Oniipa dreams big on development

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-Oniipa Town Council plans to service 3,000 plots, formalise 4,000 plots in the informal settlements and proclaim new townships for at least 2,500 erven as part of its five-year strategic plan.
Oniipa CEO Junias Jakob has said the town hopes to finalise its master plan, attract investors to develop the town and subsequently extend the town boundaries.

Currently, Oniipa covers six villages including Onamulunga, Okambonde, Onampadhi, Oshaakondwa, Omuhozi and Etambo village with the borders expected to be extended to Oshigambo.

During the current financial year, council has allocated N$5 million for installing sewerage reticulation at Onethindi Extension 1; the formalisation of Onethindi Extension 2,3 and 4, as well as installation of electricity at Onethindi Proper.

The council has a N$40 million budget altogether for the 2017/18 financial, of which N$7.8 million was allocated to ongoing capital projects from the previous financial year. A further N$16.6 million was earmarked for capital projects, compensation and operations, while the remaining N$15.6 million will be collected from the lease and sale of land.

Meanwhile, the town council will start billing for land lease for all its 5,500 registered informal properties from this month. All registered properties have been issued temporary erf numbers.

“About 150 of these properties are at an advanced stage of transfer of ownership from council to the occupants upon payment of the purchase price and conveyancing fees, whereafter payment of rates and taxes will be effected on this properties immediately,” said Jacob.

To increase its revenue, the council has further started with the process of transferring water meters from NamWater so that the billing can be done at the town council. A water pipeline has also been installed to service Okalevona informal settlement, which previous sourced water from Ondangwa.

Six prepaid standpipes will be commissioned at Okalevona and Onethindi before 2017.
Jakob further said council had received money for compensation to displaced residents and was in the process of compensating residents, who already moved to make way for land servicing in 2012. A compensation expense budget for the next lot of residents needing to be displaced has been submitted to the line ministry for consideration in the next financial year.

The council is now appealing to investors to come and invest at the town. Jakob said the expressions of interests of multi-million-dollar public projects were merely inviting investors to develop the town further. “Council will only provide land and play a facilitator role with a view to expedite development at the town,” he said.
Jakob encouraged residents applying for services to visit the council’s offices for assistance.

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