KEETMANSHOOP – Despite the //Kharas region having a wealth of minerals and marine resources its residents are living under the poorest of circumstances, said Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Kröhne.
She made the remark during the launch of the 2020 Keetmanshoop Agricultural, Industrial and Tourism Expo (KAITE) in the capital of the south yesterday.
Kröhne, who is also the patron of KAITE, expressed the organisation’s profound gratitude towards the business sector in the region for their valuable contributions and continuous support, which she said contributed largely in making last year’s expo a resounding success.
“It was not only about the expo but more about what one can do with the little you have,” she added.
She said such an event is the driving force stimulating prosperity in the region.
“With today’s ever-changing technology, you as business people should apply aggressive marketing and take hands to support each other in order to grow your enterprise,” she said.
The mayor pleaded with the group to rent more stalls at the expo this year as this will in turn create more short-term employment opportunities.
She further explained that income generated from KAITE events will in return allow them to pay service providers who are needed during these activities.
“Our organisation is a non-profit one and as a result we really depend on your support and pledges to function,” said the patron.
Kröhne furthermore advised small and medium enterprises to grab opportunities like these with both hands.
“Market your products properly so that bigger businesses might in the end invest in you,” she urged.
The mayor also called on the fishing and mining sectors in the region to come on board to assist towards economic transformation.
“We are now facing the challenge of students who cannot register at tertiary institutions due to a lack of funds and by assisting them you (mines and fishing sectors) can then plough back into the community.”
Vice-president of KAITE Karl Heinz Burger said he regarded the presence of exhibitors hailing from the Northern Cape Province who showcased their products at last year’s expo as one of the organization’s biggest achievements. “This was a direct result of the fruitful twinning agreement we signed with them last year,” he explained.
According to him another milestone was the massive entertainment provided whereby artists from all ethnic groups were accommodated.
“Due to the current drought we could not have the large and small livestock auctions last year and this was really a setback for us,” Burger cited as a challenge. But he explained that they made up for that by giving struggling farmers training on how to survive through the drought and furthermore provided them with animal fodder and medicines received from sponsors.
Another challenge experienced, according to him, was that government institutions as one of their biggest supporters rented 30% less stalls at the 2019 expo compared to the previous year.
On a positive note he explained that the animal auction will return at this year’s expo whilst the famous snake park will also be back.
This year’s Keetmanshoop Agricultural, Industrial and Tourism Expo is slated for 8-12 September.