TSES – All technical work on the Tses glass project has been finalised, however, lack of funding for the project is still a headache.
Ivan Vries, Chief Executive Officer of the Tses Village Council, says lack of funding is of great concern for the council. “We do not have funding yet and this is a great concern. We need more clarity on the funding issue and we recently had a meeting with the community and Groot Group, the initiator of the project. Through this meeting we established that there is no funding yet, but Simon Kapenda, who heads the Groot Group, informed the meeting that he is in talks with potential investors. Once these talks are finalised he will give us feedback,” said Vries recently.
All the technical aspects of the project have been finalised despite the lack of funds. A piece of land measuring five hectares has already been set aside for the factory, a feasibility study has been completed and engineers from Gmbh – a German company – have been appointed to oversee the project.
Despite the lack of funds plaguing the project, Vries is optimistic that the glass project will be a success once it kicks off and that it will provide the Tses community with much-needed jobs.
“Eighty percent of the people are unemployed therefore the village council’s view is that most of the employees of the glass factory should be from Tses. It will create a lot of jobs for the people once it kicks off,” said Vries.
Other developments the Tses Village Council has embarked on include the establishment of water and solar energy plants.
The water plant would cost N$2.4 million over the next two financial years and aims to assist in the reduction of water supply from NamWater. During the first phase of the project, a water tank will be erected, boreholes drilled, an operation room will be erected and pipes will be connected. Two boreholes have already been drilled.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed with a South African company, Alternative Energy Consultant, to set up a solar energy plant at a cost of N$8 million. The plant will provide 400 kilowatts, which Vries says, will be sufficient for the current residents of Tses.
“Through these two initiatives, the council wants to make services affordable for residents. In the past, we had problems with electricity cuts in Tses simply because the residents cannot afford these services. The 80 percent unemployment rate is a challenge and we must look at ways to bring services to the people at an affordable rate,” Vries explained.
The Tses Village Council is also currently in talks with Legacy Property to set up a truck port in Tses. The council is also busy with negotiations with foreign investors from Germany and Brazil, who would like to build shopping malls, a guest house as well as a sewage system in Tses.
“We will meet these investors soon. They have seen investment opportunities in Tses. Thirty households will also be provided with a sewerage system in the informal settlement. This has been provided for in the 2014/2015 national budget,” Vries said.
Vries wishes to see Tses become a developed town with all the necessary infrastructure and the standard of living of all the village’s residents uplifted. “People should be employed and poverty should be reduced. That is my wish for Tses,” Vries concluded.
*Clemencia Jacobs is a Ministry of Information and Communication Technology officer in the //Kharas Region.