Investment Still Slow in Otjinene

Despite government having done its part by constructing the Gobabis-Otjinene road, the private sector’s promises of investing at Otjinene remain largely unfulfilled.

The Regional Councillor for Otjinene Constituency, Adolphus Kangootui, says development is slow in the area despite the fact that the much awaited Gobabis-Otjinene road has been completed.

Construction of the trunk road, which is an extension of the Trans-Kalahari Highway, is expected to bring along big economic spin-offs for the constituency, but according to Kangootui business people have visited the sleepy village with promises of bringing in big business, but nothing has so far come of the undertakings.

“They want to build decent houses here. Funds are there, but we don’t have serviced land,” he said.

The councillor says the wealthy residents of Otjinene are also not interested in investing in business here.

“Here are millionaires, but few are interested in investing, while outside business people are the ones inquiring about business prospects,” he added.

According to Kangootui, some outside business people want to set up fuel stations, while others want to invest in a business complex.

He said that long-distance trucks have started arriving in Otjinene since the road was tarred, as it is a short cut on the way to the north, but they have yet to see the fruits of the road.

The 157-km road between Gobabis and Otjinene was constructed at a cost of about N$400 million.

However, he noted that a project to lay water pipes and water reticulation worth N$1.3 million is underway and hopefully more municipal services, such as for the provision of electricity, will be commissioned in the same manner.

On other developmental issues in the area, Kangootui said they were still waiting for approval from the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development to expand Otjinene, which at the moment is only 3 000 hectares, by 5 kilometres in three directions.

“It’s almost a year now since Laura Katjirua-McLeod was the governor of Omaheke,” he said, adding that the former governor sent the proposal for the village’s extension to the line ministry, which was then forwarded to a surveyor.

However, he said they have not heard anything from the local government ministry since then.

“To build is not the problem, but without ownership guarantee, how will anybody build?” he asked.

Source : New Era