Walvis Bay Municipality will set aside 2 700 hectares of land for housing by 2030 to accommodate the town’s growing population.
This will mean at least 30 000 plots to construct about 40 000 new houses will be made available by the municipality by 2030 to meet the anticipated growth in demand due to the industrial growth the town is expected to experience.
This is according to the town’s Integrated Urban Spatial Development Framework (IUSDF) that was launched here last week. The framework incorporates the review of the Walvis Bay structure plan and focuses on the substantial transformation of the harbour town from its current status into a regional capital and the primary industrial centre in Namibia.
The planned transformation of Walvis Bay means the town will at least have 33 primary schools, eight secondary schools, four police stations, 20 daycare centres and ten clinics by the year 2030.
Walvis Bay town planner Bruce Steward says the framework is a very important document, as it is a guiding tool that provides clear guidelines to everyone involved in the transformation of the town into a logistics hub. He added that Walvis Bay’s population is expected to grow to around 180 000 by the year 2030 if its current growth rate of 4.7 percent is sustained.
“This alone tells us we need to plan ahead. It is also of utmost importance to make opportunities available for job creation, accommodation and other amenities, as well as for the infrastructure required to accommodate the rapid growth of Walvis Bay. In simple terms the spatial plan is the strategic road map leading towards the achievement of Vision 2030,” he explained.
Given the current pace of economic development, including the industrial and housing sector, as well as future port expansion, long-term planning is a key requirement, considering the impact such growth would have on roads, water, sewerage and electricity infrastructure in the long run.
“Rapid urbanisation is a phenomenon observed by many countries, particularly in Africa. Namibia is no exception, and nor is Walvis Bay, where urban growth has been overwhelming through the years. Walvis Bay has become a national node, resulting in increased in-migration, as well as internal population growth due to increased employment opportunities,” Steward said.
Walvis Bay is earmarked to become the leading industrial town in Namibia due to its strategic location and transport networks. Some of Namibia’s biggest national projects, such as the coal power station, the harbour expansion, dry docking ports, oil storage terminal and refinery, water desalination plants, aquaculture activities, and more are envisaged within the boundaries of the town.
The strategic planning of the spatial development of the town is 80 percent funded by the European Commission and 20 percent by Walvis Bay Municipality, with Urban Dynamics as the lead consultant.