By Charles V. Tjatindi
Since being declared a township of Walvis Bay in 2000, Langstrand has seemingly grown in leaps and bounds.
The once intimate holiday getaway location has now been transformed into a place of permanent residence for many. But despite these changes, Langstrand has failed to evolve into a fully-fledged residential suburb. At least, that is the view of some of those that live here.
Residents are concerned that apart from a few restaurants, and up-market holiday apartments that have been set up at the township, little development in other areas that would provide more convenience to the residents, has been forthcoming.
These areas, according to residents, include the establishment of shopping facilities, banks or even a filling station.
“How does one drive 15 km to Walvis Bay each day to fill up your car? By the time you get back, you would have already spent 30 km worth of petrol just on re-fuelling,” said Wilma Potgieter, a resident of Langstrand.
Potgieter said she relies heavily on her vehicle for her business, but her pockets are however emptied by the absence of a filling station at Langstrand.
Another resident Denver Strauss echoed Potgieter’s sentiments saying the establishment of a service station would also cater for other needs.
“It is frustrating when you wake up in the morning, and in order to know what’s going on around you, you need to drive to either Swakopmund or Walvis Bay just to get hold of a newspaper. At least a service station would take care of such needs,” he noted.
Others feel that the need to erect a police station is more pressing. With a police station in the vicinity, the neighbourhood will be safer.
“Police normally have to respond from Walvis Bay when there is a problem reported. I think it is better if they even just erect a mobile station to cater for our needs here,” noted David Kruger.
There are three business erven in the area – at Langstrand proper, Langstrand Extension 1 and Langstrand Extension 2. The erven in Langstrand Extension 1 now consist of dwelling units, and as a result has been rezoned. The two remaining erven have been reserved by private developers.
The decision to build a shopping centre or filling station as per the demands of the residents on these open plots rests on the developers. It could however not be ascertained from the developers how they plan to utilize the open land.
Langstrand is located about halfway between the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, and is situated within the municipal boundaries of Walvis Bay.