By Anna Shilongo
The Otjiwarongo Town Council has drawn up a five-year strategic plan that will see the implementation of development projects in partnership with the business community and residents.
It aims to turn the town into an attractive investor location and create a high level of resident and client commitment to pay for municipal services.
The strategic plan wants to turn the town into an agricultural, tourism, and mining hub to create job opportunities for the town’s inhabitants.
As part of the strategic plan, a transformation process of the town was completed in April last year, with the purpose of streamlining the town council’s operations.
In line with the strategic plan, the town has thus signed agreements with external and internal partners.
As a result, a twinning agreement was entered into with the Dutch city of Gemeente Heusden in 2001.
“Through this agreement, Heusden town is assisting Otjiwarongo in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as with the running of the care and support programme for Aids orphans,” said the Otjiwarongo Town Council’s Public Relations Officer, Petros Kuteeue.
The municipality also has played a crucial role in providing technical assistance and capacity building to a number of smaller municipalities, such as Okakarara, Katima Mulilo and Kamanjab, as part of internal agreements.
According to Kuteeue, similar agreements will be concluded with the Karibib municipality if all goes according to plan.
“We also have a cooperation agreement with the City of Windhoek,” he said.
Other achievements reached by the town’s municipality as part of the strategy to attract investors are the construction of the town’s shopping centre and the Cheetah cement factory.
He said plans are under way to formalise the informal settlements of the town, such as the Tsaraxa-Aibes and DRC locations, by providing electricity and surveying plots for demarcation in these areas.
As part of its mandate to provide affordable housing to the residents, the town council also joined hands with the Clay House Project to build low-income houses.
“The council improved its administration of the government-sponsored Build Together Programme. The Otjiwarongo programme is now being hailed as one of the success stories since the establishment of the project,” said the PRO.
Council is in the process of servicing more than 400 residential plots at a cost of close to N$2 million.
“We recently launched a trust fund with the Okorusu mine, a fund that will contribute towards the social and economic upliftment of our residents.
“All schools received N$10 000 each from the fund, while Okarundu Primary School received three new additional classrooms,” he said.
He was confident that the trust would improve and uplift the standard of primary education in the town, in order to provide children with a good foundation for secondary and tertiary education.ǟ