By Frederick Philander KEETMANSHOOP Contrary to opposition political views that the South of the country is grossly economically neglected and marginalized by the government, the governor of the Karas Region is optimistic about the growth potential of the area. This became clear during a wide-ranging interview with Governor Dawid Boois last week. “I think the Karas Region is daily growing in economic, cultural and political importance as part of the national structure of the country, based on the fact that the Head of State has already officially visited the region more than once,” said Boois, who was appointed to this post in 2005. According to him, a lot of administrative buildings have been built since he took up office as the first citizen of the Hardap Region. “Taking into consideration that we already have a number of regional constituency offices operative, is indicative of the government’s seriousness to bring government closer to the people in Aroab, Gibeon, Karasburg, Berseba, Keetmanshoop and LÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼deritz. In this, my office and the traditional leaders in the region have a very good understanding and a harmonious working relationship, which benefits everyone,” Boois said. The governor expressed a lot of satisfaction with various national projects now nearing completion, such as the Rosh Pinah road to Oranjemund, which is to be completed early next year. “The railway line between Keetmanshoop and LÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼deritz is also expected to be completed within the next three years. Business people of the region must just be patient because the railway line is constructed within the government’s rolling budget,” Boois said. He also praised the community of Aus for establishing an information centre in the town for the many tourists bypassing the town on their way to the coast and the interior of the country. “The community of Aus benefits directly from the centre either through income and/or employment opportunities because of its central location. We are very excited about the Warmbad tourism attraction that has been developed by the community itself. It will be inaugurated by President Hifikepunye Pohamba on November 21. Once again, that community benefits directly from the income derived from this important tourist source,” he said. He is also optimistic about the three wildlife conservancies at Blouwes, Gawachab and Bethanie. “At Blouwes, the community has already reaped the fruits of their hard work by selling some of the wild animals for an income. People have begun to realize that humans can live in harmony with the environment and that economic benefits can be derived from it,” said the governor, who also alluded to the fact that many underground water points in the Karas Region have already been officially handed over to the respective communities for collective use. “I am pretty confident that within the next five years the Karas Region will definitely show an upswing on various economic fronts, especially in mining and fishing. Our cooperation with the government of the Northern Cape has also been reinvigorated and confirmed. I am also expecting great things to come from this agreement,” he concluded.