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Erongo Town-Hall meeting focussed on addressing economic challenges

Erongo Town-Hall meeting focussed on addressing economic challenges

Video: President Hage Geingob speaks about trust during the opening of the Erongo Region’s Town-Hall meeting in Swakopmund and the Mayor of Arandis, Risto Kapenda, making his submission during question time. – Footage: Niël Terblanché

Niël Terblanché

RESIDENTS of the Erongo Region had the opportunity to air their concerns and needs during the ongoing series of town-hall meetings held by President Hage Geingob and used the time to discuss solutions focussed on alleviating poverty and the creation of more jobs.

Dr. Geingob said while opening the meeting that the town hall meetings is not a new concept and is part of the third wave of democracy where a government implements processes, systems and institutions. 

“These meetings are nothing new. It only has a new twist and that is the drought that is currently sowing devastation in the country. It is extremely painful to see people and animals suffering because of the drought.”

While giving feedback on the implementation of measures to assist people to mitigate the drought, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, said that people contracted by the government to assist with distribution of food or to build or repair infrastructure should not see it as an opportunity to optimise their businesses.

“It has already happened that upon inspection of certain projects, paid for by the money set aside for the drought, that we encountered substandard work or even abandoned projects. To redo the work in such instances only takes the money away from people who are in dire need of help which means that less can be done to mitigate the drought.”

During question time the Mayor of Arandis, Risto Kapenda, submitted that people are poor due the fact that an increasing number of jobs have been lost due to the closure of mines. He said more can be done with the uranium that is exported directly to countries like China and that such countries should be compelled to plow their profits back into Namibia by erecting infrastructure such as nuclear power stations.

Representing the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) in Walvi Bay Johnny Doeseb, had hard words for his fellow Namibians who he said are failing to become self sustainable by not supporting development projects instituted by government.

“We need a cohesive approach to the current economic challenge and I suggest sector based interventions which would for instance see the different sectors of agriculture supported in such a way that farmers would not be forced to start from scratch once the drought has passed.”

The head of the Sakopmund branch of the NCCI, Paul Ndjambula, said the various government department should coordinate their efforts to allow foreign direct investment to happen with greater ease. He also said that certain sectors of the economy like SME’s should be provided with stimulus packages to allow cash to start flowing again among the people of the country and that money should be prevented from leaving the shores of Namibia.

“International investors and local business people have to deal with a lot of bottlenecks which could be eliminated if polices are changed.”

Various other speakers submitted requests for mass housing projects to be sped up and cheaper utilities that could be brought about by subsidies.

Many submissions dealt with the desalination of sea water and agricultural projects that could be launched in the desert with an abundance of fresh water. 

At the end of the submission session the various minister present addressed what concerns they could at that moment while they undertook to give further feedback once they do have the answers.

During question time the Mayor of Arandis, Risto Kapenda, submitted that people are poor due the fact that an increasing number of jobs have been lost due to the closure of mines. He said more can be done with the uranium that is exported directly to countries like China and that such countries should be compelled to plow their profits back into Namibia by erecting infrastructure such as nuclear power stations.

Representing the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) in Walvis Bay Johnny Doeseb, had hard words for his fellow Namibians who he said are failing to become self sustainable by not supporting development projects instituted by government.

“We need a cohesive approach to the current economic challenge and I suggest sector based interventions which would for instance see the different sectors of agriculture supported in such a way that farmers would not be forced to start from scratch once the drought has passed.”

The head of the Sakopmund branch of the NCCI, Paul Ndjambula, said the various government department should coordinate their efforts to allow foreign direct investment to happen with greater ease. He also said that certain sectors of the economy like SME’s should be provided with stimulus packages to allow cash to start flowing again among the people of the country and that money should be prevented from leaving the shores of Namibia.

“International investors and local business people have to deal with a lot of bottlenecks which could be eliminated if polices are changed.”

Various other speakers submitted requests for mass housing projects to be sped up and cheaper utilities that could be brought about by subsidies.

Many submissions dealt with the desalination of sea water and agricultural projects that could be launched in the desert with an abundance of fresh water. 

At the end of the submission session the various minister present addressed what concerns they could at that moment while they undertook to give further feedback once they do have the answers.

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