KARIBIB – The transformation of Karibib as the gateway to the Erongo region looks promising as the town is attracting substantial investments in the mining sector.
The town expects the opening and resumption of gold mine operations in the near future. According to Karibib mayor Davey van Wyk, unemployment is rife at the town, but he remains adamant that job opportunities are increasing.
“Currently, we have the QKR Namibia-Navachab Gold Mine that has decided to expand their life for another 20 years as they are now changing to underground mining. With that come new opportunities and jobs. We also have Osino Resources which already indicated to the council the mine might be operational in two years,” he stated.
Van Wyk made these remarks during an interview with New Era this week.
Osino Resources is a Canadian mining company that through its preliminary economic assessment (PEA), for its Twin Hills Gold Project near Karibib, indicated the discovery of a gold resource with a potential value of N$5.5 billion. This is based on an assumed gold price of US$1 700/oz.
Van Wyk noted the mine will be quite significant to alleviating unemployment in the town as many youths will be employed during different stages of the mining development and operations.
According to the PEA, the mine anticipates massive infrastructure development for the Twin Hills Gold project that will require numerous facilities, including mine dry facilities for workers, an equipment maintenance workshop, refuelling facilities and office administration blocks. The project will also need access roads, stockpiling areas, stormwater handling facilities, reliable water supply, power supply network, diesel generators, a sewage treatment plant and waste management facilities.
“I encourage young people to stay away from alcohol and drug abuse and focus on also creating employment for others. Think of investments coming into Karibib and take advantage of even starting your own small business. Youth should become innovative, and create jobs instead of looking for jobs,” the mayor urged.
“The town is growing very fast and we get an influx of people which is a challenge to the council because the more people come for job opportunities, the high the demand for housing as well. This leads to the informal area growing significantly and the council has to provide services,” said Van Wyk.
This week, Karibib witnessed the handing over of 72 houses from the National Housing Enterprises (NHE) for low-income earners to tackle the town’s housing backlog. On the occasion, the mayor said this is a moment in the year that cannot be forgotten by his office.
“We have formalised all informal settlements. We are in the process of giving ownership certificates so that every erf will have an owner to make it easier for the town council to provide services efficiently,” Van Wyk said.
Furthermore, he indicated the crime rate in the town is extremely low due to increased visibility of the police and the air force. The most common crime recorded in the town’s courthouse, according to the mayor, is stock theft.
Also, Van Wyk was impressed with the Covid-19 vaccination uptake, noting there is a campaign in the town focussing on the vaccine rollout. The mayor also pleaded with investors to build a vocational training centre to equip the town’s youth with the necessary skills required for mining employment instead of importing these skills from other towns. He added the town needs a second primary school as currently, the only available facility is a government primary school with over 1 000 learners. This, he lamented, compromises the quality of education for the learners.