RUNDU - The acting CEO of Rundu Town Council, Sikongo Haihambo says Rundu cannot adequately remedy a raft of challenges such as its poor road network, overwhelmed waste management and is unable to buy bulk water as its coffers are dry and the town is struggling to diversify its revenue stream.
Haihambo told New Era his top priority is to determine where the town can get revenue to save itself from its dilemma and thus residents occupying 14 000 erven in the recently formalised areas will soon be asked to pay for their plots that they have been occupying at no cost.
“We have a problem with water, waste management, a problem with roads which obviously overall one can term it as a revenue problem. If there was a billion in our pockets as a council, imagine what we can do but we don’t have it so we must start by establishing something that is perhaps not there or not working and then grow our strength from the revenue because its only with revenue that one would be able to do something,” Haihambo told New Era in an exclusive interview.
The acting CEO says he is beginning to manage things so in as much as he is forward looking, he will also be looking a little bit backwards, revisiting some of the things that didn’t work out for council and see if he can revive some of the unsuccessful projects.
“One of the things that I can cite as an example is sales of land in the recently formalised locations like Kehemu, Sauyemwa, Ndama, Kaisosi and others, to me that is a scheme or project that we should be able to run with because the rates are kept, protected, it’s just N$10 per square metre, where will you get that? So, it’s actually good looking at our people some are now pensioners so that will even be within their range so that they can get ownership of that land,” asserted the acting CEO.
These settlements were formalised with the help of donor funds from LUX Development and they are partly serviced, the line ministry was also involved and a paying system was in place for occupants of those erven to do payments through the council but died a natural death.
“Now I’m busy reviving that thing so that we can then continue to invite our people to come through, but before we can do that I could have gone on air to inform this residents as we will not be able to manage so fast because from the time when this people stopped paying, a lot has happened, some of the people that have paid some amounts in the past have maybe lost their proof and so on. We need to do some reconciliation and its going to take us some weeks once we are done with that because we are dealing with a sizable number (14 000 erven) from these formalised settlements,” he said.
“I knew what I was coming into, the only thing was just for me to calibrate my expectations with reality, I knew there were issues here that’s why in order for one to do something you need to get to the core of the issues before you can then launch yourself on how do I manage. Whatever is happening here is not surprising me, in fact that’s what brought me here but yes, we are making strides. For me I think it is necessary to pick up things that I feel would move us forward,” he said.