N$1-mil for Migrant Labour Museum

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By Charles Tjatindi

WALVIS BAY

The Walvis Bay Town Council has committed in excess of N$1million to the completion of the envisaged apartheid and migrant labour museum at the town. This came to light at the council’s recent 2008/2009 meeting.

Part of the remaining structures that housed former migrant labourers under the contract labour system has been reserved for this development. The compounds, as the housing units were known due to their notorious cramping of labourers in tiny rooms that were mostly overcrowded, were demolished to make way for new developments.

To preserve this part of Namibia’s eventful history however, one such structure has been left standing and will be transformed into a museum depicting the politics, norms and lifestyle of that era.

The building will be known as the “Apartheid Museum”. The aim of the project is to preserve some documented history for later generations, who might not have alternative access to such information.

Unlike other museums, the project will host material with specific reference to the history of the compounds under apartheid (segregation) rule, which include the operations of the contract labour system.

The Finnish government has also contributed financially to the project.
The town council estimates its total revenue for the new financial year at N$177 168 268 compared to an amount of N$159 110 871 recorded under the current budget, reflecting an 11 percent increase.

The increase is mainly as a result of tariff adjustments and expected growth in service consumption. Total expenditure is estimated at N$177 295 297 compared to N$159 105 794 recorded on the current budget. The projected operating deficit is therefore N$127 202, which would be financed from unappropriated surplus funds.

The capital budget proposals contain both long and short-term projects. Long-term projects are executed over a period of longer than a year, whereas short-term projects are executed within a period of one year.

Projects that will be carried over to the new financial year include the tarring of streets at the town, improvements to the town’s water purification works and contingency measures for the ongoing energy crisis.

An amount of about N$2 million has been approved by the local tender board towards tarring of streets a few months ago, while an additional N$6 million has been approved for the same project to be implemented in the new financial year. In addition, an amount of N$4 million has been allocated towards the same project which will result in a total of N$10 million to be spent on tarring of streets in the new financial year.

About 2 million Namibian Dollars has been set aside for the provision of roads maintenance vehicles. The expenditure will be financed through external loans from local financial institutions. In addition, N$640 000 has been allocated for the installation of traffic signals in town, Kuisebmond and Narraville, N$600 000 for major repairs and renewal of bio-filters at the purification works, while the council plans to acquire three generators to prevent interruption in electricity supply and to guard against possible unscheduled electricity black-outs. The generators are expected to be acquired at a combined cost of about N$1.5 million.

Other capital projects also considered under the new budget include the construction of a fence and slab at Long Beach (N$470 000), the design and construction of a new pump station at Long Beach (N$2 000 000), and the stabilization of Kuisebmond cemetery to the tune of N$150 000.

About 75 percent of total estimated income is made up from water and related services fees, property rates and taxes, refuse removal services and cleansing services fees. Tariff adjustments will be effected on some municipal services, such as water supply services, refuse removal and cleaning services, which will all be adjusted by a 10 percent increase.

Fees for the following facilities and services remain the same for the new financial year: resorts, hostel, single quarters, Kuisebmond flats, old-age home, market mall, informal area, business stalls and industrial units.

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