By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Two urban land sites were on Monday evening identified during a lively public meeting by the community as potential development erven for the erection of a long overdue informal business market for Khomasdal. The meeting was initiated and led by an official of the Windhoek City Council’s Economic Development Department. “It is very encouraging to know that the Municipality of Windhoek is at long last interacting with the people of Khomasdal with regard to the development of an informal market in the suburb. As part of participatory democracy, it is important that decisions are taken in consultation with the community, not like in the past, when we had to accept anything that had been decided upon by the authorities,” said the Vice-Chairperson of the National Council, Margareth Mensah-Williams, at the meeting on Monday evening at the Khomas-dal Community Hall. Some 30 residents attended the meeting on Monday evening with two Wind-hoek city councilors also present. “As far as development is concerned, the people of Khomasdal are far behind most other residential areas in the whole of Windhoek. Physically, the place has been neglected for far too long. We are tired of being treated as third-class citizens for whom things are decided for instead of joint decision-making with the authorities. I t is really a shame to see how little has been done to develop the suburb economically since Independence,” said prominent resident Vincent Kloppers to the applause from those present. Kloppers also urged the authorities to do more to economically empower the residents by creating job opportunities in the area. “The market project offers the unique opportunity for residents of Khomasdal to get physically involved in the project as designers, painters, manual workers and architects. This the municipality must work out instead of employing people from outside the suburb. This will help a lot to economically empower our people,” Kloppers said. A steering committee, consisting of residents, selected 20 empty land sites for a final selection on which the informal market, estimated at a price of N$5 million, will be built. The selected plots are in the area of Rand Street adjacent to Cosmos Secondary School and in the vicinity of David Bezuidenhout Secondary School. “The residents of Khomasdal also want to draw visitors and overseas tourists by way of informal markets offering authentic handicraft products from a Coloured cultural background, such as braais, potjiekos and other traditional foodstuffs. etc. Such things will reflect the culture of the suburb. Presently individuals sell the same products here and there on street corners and in front of houses. Together in one place such as an informal market the chances are that sales can improve,” said Mensah-Williams. It is understood that a number of meetings had been held over the past four years to gauge the feelings of the Khomasdal community regarding the establishment of such an informal community market. At Monday’s meeting it was decided that the Windhoek Municipality would give feedback to the community within the next three weeks with regard to a final decision as to where the informal market would be built in the new year.
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