Closure of illegal carwashes to continue – Kanime

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-Chief of City Police Abraham Kanime has said the operation to close down illegal carwashes is ongoing and that the City Police has been closing them on a daily basis to ensure compliance with municipal laws.

Kanime said they want to establish order and keep it that way. “Have you seen how orderly it is in Eveline Street?” Kanime asked, adding that they will launch an operation in April to target illegal shebeens and unlicensed dogs.

Early last month the City of Windhoek gave owners of carwashes operating on privately owned residential properties, or within business corridors, a grace period of 28 days to make the necessary arrangements to ensure compliance with the municipal by-laws that regulate carwashes.

Operators in that category were informed to make the necessary and required structural adjustments to their operations to comply with the municipal by-laws within the stipulated period, as the city will be left with no option but to take all necessary legal steps to ensure compliance.

Asked what happened after the 28-day grace period lapsed, Kanime said there is a committee in place that sits and evaluates the process, but at the time he couldn’t provide any further information in that regard. However, he said they have been closing illegal carwashes all along.

City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya told New Era that it is true that the 28 days had lapsed, however council was served with another petition on March 3 by some concerned carwash owners and council would pronounce itself on this soon.

City Police and municipal officials initiated a citywide operation to shut down illegal carwashes in Windhoek towards end of January. Carwashes deemed illegal were issued with a fine of N$1,000, compelled to cease of operations and had their water and electricity disconnected.

According to a City Police audit conducted at the end of 2015, of the about 300 carwashes operational in Windhoek at the time, fewer than 20 were found to be legal.

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