By Frederick Philander
The newly appointed CEO of the Rehoboth Town Council is optimistic about the developmental potential of the town, considered to be the gateway to the South, despite the current multiple socio-economic problems.
Former school principal, Theo Jankowski, was appointed CEO some 10 months ago after a teaching career spanning 32 years.
“During my teaching career, I did part-time studies in public policy and administration and completed an MA degree in 2002 empowering me with theoretical knowledge. When this vacancy occurred, I applied successfully for the job. Naturally, it was a big jump from teaching to administering a town,” Jankowski, who was born and bred in Rehoboth, said in a wide-ranging interview with New Era.
The new CEO feels much more needs to be done to attract investment to the southern town.
“We need to focus and improve the existing investment policy of the town council if we are to achieve economic success. At present, this policy is not satisfactory. During the last 10 months, there had not been big investment projects. However, we are planning to hold an investment conference in the near future to look at all national and international possibilities,” he said about the town that offers a lot of cheap labour, cheap land and water, elements that in his opinion have the potential to draw investment.
“We will definitely have to design and implement more investor-friendly policies in a rigorous way and manner to draw such investment because the town is really in need of big investment projects for economic development.
There are plans to open a glass factory, a diamond-cutting factory and to reopen the two existing closed copper mines in the area. Now that the copper price has risen, this can give much-needed economic development impetus to the town,” he said of investment, currently limited to brochures.
According to Jankowski, the German government is actively involved in socio-economic development efforts at the town such as opening a museum, a school of arts, government schools and orphanages.
“The unemployment situation in the town remains critical. Traditionally, a large percentage of the inhabitants commute to Windhoek because the town basically offers no work. We have certain work projects through the ministry of local government such as sewerage projects that will in the near future provide job opportunities for the growing 35??????’??