Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – The historic labour compound at Walvis Bay, which has over the years turned into an eye sore, will be transformed into a vocational training centre.
The Walvis Bay municipality announced it has agreed in principle to sell a portion of the compound to local businessman Hendrik Dawids who intends to transform it into a fully-fledged vocational training centre. Two other bidders, the Walvis Bay Youth Forum and Sage by Dee Entrepreneurs Academy, have also received municipal approval to lease a portion of the compound.
The two companies also intend to use the property for vocational training. Chairperson of the management committee Lilo Niilenge at the last ordinary council meeting held on Tuesday evening, said they have received proposals from Dawids, the Walvis Bay Youth Forum and Sage by Dee Entrepreneurs Academy.
The apartheid structure is in the centre of Kuisebmond and was home to thousands of contract labourers who were recruited by the colonial regime to work in fishing factories from the 1950s to 1989 during South Africa’s occupation of Namibia.
Large sections of the compound were demolished in early 2000 to make way for modern housing units by the Walvis Bay municipality. Part of it will also be turned into an apartheid museum. “The three parties during a meeting agreed that the property be divided into three parts. The kitchen building structure and the area directly west of the building will be allocated to the youth forum, while the open area immediately west of the kitchen will be divided between the other two parties,” Niilenge said. The applicants are required to submit concise project proposals indicating the timeline, planning activities as well as the financial and technical capabilities of their bids within six months. Council also indicated that a further comprehensive report with recommendations be submitted to council for consideration once the above-mentioned planning has been received.