SWAKOPMUND – Regional and local authorities are still relying heavily on the private sector when it comes to town planning purposes.
In fact only nine registered professionals are currently employed in local authorities, while five are currently attending university.
Most towns and regional councils do not have the financial means to employ full-time planners to fulfil these functions, hence are outsourcing such functions to private companies when they have to develop new settlements.
Only larger towns such as Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek are among those who employ full-time town planners.
The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development also only have one registered professional town and regional planner - a situation that was described worrisome by minister Peya Mushelenga during the annual Namibia Institute of Town and Regional planners meeting that took place on Friday in Walvis Bay.
Town and regional planners have the responsibility to oversee urban planning and development throughout Namibia.
They are also responsible for the establishment of new townships as they oversee such developments at local authorities.
“Hence I am surprised that government only has a few registered professional town and regional planners. We do seem to have become more reliant on the private sector. However, this shows a strong entrepreneurial dynamic that can work for the benefit of all Namibians,” he explained.
The minister explained that Namibia had 27 registered professionals in 2000, of which six were employed by government.
“Despite the concerns, the supply line in the profession improved considering that we currently have 57 professionals and 25 that are attending the University of Science and Technology and universities in South Africa. However, I know that the debated issue today is that of city growth in the changing world. We earnestly desire to improve our urban living conditions.”
Eveline de Klerk
2019-10-30 07:13:12 | 2 months ago