A total of 4 260 plots are earmarked for development in Grootfontein, with priority centred on low and ultra-low-income earners as well as members of the police and Namibian Defence Force.
This initiative, according to council, forms part of the recently developed infrastructure master plan that aims to transform the face of the town.
“Our town planning division worked around the clock to design more than 3 000 erven for ultra-low income and low-income earners under the flexible land tenure system,” CEO Kisco Sinvula told journalists yesterday.
“This intervention will directly contribute to the eradication of shacks and deter land grabbing. Furthermore, we have earmarked 760 plots at Omulunga Extensions 8 and 9 for our ultra low-income earners. In keeping with our caring attitude as a people’s municipality, we will soon embark upon the construction of 100 social houses for the total eradication of the single quarters under the single quarter’s eradication programme.”
Sinvula further said, council resolved to allocate 400 plots in Omulunga Extensions 7 and 8 as well as Extension 3 in Luiperdheuwel to uniformed personnel.
Some of the land and houses will be serviced through a joint venture agreement with the Development Bank of Namibia, including another partnership with the Shack Dwellers’ Association and the Namibia Housing Action Group for the upgrade and formalisation of the Donkerhoek Informal Settlement.
In an effort to renew and retain the good image of the tainted municipality, Sinvula said council has procured the services of contractors to rehabilitate the poor roads, refurbish the reticulation system of the town as well as electrification of new extensions.
“All these have been done through an open national bidding process, where we have secured services of reputable contractors. Therefore, we are confident that our roads will be of acceptable standard in the not-too-distant future,” he assured.
He also informed the community that council has also sourced services of a private company to undertake the hygiene and sanitation services in town with the responsibility of collecting refuse.
Over the past few years, Grootfontein has been submerged in trash, as council was unable to collect any refuse due to a broken and unroadworthy fleet of vehicles.
«We believe that our town will be as neat as a pin very soon, and we call on residents to do their part in our strive to live in a hygienic and visually appealing environment,” he appealed.
In terms of growing the economy, the CEO said council has made land measuring 40 hectares available to Welwitschia University.
This, he said, will help make Grootfontein a hub for institutions of higher learning.
Another 15 hectares, he said, was allocated for agricultural purposes to create youth employment under its pillar of urban agriculture development initiative.
“This is in addition to our initiative to develop 1 200 hectares of land for various agricultural projects. We also aim to provide a conducive business operating environment for entrepreneurs; hence, we have designed a state-of-the-art open market, although this will be realised based on the availability of funds. A dryport has been the buzzword for a few years running. We reassure the people of Grootfontein that the dryport remains a top priority for Grootfontein municipality. We are currently looking at implementation modalities through joint partnership with the Triangle Economic Forum,” he promised.
Sinvula, however, emphasised such plans can only be achieved if the residents play their part in honouring their municipal fees.
“We recognise and understand that the suspension of services is not a good thing to do, but council will have no option to go this route to get its much-required due revenue to implement the developmental agenda,” said Sinvula.