By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Matthew Shikongo and Elaine Trepper both retained their Windhoek City Council seats as Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively last Friday. This is the sixth time Shikongo will serve as a Windhoek Mayor, while Trepper’s re-election will see her serving the authority for the second year running. The city council also elected five members of the Management Committee, namely Agnes Kafula, Joseph Shikongo, Linnea Shaetonhodi, Bjorn Finckeinstein and Gerson Kamatuka. While the city council has new office-bearers, the Prime Minister Nahas Angula commended the council for the peaceful elections and reminded the re-elected officials about the importance of service delivery, ownership and teamwork. “I hope continuity won’t mean business as usual. Local authority is about service delivery,” said Angula. He expressed dissatisfaction at the town’s failure to reflect diversity, calling on the council to come up with innovative ways to market all parts of the city. “Most visitors only know the centre of the town and have no access to where the majority of the people are. It is our responsibility to bring diversity in our city,” he stated. The premier emphasized the need for the city of Windhoek to seriously consider the lives of those people in Katutura, adding that recreational areas should be created particularly for young people. Unlike most capital cities in African countries, Windhoek lacks an open market. “I want to see an open market where people can sell their artefacts, selling along the pavements is not the way to go,” stressed Angula. As the property business booms in the country, property ownership has become problematic in the city. The exorbitant prices of erven have made it impossible for the middle and lower income earner to purchase land. “It costs more than N$300 000 to buy an erf. The rich continue buying property and excluding others.” Angula maintained that something must be done about the situation, otherwise the city of Windhoek would be owned by very few individuals. “The situation has to be balanced through fair distribution. We should all have a stake so that we can all defend our city,” he said. Angula also expressed concern over the ever-escalating municipal service bills. He urged the city of Windhoek to take into consideration the plight of the elderly.
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