Keetmanshoop – The Keetmanshoop Municipality has vowed to do twice as much and work smarter this year in an effort to deliver excellent services to its residents.
The town’s mayor Gaudentia Krohne in an interview with New Era said the municipality is ready to redouble its efforts in order to achieve its objectives and set goals, saying this year’s focus is to ensure that residents have access to excellent and affordable basic services.
“The focus for 2017 remains the provision of basic services at the most affordable rates to our residents; land delivery; economic development of the town as well as public education on the protection of our environment,” she said.
She said the municipality will equally work towards tackling poverty at the town especially in informal settlements, and continuously work towards improving interaction with residents, the business community and the media.
Looking back, she pointed out lack of funding, illegal dumping and debt as the main challenges the municipality faced last year, explaining that more land couldn’t be serviced as a result.
She added that the lack of funds is further worsened by a huge outstanding municipal debt that is impacting cash flow negatively, but stressed that despite those continued challenges, the municipality is dedicated to deliver more especially on housing provision.
“Housing is one of the most urgent needs of our residents and the council is committed to addressing this need,” she said.
Krohne also noted that illegal dumping has reached unprecedented levels, and this not only poses health risks but gives the town a negative image and scares away tourists and possible investors.
She also admitted the municipality’s failure to take over electricity supply from Southern Electricity Company (SELCo) was one of the main shortcomings of last year, but was quick to call it a temporary situation which should be rectified.
“We were supposed to take over electricity supply but couldn’t do so due to various practical and economic reasons, however, this is seen as a temporary setback and the council is busy putting systems in place to take over the supply of electricity as from July 2017.”
Krohne further outlined the town’s ambitions, saying with greater cohesion with the //Karas Regional Council and the line ministry, collective goals would easily be achieved.
She said she wants to see Keetmanshoop grow into an affluent town with no informal settlements and poverty, a feat she said is achievable if residents and the council work hand in hand.
“I want to urge residents of Keetmanshoop to put the past behind us and to work together with the council towards a better future for all of us.”