WINDHOEK – The total Development Budget for the Erongo Region for the 2019/20 financial year, as tabled by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein in March, stands at N$1.268 billion. Thereafter, during the remainder of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the region’s development budget is expected to increase to N$1.334 billion in 2020/21 before tapering off to N$1.09 billion in 2021/22.
The majority of this financial year’s budget allocation goes to the Ministry of Works and Transport, about N$500 million, which has been earmarked for the upgrading of the Walvis Bay to Kranzberg railway. This specific project, to be implemented through the works and transport ministry, is expected to receive increased funding during the MTEF, with more than N$888 million allocated in 2020/21 and just shy of N$590 million budgeted for the project in 2021/22. Also, the Swakopmund to Henties Bay to Kamanjab railway link is to be constructed and N$156 million has been allocated for this purpose. For the remainder of the MTEF this construction project has been allocated more than N$52 million in 2020/21 and an additional N$75 million in 2021/22.
General railway network upgrading for the region has been allocated about N$42 million for this financial year, N$35.5 million next year and N$37.2 million in the 2021/22 financial year.
Continuing on the logistics forefront, the upgrading of the MR44, the road between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, has received N$260 million for the current financial year. No more funds have been allocated for this road during the MTEF.
In addition, air traffic management in the region has received a massive boost, with the construction of air control towers receiving over N$25 million this financial year, N$20 million in the next financial year and N$45 million in the 2021/22 financial year.
Notable amounts Schlettwein allocated for the Erongo Region include N$66 million during the MTEF for the construction of the Karibib Air Force Base. This amount is comprised of N$20 million (2019/20), N$25 million (2020/21) and N$21 million in 2021/22.
Other priority projects in the Erongo Region for the current financial year are the construction of the Kuisebmund Police Station (N$10 million), the conversion of the Walvis Bay Correctional Facility (N$10.7 million), construction of a primary school in Swakopmund (N$7 million), construction and upgrading of primary health care clinics (N$13 million), construction and upgrading of primary health care centres (N$11.6 million) as well as the upgrading and renovation of the Swakopmund District Hospital.
Noteworthy allocations were also made for the construction of a testing and inspection centre for the Namibia Standards Institute in Walvis Bay (N$11.2 million) and a gemstone and jewellery development programme (N$10 million).