Gobabis struggles to house its residents

09 Oct 2014 16:20pm
GOBABIS, 09 OCT (NAMPA) - The Gobabis Town Council is struggling to contain a high demand for erven and houses as the town experiences an unprecedented influx of people.
The business boom experienced at the town due to new businesses opening up, and the influx of people from the rural areas looking for work have placed huge strain on the provision of municipal services.
Being the Omaheke Region's main economic centre, hundreds of people hopeful for job opportunities end up in informal settlements when such job prospects fail to yield fruits.
Canaan, the town's main informal settlement, is now estimated to be home to more than 3 000 people, which have made efficient service delivery by the municipality a virtual impossibility.
Gobabis Mayor Sila Bezuidenhoudt conceded that the town is unable to cushion the high demand for houses and serviced land.
Bezuidenhoudt, who made the remarks during the official inauguration of refurbished police accommodation barracks here on Thursday, said the municipality is barely coping with the excessive demand for decent houses.
“We are faced with a huge shortage for decent accommodation for our residents as well as the provision of serviced land on which such houses are to be constructed. This is mainly due to the high costs associated with the servicing of land,” she said.
The mayor called on the private sector to meet the local authority half-way by providing housing for the employees, amongst others.
Despite the glaring shortage of accommodation at Gobabis, the town has missed out on full benefits of the Mass Housing scheme, as only a handful of houses will be constructed at Gobabis during the first phase of the programme.
Only those residing in the newly proclaimed informal settlement of Omugulgwombashe - on the outskirts of the town - stand to benefit. Omugulgwombashe was created following the dismantling of the Single Quarters compound hostel at the town in 2012.