KEETMANSHOOP, 03 DEC – It is clear that existing infrastructure at Oranjemund may not sustain a population larger than the current one, nor anticipated large investments at the town.
These remarks were made by Oranjemund Mayor Henry Coetzee at the official opening of the sixth edition of the Oranjemund Diamond Festival on Friday. He said investment in current and future infrastructure for the development of the town is imperative.
“Many local authorities throughout the country find themselves struggling with similar challenges of dilapidated infrastructure that continue to hamper service delivery,” he noted.
Coetzee said the transformation of Oranjemund from a mining town to a local authority presents an opportunity to address such challenges.
“Both the town council and Namdeb as key stakeholders in the transformation are presented with a unique opportunity to write a positive chapter in the history of diamond exploration with a view toward creating a town that is economically sustainable.”
He added it is a well-known fact that the transformation process is taking place under global unfavourable economic conditions, while the provision of serviced land and housing development continue to be a challenge for the inhabitants of the town.
“Despite this, we need to work together with a shared vision so that together we can address pertinent challenges faced by our community in order to create a competitive economy that will help to lift our people out of poverty, thereby addressing inequality,” Coetzee said.
He reiterated that the town faces challenges of accommodation, land and housing development, explaining this is due to lack of funding as well as input costs into these developments.
“Our town also faces social and economic structural challenges because of its history of being a closed mining town dependent on one mining economy. Council is addressing this problem heads-on with the promotion of new investments in order to ensure future sustainable economic growth in various sectors,” said Coetzee.
The mayor called on businesses and potentials investors to invest in the young town.
“The town is well-positioned in terms of its location and certainly could appeal to local and international businesses and other venture capitals. In these trying economic times, the Oranjemund Town Council is ready to engage any businesses and other development partners,” he appealed.
The festival started Tuesday and ended Sunday at the town in the //Kharas Region bordering South Africa, and was held under the theme ‘Tourism matters’. – NAMPA