By Staff Reporter
The Tsumeb Municipal Council continues to be guided by its two main objectives – that of fulfilling the mandate entrusted upon it by the residents of the town and the need to meet its strategic development objectives, which are aligned to the country’s national development objectives.
Tsumeb Chief Executive Officer Archie Benjamin says 2007 saw the completion of the Soweto electrification project in cooperation with Cenored, the Southern Entrance Feasibility Study, ablution facilities for 40 Soweto houses, and completion of the provision of water sewerage pipes to 11 streets.
He stressed that the achievements were due to the principles of unity of purpose and hard work by all stakeholders.
“Building internal capacity amongst staff members, the review of policies and management practices, the provision of quality service in terms of water provision, electricity and refuse removal, as well as the provision of land for housing and business development were other priorities for the council,” stated Benjamin.
Council also extended basic services to previously disadvantaged areas of the town as well as new housing developments while continuing to promote investment to generate employment and a variety of services to the residents.
“Strengthening municipal partnerships and management practices as well as adding value to municipal ventures through public-private partnership resulted in some partnerships including Tecumseh, Canada, Elverum, Norway, Chesterfield, England and Lanzhou, China.”
Benjamin added that new twinning agreements were signed with Walvis Bay and Okakarara and that negotiations are currently under way to cooperate with Oshakati Municipality, the City of Veronesch in Russia and the City of Falun in Sweden.
“The twinning programme not only ensures that the Tsumeb Municipal Council continues to benefit from the latest municipal management practices, but that some partnerships support social welfare projects such as the old age homes, the Women & Child Protection Centre and the Youth Centre.”
According to the CEO, Tsumeb continues to benefit from major economic investments such as the recently completed La Platz Development, the National Institute of Mining Technology Campus, Weatherly Mining Investment in the smelter plants, and Tschudi and Tsumeb West mines.
“We are looking forward to see the implementation of much anticipated aquaculture and hydroponics projects, the Caravan Park Development, Iveco Assembly Plant and the NIMT/Hospitality School. Council is also appreciative of the Auto-Tech Truck Collision Repair Centre that is taking advantage of the Trans-Caprivi/Trans-Kunene truck transport,” Benjamin noted.
Business development is largely driven by the NCCI branch, the annual Copper Festival as well as the Office of the Economic Development Officer.
“Whilst Council is celebrating the above-mentioned achievements, we remain cognizant of other challenges varying from the availability of land for housing and business development, employment creation through investment promotion, SME development and training, to keeping our town clean amidst increased urbanization.”
Benjamin said despite the noted challenges, he is convinced that through the commitment of Council and its administration, as well as continued support from all stakeholders, Tsumeb is on its way to becoming the industrial capital of the Oshikoto Region.
“We look forward to complete the rest of the streets in Soweto and to support the work of the Shack Dwellers Federation houses, the Vals Street connection to Hage Geingob Drive, tarring of Kameeldoring, Pou and Kupfer streets, and street-lighting projects from Crossing to Pupkewitz and Nomtsoub, the installation of earth leakages at all municipal houses in Nomtsoub, repair of Tupperware Reservoir, automation of the water supply system and extension and upgrading of sludge drying beds at the sewerage plant.”
Tsumeb Municipal Council, as part of its social responsibility, also introduced a special job attachment programme for unemployed youth and students from various educational institutions.
This is a three-year project that allows students to gain practical experience through the application of theoretical knowledge. The aim is to prepare students to join the labour market once they are ready.
Benjamin said the council adopted a policy on temporary employees who are employed on a month-to-month contract basis or on a three-month cycle.
This venture could be seen as the most effective strategy and contribution towards alleviating the livelihood of Tsumeb residents.
Meanwhile, the Manager of Human Resources at the Tsumeb municipality Elise Nashixwa says her department has a very delicate, multi-dimensional role to play in setting the tone for unity and job satisfaction for employees.