DECEMBER NEWS

As the desert sun dips below the endless sea horizon, painting the sky in fiery hues of orange and gold, we, the Swakopmund Residents’ Association, reach out to each of you with a heart full of Christmas cheer.

This year has been a journey, like the rolling dunes that dance around our beloved town. We’ve faced challenges, weathered storms, and celebrated triumphs, all while standing shoulder-to-shoulder, a vibrant community woven together like the threads of a sandblasted tapestry.

As we gather under the twinkling lights of Swakopmund’s festive streets, let’s remember the magic that binds us. From the salty whispers of the ocean to the laughter echoing in our cafes, from the bustling markets to the quiet moments shared with loved ones, Swakopmund holds a special place in our hearts.

This Christmas let’s embrace the spirit of giving, not just through wrapped gifts under the tree, but through acts of kindness that light up the lives of those around us. Let’s share a warm meal with a neighbour, offer a helping hand to someone in need, or simply share a smile with a stranger – for these small gestures have the power to bring immense joy. 

As the year draws to a close, we hold onto the hope that the future shines as brightly as once the diamonds did scattered on some of our beaches. May the new year bring us renewed strength, deeper connections, and a spirit of community that shines brighter than the star atop our Christmas tree.

From the bottom of our hearts, the Swakopmund Residents’ Association wishes you a Christmas filled with love, laughter, and the warmth of shared memories. May your homes be filled with the aroma of festive treats, your hearts brimming with joy, and your days filled with the magic of this special season.

UPGRADING THE STREETS OF SWAKOPMUND

The Swakopmund Council has approved a budget for the forthcoming year to start the process of upgrading and resurfacing of roads and streets with interlock brick paving or premix bitumen in the amount of N$ 12ml.

Through an initiative of the SRA a survey was conducted earlier this year whereby Swakopmund residents were requested to submit names of roads that they felt needed urgent attention. A full report was submitted to the Swakopmund Municipality, and we are now pleased to announce that action is going to happen in the forthcoming year. The upgrading programme will focus on the CBD, Vineta, Mondesa, Kramersdorf and Vogelstrand. The Municipality intends to further organize the upgrade programme over the next five years.

APPROVAL OF THE SWAKOPMUND CAPTIAL WORKS PROGRAMME

The Swakopmund Council approved funding in the amount of N$ 5.94ml for the construction of four important infrastructure projects namely; The extension of the existing water network of the Swakopmund smallholdings. Consultants are presently reviewing the design proposals to evaluate more affordable options.

The investigation and design of a water reservoir for Vineta North, Mile 4, Ocean View, and the Northern Wedge Development. There have been recent reports of water supply issues with low water pressure being experienced in the suburbs of the Northern Wedge Vineta North, Mile 4 and Ocean View.

The design and supervision of Primary Settling Tanks for the New Sewerage Treatment Plant. With the approval of new housing developments in the northern part of Swakopmund increased sewerage capacity is needed to cope with the growth of the town.

The design and supervision of a Mechanical Sludge Drying Press for the New Sewerage Treatment Plant. Recently a complaint was received from the Salt Company of water seeping into their Treatment Plant and the Salt Company is concerned that this water is full of contaminates. The Municipality will now take appropriate measures to rectify the problem.

THE NAMIBIA CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHES THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT:

Central Government

The President and the members of the National Assembly represent all the people of Namibia. They deal with issues which affect everyone in the nation. But communities also need government bodies which are closer to them, to focus on the issues and problems of the community as there are many things that affect different regions in Namibia differently. A regional government can focus on the needs of a single region instead of having to think of the entire nation all at once. Similarly, local government focuses on the needs of the people who live in that local authority.

Regional Government

Namibia has been divided into 14 regions (for example ERONGO Region) and each region has been divided into constituencies. The “constituencies” make up, or “constitute”, each region.

The ERONGO Region has seven constituencies: Walvis Bay Urban, Walvis Bay Rural, Swakopmund, Arandis, Karibib, Daures and Omaruru.

The voters in each constituency elect one person to represent them on their regional council. The Regional Council of the ERONGO region therefore has seven councillors.

Each Regional Council elects a chairman and a management committee from amongst its members. Each Regional Council must also appoint a chief regional officer who is responsible for carrying out the Council’s decisions and directing the administration of the Council’s affairs. Furthermore, each regional council select three of its members to represent the region in the National Council.

Regional councils work together with the National Planning Commission to make a development plan which will guide growth and development in each region. Regional councils also help local governments in the region. The President or Parliament can assign other duties to regional councils as necessary.

Governors

Each region has a Governor appointed by the President. The Governor’s functions are to act as a link between central and regional government and to investigate and report on any matter relating to the region at the request of the President or the Minister responsible for regional or local government.

Local Councils

There are three kinds of local authorities: villages, towns, and municipalities. Swakopmund is categorised as Municipality. The classification of a local authority depends on its financial resources and its capacity to provide services and affects its duties and powers.

All local authorities must supply water, sewerage and refuse disposal services to communities which have been formally established as residential areas – which includes neighbourhoods where the local authority has laid out streets and divided the land up into plots available for purchase. Furthermore, local authorities have the power to make local regulations on a wide variety of matters.

Elections for local authority councils are held every five years based on party lists, where voters elect a political party rather than an individual. Village councils have 5 members. Town councils have 7-12 members and municipal councils 7-15 members – depending on their size. Swakopmund has 10 local authority councillors.

Each municipal council and town council elects a mayor and a deputy mayor from amongst its members. The mayor and deputy mayor serve as the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the council. They are responsible for formulating policies, promoting employment, and monitoring the implementation of the council’s policies. The mayor and deputy mayor are accountable to the people who live in the local authority.

Municipal and town councils elect management committees from amongst their members each year. The management committee is responsible for ensuring that the council’s decisions are carried out, it also controls the council’s budget. Therefore, the SRA is pleased that our two councillors are serving on this important committee.

Regional and local authority council meetings are generally open to the public. In Swakopmund they are usually held on the last Thursday of each month at 19h00 in Council Chambers (Swakopmund Municipality).

Councils can also convene public meetings to give community members a chance to share their views on a particular subject. You can request a public meeting on any matter of public interest. If you or your organisation collects the signatures of 10% of the registered voters in your region or local authority, then the council must hold a public meeting.

COMUNITY SUPPORT

Little House of Hope, a pre-primary education facility located in Kambushe Street in Mondesa provides valuable support to youngsters in the community. The project for Early Childhood Development grows stronger and stronger. During early 2022 John Hopkins was asked to assist and supervise the construction of new classrooms. The project was funded by generous donations from Germany and to date four high quality classrooms with ablution facilities and a kitchen have been completed.

The Little House of Hope will now provide three pre-school classes for 2024; and two kindergarten classes.

The commitment to developing well-rounded learners goes beyond education. A nutritious lunch is not just a meal it is the cornerstone for a child’s ability to learn and succeed. Mondesa Youth Opportunities Trust believe a child cannot learn well with an empty stomach. For learners lunches are provided that are more than just sustenance, they are lifelines. In some cases, these lunches serve as the only substantial meal these young children receive throughout the day.

The MYO partnership with the Little House of Hope has been successful and rewarding. Together they have formed a very strong centre for educational strength and progress in the middle of an active, but underprivileged area which needs maximum support.

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