• August 13th, 2020

Letter - Oshikoto South: New region an option or not



For reasons only known to a selected few, under some unknown and unsubstantiated reasoning, coupled with non-existent supporting arguments, a new regional capital for Oshikoto region was agreed. Yes, Omuthiya has baptised the new administrative capital of the region. 
The visible consequences, due to the reverse developmental agenda, have seen the once-prosperous Copper Town’s economy take a nosedive. Shop premises are left vacant and malls have been and are struggling to attract new tenants. 

Families have been separated because partners, husbands and wives had to migrate to a different town to hold on to their jobs. The subsequent sequence of events, which has also left the informal economy within and around Tsumeb severely impacted, attributed to the decline in buying power because of the migration of civil servants. 

Tsumeb is now left to solely rely on commodities, which is too volatile for comfort, and copper prices are known to rise and fall at will. The consequences of relying only on mining can have catastrophic consequences to a town like Tsumeb. Essential services for mostly marginalised and poverty-stricken Hai //Khom community, which make up part the majority population south of the red line in the Oshikoto region, have, as a result, been moved to approximately 400 km, making it extremely difficult for them to access the all-important government services and programs. 

South of the red line in the Oshikoto region are towns that share economic, cultural and common historical interest. The restoration of Tsumeb as a regional administrative capital is an explorable possibility in terms of it being part of a new region, a region to be called Oshikoto south. 
The aim, among many, is to remedy the challenges faced by Tsumeb as a town, the neighbouring towns and surrounding communities. It shall create new opportunities for towns in close proximity if incorporated into the envisaged region. The towns of Otavi, Grootfontein through Tsumeb constitute what is the world over known as the golden triangle or the maize triangle. 

Because of the 60km radius within the Maize triangle, inter-regional trade and cooperation have the potential to accelerate service delivery and socio-economic development, while the local communities could reap immense economic benefits. Agricultural activities, combined with the emerging mining and industrial activities in the Otavi and Kombat area, coupled with some tourist attraction areas around Guinas, Otjikoto lake area and the Hoba meteorite site near Grootfontein make the proposed Oshikoto south region economically viable and sustainable.
More importantly, the marginalised and poverty-stricken Hai //Khom community will be able to not only benefit from closer government services – but with the economic revive and re-alignment, they will be able to contribute towards the Namibian GDP. The new Oshikoto-South shall include – but not limited to Oshivelo, Tsintsabis, Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Otavi, Kombat and 
Tsumkwe. 
 


Staff Reporter
2020-07-24 12:22:18 | 19 days ago

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