Lack of funds hampers transport masterplan

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Nuusita Ashipala

Helao Nafidi-Amidst financial constraints, the City of Windhoek is struggling to implement its master plan for Sustainable Urban Public Transport (SUPT).

Head of bus administration Johanna Shikukutu said the majority of the tasks foreseen in the first phase of the master plan have not commenced as a result of budget cuts.

She said the limited financial resources has also resulted in a lack of personnel, such as bus drivers.

Apart from the ageing fleet of buses, Shikukutu further said the City is challenged by the lack of a dedicated team to carry through the implementation of the master plan.

Shikukutu made the remarks at the launch of the road master plan for Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto and Oshana Regions at Helao Nafidi on Monday.

Despite the budgetary challenges being experienced, the City of Windhoek is forging ahead with the available resources and will embark on a trial project to put up pedestrian crossings at the busy Monte Christo road in Katutura.

In its mandate to improve public transport and upgrade major roads, the City has plans to pilot line one and two of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route along Independence Avenue to ease traffic from Katutura to the central business district.

About 30 houses along Independence Avenue are likely to be affected by the envisaged development.

While the BRT seeks to create easy access between Katutura and the city centre, Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus !Naruseb appealed to the City of Windhoek not to inadvertently perpetuate what an independent Namibia is trying to move away from.

!Naruseb was refering to the situation where black people commute to the city centre to work, but must return to the townships afterwards.

In response Shikukutu sought to assure the minister that the City’s plans would ensure that Windhoek becomes into a poly-centric town.

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