Governor Blasts Unresponsive Municipality

The Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, has blasted the top management of the Swakopmund Municipality for being “unresponsive” to the needs of shack-dwellers of the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC).

Mutjavikua says he does not see the management pushing for change to resolve issues at the town, more specifically when it concerns DRC residents.

“How long has the DRC issue been in the pipeline? Yet you don’t see any change. Responsibilities are rather shifted and the blame game is played,” he said in an interview.

“Small things like cleaning the township, proper sanitation, basic needs such as water, are still out of reach for many residents. Many still walk long distances to fetch water. There are simple things that one with authority can do for another human being as the facilities are there,” elaborated the governor.

He added that petty issues need to be resolved at ground level, “yet there is no solution in sight and nothing is being addressed”.

“When there are gatherings like clean-up campaigns in towns you will see the top management present of the specific town taking part or taking an interest in such activities, except for the management of Swakopmund Municipality. They will simply not turn up. Their work stops at 16h:30. This shows a clear lack of interest in the people you serve,” he charged.

“They are simply not responsive to the needs of residents, and this should not be the case at all,” thundered a visibly upset Mutjavikua.

He said the town council should seriously address the town’s administration to get on the same page to see that development takes place in DRC.

“Some people have clearly overstayed their welcome. If your administration is wrong or don’t have the interest of the people at heart you need to address it. We are here to serve our people. Unless council does not address their management seriously and urgently, the situation of DRC will remain unchanged and this cannot be allowed at all. Change must come for the residents of DRC,” Mutjavikua said.

The DRC was founded in 2001 as a temporary resettlement community for people waiting for subsidised housing in the town. It was initially built mostly from reclaimed garbage from the town’s landfill. The community includes a youth development and community centre, a clinic and laboratory, as well as a hostel for orphans

The integration and formalization of DRC has been a thorn in the flesh for the local council, which last year said 2015 would see the informal settlement being integrated.

DRC is home to thousands of poor and landless people in Swakopmund that have erected shacks from highly inflammable material and its population is estimated to be around 20 000.

DRC residents have been fighting for almost 10 years now for the formalization of the informal settlement and last year camped at the municipal offices to air their grievances.

Source : New Era