Future Prospects Brighten Up for Tsumeb

The Tsumeb municipality’s Strategic Liaison Officer Stella Imalwa says Tsumeb residents should expect good things in the not to too distant future, as the municipality continues its efforts to deal with the many challenges facing the town.

Imalwa says prospects for the town have improved markedly with regard to the provision of housing and employment. Imalwa says she understands the tension and dissatisfaction among residents with regard to general service delivery, but this will soon be a thing of the past. “Tension is understandable when one considers the database pool consisting of 5895 unemployed people all looking for… employment. Understanding that these problems will not be resolved overnight is critical and people need to be more patient,” she appealed during a recent interview with New Era.

According to her over 100 general workers inclusive of boilermakers, carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers and concrete mixers are expected to find employment through the municipality’s database, provided they pass the compulsory medical tests. “Tschudi mine will be opening soon on the Oshivelo road about 10 kilometres outside Tsumeb. It is expected to be completed by the end of this year and it has the potential to create more than 700 part-time and full-time jobs, not only in the Oshikoto Region and the Tsumeb area, but across the country,” she says. Imalwa conceded that the influx of people from all over the country in search of jobs has compounded the town’s already existing problems with regard to housing and unemployment. “The increasing numbers of people puts a strain on basic service delivery such as roads, sanitation and refuse removal. Everything is put under pressure with the rapid increase in population.” One of the ways the municipality has devised to stem the influx is to limit contractors’ ability to bring in general workers from outside and to encourage them to source workers from the town itself to benefit the local economy. This she says will alleviate the pressure to provide more services, such as housing, while at the same time combating the high unemployment rate at the town.

Tsumeb Town Planner Festus Nekayi agrees that there are many challenges, but says great developments are in the pipeline but called for cautious optimism, since miracles are not possible when it comes to service delivery for a town with a burgeoning population such as Tsumeb. “The housing problems will be addressed, we are not miracle workers so this will not take place overnight. Patience is crucial” Nekayi aised. “Council is currently mobilizing funds in the region of N$30 million to service available land in order to provide over 150 new houses,” Nekayi revealed.

“An estimated 4.5 hectares west of Nomstoub will not only cater for low-income earners, but also middle-income earners in need of housing. About 500 plots will be serviced by the municipality itself, while private property developers will be given about 200 plots and about 50 individual land applications for people who basically want land to build their own homes on,” according to Nekayi.

When asked to comment on the rapidly expanding Kuvukiland an informal settlement that is fast making its way to the B1 road, Nekayi said the municipality is working hard to deal with the situation before it gets out of hand. “It is imperative to note that the 350 legally settled people have access to services such as electricity, but some of the people complaining have settled on private land belonging to Weatherly mine.

“The municipality works within the ambit of the law, therefore we cannot be expected to service land that we know is privately owned since this will result in legal issues. It will be perceived as a form of encouragement for people to settle there. These are our people and we are currently in talks with Weatherly mine to see if an accord can be reached which will benefit both parties,” Nekayi explained.

Source : New Era