LÜDERITZ – Despite experiencing the challenge of a non-functional management committee for the past six months, the Lüderitz Town Council has not remained dormant, said mayor Anna-Marie Hartzenberg.
She made these remarks when delivering her welcoming speech at the recent first Youth Empowerment Seminar taking place at the southern coastal town.
“We have decided not to just sit and wait until the matter is resolved, hence the need to make several engagements to make solution-oriented recommendations accordingly,’’ the mayor explained.
Hartzenberg further gave the assurance that the town council will not promise residents the impossible; they will be honest and realistic with them. Citing projects council are executing, she mentioned the Green Hydrogen and Ammonia project, which aims to generate green ammonia exports from Namibia and will, after completion, develop renewable power.
Another project, according to the mayor, is the construction of houses in Donkerhoek, the oldest neighbourhood in town, replacing existing zinc structures used for accommodation. She added that council also wants to renovate dilapidated houses in the area and allocate them to pensioners and vulnerable people.
“We furthermore have 47 fully serviced erven lying idle for more than three years and the plan is to get donors and sponsors on board to construct houses for middle-and-high income earners,” said the politician.
She also said council is currently one of the beneficiaries of the pilot programme on flexible land tenure. “This intervention is aimed at allowing communities to join hands with council for programmes that can improve the socio-economic circumstances in the town,’’ said the mayor.
Hartzenberg also highlighted the challenge of revenue generation with high debts incurred by residents for basic services provided. “These debts are accumulating on a monthly basis because some people are just unable to pay and this is negatively affecting council’s financial resources,’’ she said.
She explained that, as an alternative to ensure water and electricity consumed by residents are paid for, council would now replace all conventional water and electricity meters with prepaid ones.
The mayor also said council is progressing very well with negotiations and planning for a Lüderitz Shopping Mall. “Although there are several challenges that need to be discussed and ironed out first, we will take it stage by stage; the prospects for such a mall in town looks very promising,’’ she concluded.
Lüderitz has been operating without a management committee since November 2020’s local authority elections. Magistrate Adelinus Hailonga, who presided over the proceedings, filed a High Court affidavit, stating he erred by allowing seven members to be nominated, elected and sworn in for the management committee, instead of five members as prescribed by the law.
It has, therefore, rendered the management committee’s decisions as illegal and not binding.