With a rich historical backdrop and a strategic location along the B1 national road and Trans Caprivi highway, Otjozondjupa's governor emphasised the need for increased economic activities to foster development in Otavi. Governor James Uerikua made these remarks during the inauguration of the NaTis learner licence testing and driving licence renewal centre in the town.
Governor Uerikua stated that Otavi, surrounded by flourishing commercial agricultural activities, abundant mineral resources, and aquifers, should aspire to evolve into a municipality on par with Otjiwarongo and Grootfontien. Notably, in 2004, Otavi was demoted to a village council due to financial mismanagement.
However, after a resurgence in revenue, it regained its town status in 2010.
"On the B1, you are the only one who is sitting at a town council level, not a municipal council level. So it's your responsibility to ensure that you now put everything and anything on the table, get all the hands and footprints of Otavi on the deck, and make sure you grow the town."
Uerikua urged local authority councillors to collaborate and set aside any petty rivalries or competitiveness among themselves, emphasising their common duty to serve the town's residents, regardless of their political affiliations.
Uerikua commended the Roads Authority for decentralising services.
"Thank you very much, NaTis. I appreciate the decentralisation of the services of NaTis to the people of Otavi. I appreciate your foot print and expansion in the Otjozondjupa region and, by extension, in Namibia, while celebrating the good workmanship, the good neighbourhood, and the good stakeholdership in Otavi."
The Mayor of Otavi, Isaac !Hoaeb, highlighted the practical efforts made by the council to bring essential services closer to the community.
"I encourage the youth to obtain learner licences and eventually driving licences to become legal drivers on the road. Youth, this is our facility. You can start coming to register as early as tomorrow, and then the next group can start writing on Monday. On Monday, you can walk out here smiling with your learner license. Some will be smiling, some will not, but fortunately, even if you fail, you can come write as many times as possible because you don't need to spend money on transport.
Frieda Cornelius is the Roads Authority's North East Regional Manager.
"I applaud the Otavi Town Council for providing office space to the Roads Authority and also for going the extra mile to customise the nature office to ensure that the new NaTis office is fit for purpose. This is also a clear demonstration of full dedication from our two institutions to serve not only people from this town but anybody who is passing Otavi."
The center is operational every Monday to Friday and is currently staffed by three employees.