WHILE acknowledging that mobile food kiosks have become a valued and popular part of Swakopmund, the Swakopmund Municipality recently announced that they intend to relocate some food trucks from certain areas due to numerous complaints from the town’s residents.
“Council has received a mass amount of complaints from residents, particularly those living near the beach, requesting the relocation of mobile food kiosks for various reasons,” the municipality’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alfeus Benjamin, said.
Benjamin said that the municipality is aware that the mobile food truck business has added value to the coastal town’s existing food landscape by offering a variety of special gourmet food to the residents and tourists. This, he added, also generated employment and enabled small businesses to enter the food retailing business.
Considering this, he said, the municipality recognises the need to accommodate and support mobile food kiosks by putting measures and systems in place to lawfully support the sector and create an enabling environment for economic growth and employment creation. However, this has to be done in a manner that addresses the needs and interest of the residents.
Benjamin added that there are currently 17 sites for mobile food trucks in Swakopmund’s Central Business District (CBD). Despite this, he said, the council’s Economic Development Services Department is still flooded with applications from residents who want to open food enterprises. This too, he emphasised, shows that there is a need for new sites for food trucks.
“To better manage the activities and operations of mobile food kiosks in a manner that improves the image of Swakopmund whilst addressing the needs and interest of all the residents, the Swakopmund Municipality has demarcated several sites for this purpose,” Benjamin explained.
The demarcated sites, he revealed, include the tennis court, the parking lot opposite the Statehouse, the Saturday Market opposite the Swakopmund Prison and the area North of the aquarium. He said that the municipality decided that the mole and the old skateboard area will only be used for special events and the current kiosks in these areas will therefore be moved.
The CEO said that the existing mobile kiosks that need to be relocated will be given preference to reapply and select their preferred site in the aforementioned areas. He explained that the council also decided that the Industrial Area, Ocean View, Mile 4, DRC and Mondesa are not suitable for the operations of mobile food trucks.
“The Mobile Food Kiosk Policy, inclusive of all operative guidelines, will be implemented in phases yet to be announced. Council, however, intends on holding public consultations in this regard,” the CEO said.
File photo for illustrative purposes only.