Ariamsvlei The lack of development in areas such as Ariamsvlei has left many Namibians wondering if Vision 2030 will ever be achieved. The Ariamsvlei community says they are in desperate need of housing, water and sanitation services, an SME park, banking services as well as retail facilities. The settlement, which is situated 180 kilometres south-east of Karasburg and home to between 500 and 600 people, only has one shop, a restaurant and a petrol station. “We really have a major problem here in Ariamsvlei, where there is only one shop. The owner of this shop sells his products at exorbitant prices and the elderly people’s pensions only go to this shop. Those who can afford it drive to Upington (South Africa) or to Karasburg to do their shopping but most of the community cannot afford to do this,” said one of the community members at a meeting held recently with Dennis Coetzee, the constituency councillor for Karasburg West. Councillor Coetzee said he is aware of the challenges faced by the community and will address them during his tenure as constituency councillor. “I will not promise you that things will change overnight, but I will do what I can to improve the lives of our people in Ariamsvlei. I have spoken to several bank managers before about setting up automatic teller machines (ATMs) in Ariamsvlei, and the feedback I received was that they cannot put up a machine in a remote area where they have to travel far distances to service ATMs, where people only withdraw money once or twice in a month,” he said. According to information provided by the constituency office in Ariamsvlei, a local business has been allocated land to build a shopping complex on which it will provide the community with more choice with regard to who they do business with. “Namibian General Suppliers (Pty) Ltd was allocated a business erf for the purpose of building a shopping complex and service station. Our current clinic will also be expanded in the new financial year. Additional consultation rooms will be added, but it will not be upgraded to a new status of a health centre,” the constituency office said. Another issue of great concern for Ariamsvlei residents is the lack of a community hall as they are currently forced to host meetings and other important events under a tree. They also emphasised the need for a SME park which will enable them to sell and market their products. “Currently, there is a lack of available land to build an SME park on. With regard to the community hall, I am currently engaging business people to assist us in building a hall but there is nothing on paper yet,” Coetzee responded. He said his immediate development plans for Ariamsvlei include constructing proper roads at the settlement, implementing the drought relief programme and completing the Build Together housing programme. “The Build Together programme is a priority for me. Eleven beneficiaries were identified in Ariamsvlei, one of whom already received his money. So at this stage there are 10 houses that need to be built. These houses should have been built in 2009 already, but seven years later there is still nothing. There is money available through the programme so I want the contractor to start building by the beginning of April,” Coetzee emphasised at the meeting. The constituency office confirmed that the foundations for the houses have been dug and that they are only awaiting material to start with the building process. The Meat Board of Namibia, Road Fund Administration and Agronomic Board also received about 20 erven to build accommodation for their employees. The constituency office will service land soon which will enable the settlement’s inhabitants to apply for houses through the mass housing and Build Together programmes.
- Clemencia Jacobs is an Information Officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in //Karas Region.
New Era Reporter
2016-04-08 09:54:49 2 years ago