Otjozonjupa Regional Council chairperson Marlene Mbakera says the council has committed to redoubling efforts to implement its strategic plan and goals to improve the socio-economic well-being of its residents.
Mbakera says top of the council agenda this year is the revival of the Kalkfeld settlement acquiring village council status.
Mbakera was speaking at the first meeting of the council at Otjiwarongo on Tuesday.
“Since president Hage Geingob declared 2024 as the ‘Year of Expectation’, the regional council is determined to see upgrades taking place within its towns, villages and settlements, starting with Kalkfeld,” Mbakera said.
Kalkfeld is a settlement located about 70km south-west of Otjiwarongo, with a population of about 5 000.
Mbakera said a water reticulation project is planned for Kalkfeld’s Dinosdal area and informal areas, including the allocation of plots for residential and business purposes to stimulate economic growth.
She said in 2023, the council approved the allocation of residential and business plots at Kalkfeld and signed an agreement with the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) for the provision of affordable houses to the Kalkfeld settlement.
She said they believe through these initiatives the council will be able to strengthen the capacity of Kalkfeld so that it can regain its status as a village council.
Mbakera also called on local authority administrators to ensure prompt revenue collection at offices, saying poor revenue collection for services rendered hampers development.
“Some settlements are collecting money, other settlements are not collecting.
While some settlements are putting pressure on the people to pay, other settlements are not, and their accounting officers are not doing anything.
Now, what the people are doing is complaining, and they are saying, ‘why is it only us in this settlement that are forced to pay, while the other settlements are not even doing anything to ensure that we receive our money back?’.
She said even the chief regional officer of the council is writing letters to ministries and entities that owe the council before the end of the financial year, to pay instead of returning money to the treasury while they have outstanding debts.
In terms of road infrastructure, Mbakera said the Road Fund Administration will begin road blading and re-gravelling at Tsumkwe.
Plans are also underway to roll out the Food Sustainability Project across the region to emulate the success of the project at Tsumkwe.On rural sanitation, seven VIP toilets have been set up at Rudenau in the Okahandja constituency at a cost of N$123 000, while under basic service fees, elderly persons and people living with disabilities will enjoy a 30% rebate.
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