WALVIS BAY - Poverty and inequality persist and the goal of securing a better life for all people, including the majority of young people in Walvis Bay, remains elusive. This is according to the youthful Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor, Knowledge Ipinge, who, this week, reflected on his first 150 days in office. Ipinge on Tuesday shared his experience as councillor, saying the town needs a holistic approach instead of relying on handouts, as it is not empowering nor promoting self-reliance among residents.
He claimed politicians across Walvis Bay have been focused on handouts and not on the empowerment of residents to capacitate them in freeing themselves and families from poverty.
“Hence, our poverty alleviation drive, therefore, requires a holistic approach and should not be looked at from the begging bowl mentality. One of the most important strategies with untapped potential to alleviate poverty amongst our residents is the identification and development of one’s natural gift and talent,” he explained.
Ipinige further said delivering results as the urban constituency councillor is the hardest part of the job.
“As elected leaders, we have authority to direct what government does at regional level but we sit on top of a large and complicated bureaucracy – and it is not immediately evident how to work through it to get things done. At the same time, me being revolutionary, I must, of course, manage politics, especially the inevitable day-to-day distractions of events that I must deal with. The challenge feels intractable,” he said.
The councillor added that it is clear the capacity to deliver at his office has been hindered by the absence of the discipline of delivery, which entails understanding the need, planning for delivery and making the delivery culture of the Erongo regional council system.
According to Ipinge, there is a need for a delivery unit that will ensure strategies and promises made to the citizenry are the main focus and kept on track for his office to have effective short-term and long-term specific targets realised.
“This delivery unit should be able to meet fortnightly to assess the implementation targets and iron out hurdles and come up with new strategies for new problems that may arise. The most important task of me as a councillor is to advocate for participatory democracy and bringing government closer to the people. It is with the above in mind that I urge the residents of my constituency to become more involved in affairs of our office and the Erongo regional council at large.” – email@example.com