Tables turned at what was expected to be an occasion of celebration at Okahandja when micro-entrepreneurs received stalls from MTC.

Beneficiaries are, however, not pleased with the donation, citing issues of safety and space.

Okahandja's microentrepreneurs were blessed with a space for them to put up their businesses and operate under a roof.

Unfortunately, the micro-entrepreneurs were not moved; instead, they were unhappy and dismayed by what was offered.

Maara Tjazerua, a street vendor, says, on behalf of the microentrepreneurs, that the spaces allocated are small, and vendors are worried that they will fall prey to thieves.

"We, as a group of members in Okahandja, are writing this to complain about the open market you hired for us. We disagree with moving into the new market because it is far from the customers. The place is too small to occupy everyone, and the blocks allocated for selling are too tiny. Some of our products might not fit, and our customers' movement is limited. Apart from that, there is no electricity, and the toilets are built too close to the selling blocks, so there is no proper sanitation. We are worried about our safety. Our products stand there; there is no fence surrounding the market; we cannot even leave them behind and lock them anywhere."

Although the vendors were selling in the sun and the ablution facilities were dilapidated before the MTC initiative, vendors stated that they would not accept the space and that the municipality should go back to the drawing board.

Tim Ekandjo, Chief Human Capital, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Officer at MTC, stated that it is disappointing to hear that the beneficiaries are unhappy with what was delivered.

"It is very strange when you come to open a facility and then the beneficiaries say, 'No, we are not happy with this facility', so it is a bit awkward. But I think the most important thing when it comes to community development is collaboration and communication, and there must always be communication between our leaders and the people that we serve. So that once we come to deliver products, we deliver these products as per the expectations that will make our people happy. And I think that is very important."

The facility, which was built at a cost of N$200,000, will accommodate about forty microentrepreneurs.



Hendrina Kanyolo and Valeria Handobe