making progress in this regard,” he said.
He revealed that to date, there are 200 serviced erven and ready for housing and business development, with a further 264 residential plots under construction for low income earners, which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
Coetzee also indicated that the town is hard at work to ensure that the economy is diversified and not reliant on diamond mining, saying the town continues to attract potential investments in the areas of tourism, agriculture and industrial development, with the aim of boosting the town’s economic profile in the next three years.
2018-12-04 09:36:55 5 months ago