When a road boosts the local economy

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Obrein Simasiku

Grootfontein-The mere idea of a road linking Grootfontein to both the Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari highways was enough to pique investors’ interest in the town of Grootfontein. According to the town council’s chief executive officer, Charles Kariko, investors have started presenting business ideas linked to the developments that would come with the construction of a 444-kilometre dual carriage road between Grootfontein and Gobabis.

Close to 100 ideas have been brought to the municipality’s attention and 52 businesses want to present their ideas to the municipality, said Kariko in an interview with New Era.

“Development is coming to this town and we are not just sitting idle. Soon, and very soon, people will start seeing tangible things. This is going to be necessitated through the town’s preferred position as a destination hub because of connecting different national roads leading to various areas, hence the need for constructing a truck and container port. This will create employment for locals which will in turn uplift the economy,” said Kariko.

A traffic circle is already being constructed to connect the recently completed Trans-Kalahari road linking Grootfontein to Gobabis. The road shortens the long distance currently travelled between Gobabis and Grootfonteint via Windhoek.

The Grootfontein Town Council has already availed a piece of land on which to develop businesses. Kariko says there is already a number of business ideas that the town council has approved and is now only waiting for final approval from the line ministry.

“Around 52 developers are on the waiting list but we cannot reveal them now because they are yet to present their ideas,” says Kariko. Among those who have been approved is Paragon Investments that want to build a hospitality establishment as well as a company called Etosha that also wants to build a hospitality establishment.

Kariko says the town council has also availed land for the food bank which they believe will alleviate hunger and poverty in the town.

“The town was once the hub for many doing shopping and now we would like to restore that image,” he said.

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