By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Sixteen aspiring local entrepreneurs became the proud recipients of 16 Kia bakkies to carry out the City of Windhoek’s new Solid Waste Management Ward Contractors System. Last Friday, the eight men and eight women also received certificates marking the start of their mission in adhering to their slogan, “Keeping Windhoek Clean”. Although Windhoek is known to be among the cleanest cities in Africa, rapid expansion and population growth pose a challenge in maintaining this status in the future. The Mayor of Windhoek, Matheus Shikongo, officially launched the city’s Solid Waste Management Ward Contractors System last week. “The challenge is how we are going to maintain this for the next 30 years in keeping Windhoek clean,” said Shikongo as he addressed local entrepreneurs. He further urged them to grab the opportunity with both hands by turning it into an empowerment success story for themselves. Through these contracts, the entrepreneurs will be expected to coordinate and supervise waste management within their respective wards. Through the ward system, the city is divided into 16 functional wards with a project leader and ward coordinator. Besides each entrepreneur receiving a Kia bakkie K2 700, the ward contractors will also be provided with business management skills training at the Polytechnic of Namibia for the next 12 months. At the same event, Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, said that it is only through innovative and creative thinking that one can address the challenges facing society today. “It is only innovation that can be our long-term solution towards growth,” explained Tjivikua. The ward system is thus seen as an empowerment tool for Namibians to propel themselves into new business opportunities in the future. While Kia Motors supplied the fleet of 16 bakkies that will be used for the solid waste ward contractors, Standard Bank of Namibia vowed to extend credit facilities to the aspiring business people. Managing Director of Standard Bank, Theo Mberirua, said that it is through smart partnerships like these that development can take place. “This is indeed a demonstration of a sound public-private partnership and an indication that you are committed to the economic development of the city,” said Mberirua when addressing the audience. Last week the bank also provided assistance to a school in Kuisebmund, Walvis Bay and the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia. The ward contractors will be employing 87 percent of the former private contractors during the five-year long contract they have with the City of Windhoek. The Windhoek City Council outsourced the solid waste management system in April this year, after it was discovered that the system was not effective in meeting its objectives and challenges.
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