Kombat-Businessman Knowledge Katti, known for his generosity, has paid off debts amounting to N$400 000 for all residents of Kombat who struggled with their electricity and water bills.
Kombat residents who were in debt for water and electricity started their lives on a new page when Katti made a decision to cancel debts up to 30 December 2016.
“We do not regard this as a loss, we see it as our contribution to assisting and lessening the socio-economic burdens faced by the members of this community, in light of high unemployment levels,” Katti said.
Elderly residents of Kombat who were asked to share their views on the interventions described the involvement of Katti as heaven sent.
“I have lived in Kombat for more than 25 years but I have never seen anything like this. I am speechless,” said an elderly man who identified himself only as Uncle Simon.
“This is a great relief that will go a long way in enabling us to take care of our families better. I don’t think you can find such generosity anywhere. We are truly blessed,” commented an elderly Kombat resident.
A Grade 6 learner Selma Fillipus said: “I feel happy because at the time our parents had no jobs and they could not pay the money they owed and now that the electricity is not so high, they can provide more for us like food and warm water.”
This generous act resonates with the three arms of The Knowledge Foundation, which was founded by Katti in 2008, namely Healing Hands, Open Minds and Brick by Brick.
Katti also revealed that Grove Mining Namibia is exploring the best avenue to donate the school building and the land on which it is located to Kombat Primary School via a school development trust, with the trustees being appointed by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
The objective is for the learners to lease it to the government and the income derived can be used to cover the needs of learners as they arise.
The decision to donate the land and buildings is also extended to the Kombat Clinic through the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Katti concluded: “Today is a great day for Kombat and for the residents of this settlement.”
Katti is the force behind Grove Mining Namibia (Pty) Ltd, the company that acquired Kombat town. Unlike other settlements, towns and cities in Namibia, the government through its local authorities does not administer Kombat. It is a privately owned entity and the supply of basic services is vested with Grove Mining Namibia. When Katti acquired ownership of the settlement in 2015 it was the first time that ownership of Kombat town vested in the hands of Namibians.
“A society of home owners is a decent society with restored dignity and a sense of belonging,” said Katti.
In the past, the settlement was owned and managed by foreign mining companies that were managing the mining operations in the area.
This was a similar scenario when the then private town of Oranjemund was run and managed by the diamond mining company Namdeb and its predecessor CDM (Consolidated Diamond Mines).
“While we are currently in charge of the water and electricity supplies, we urge government to get involved and take over these basic supplies via CENORED and the regional council, Namwater and Nampower,” added Katti.
He emphasised that Grove Mining Namibia is committed to attract investments to the town and region.
In this context, the Kombat Community Trust, which was established as part of Grove Mining’s corporate social responsibility arm, has been considering ways and means to assist the residents of Kombat to access quality services such as water, electricity and sanitation in order to improve their living conditions.