The governor of Otjozondjupa has proposed the construction of an airport that will link the region to other parts of the world, as well as a toll gate along the B1 road to generate extra funds for the Road Fund Administration (RFA).
In his recent State of the Region Address, Governor Otto Ipinge urged Otjiwarongo Municipality to engage the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) and the Ministry of Works and Transport to ensure that the construction of an airport at Otjiwarongo airstrip is realised during his term of office.
He said this is needed due to the industrial developments going on in the region. According to Ipinge, the region is home to some of the largest mines in the country, including Ohorongo Cement and the B2Gold Mine. He said the airport would be positive for the economic outlook of the region, as it would create a conducive economic environment for investments in the region and these investments in turn impact positively on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ipinge says the establishment of the said mines in the region has created much-needed employment opportunities for local residents.
“My anticipation is that investments in the mining sector, such as the revival of Kombat mine, the re-opening of Okorusu mine and the new Cheetah Cement Factory, which is under construction, will add value to the competitive economic indicators in the region and that of the country in general,” he stressed.
Ipinge noted that in recent years, due to the aging rail network, a number of accidents involving locomotives were reported on the railway line between Krantzberg and Tsumeb.
“Rail transportation is known to be a reliable and the safest mode of transport and it is pleasing to note that the central government has committed funds to upgrade the railway transport sector in the country,” he said.
He further noted to date more than 100 km of rail has been upgraded to SADC standard between Krantzberg and Tsumeb, to increase the carrying capacity on the railway line to 18.5 tonnes per axle.
Ipinge said within the region, the upgrading of Paresis Station in Otjiwarongo, as well as between Platveld and Otavi is ongoing.
“The need for these upgrades cannot be over emphasised, for the reason that this will alleviate traffic congestion on the region’s roads by loading bigger volumes of freight on the rail. As per comparison, a locomotive with 21 wagons can carry about 27 road interlink trucks,” he explained.