In the Year of Expectations, Otjozondjupa Regional Council has committed itself to redouble efforts to implement its strategic plan and goals by improving the socio-economic wellbeing of its residents.
This was said by the chairperson of the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, Marlene Mbakera, during the first meeting of the council at Otjiwarongo.
High on the council agenda this year is the revival of Kalkfeld Settlement to acquire village council status.
On that, Mbakera says that through infrastructure development, a water reticulation project has been set for Kalkfeld's Dinosdal area and informal area, including the allocation of plots for residential and business purposes.
"In line with this, therefore, the council approved the allocation of residential and business plots at Kalkfeld Settlement. During 2023, the Council further signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) for the provision of affordable houses to Kalkfeld Settlement. All these initiatives are aimed at stimulating economic growth and strengthening the capacity for Kalkfeld so that it can regain its status as at least a settlement."
Mbakera also cautioned against poor revenue collection at settlement offices, saying this hampers development.
"Some settlements are collecting money, other settlements are not collecting, while some settlements are putting pressure on the people to pay, other settlements are not, and their accounting officers are not doing anything. Now what the people are doing is complaining, and they are saying, Why is it only us in this settlement that are forced to pay, while the other settlements are not even doing anything to ensure that we receive money back? Even the ministries, CRO, are busy writing letters to all the ministries that are owing us because it's about time that they will come to the end of the financial year and they will be returning money to the Treasury while they are owing us a lot of money."
On road infrastructure, Mbakera says the Road Fund Administration will kick off road blading and re-graveling at Tsumkwe.
Plans are also underway to roll out the Food Sustainability Project across the region to emulate the success of the project at Tsumkwe.
On rural sanitation, 7 VIP toilets have been set up in Rudenau in the Okahandja Constituency at a cost of N$123,000, while under basic service fees, elderly persons and people living with disabilities will enjoy a 30 percent rebate fee.