ONGWEDIVA - Contrary to reports that business at Oshikango is continuously on the decline, the Mayor of Helao Nafidi, Eliaser Nghipangelwa said the current economic status has only affected export businesses.
He said local businesses continue to flourish and council has over the last few years witnessed growth, with the development of a shopping mall and local people flocking to the town to trade, unlike in the past when Angolan traders had outnumbered the locals.
Nghipangelwa is optimistic that local businesses shall continue to grow, hence, he does not foresee the possibility of the border town becoming a ghost town.
He said businesses that remained closed and those at the verge of closing down are those that have been affected from the time the economy collapsed.
“There are businesses that closed in our town, but not recently. Although there are some that are closing now, they have been affected from that time,” said Nghipangelwa.
Nghipangelwa made the remarks at a press conference held at the town on Thursday.
Although the town is not too busy during the week, the mayor said the town is usually full during weekends with people from neighbouring villages flocking to town to do shopping.
In addition to the booming local businesses, the council on its part has made efforts to revive the town by growing its supply of houses.
The council, from its coffers, has constructed 60 houses for low-income earners.
The public alone has constructed over 100 houses at the town.
The Shack Dwellers Federation has constructed 10 houses and is expected to construct an additional 40 houses this month in order to increase the buying power.
The council has also considered attracting manufacturing companies but it was not feasible because there are no raw materials at the town.
Apart from the closure of the businesses, the town has also witnessed a decline in prostitution, which was previously rife at the town.
“If there is still prostitution here, it is limited. Before, we used to see them, but we no longer see them,” said Nghipangelwa.