Businessman sees potential in Usakos

23 Feb 2015 08:50am
USAKOS, 23 FEB (NAMPA) – A new service station will be opened in the town of Usakos in March this year, bringing the total number in this town to three.
The new Shell station currently under construction at the Namib Oasis Farm stall, situated some short distance west of the town on the way to Swakopmund, is an addition to two Engen service stations.
This small town is sometimes referred to as a drive-through from the Namibian inland to the coast because of little developments and tourism activities here.
Speaking to Nampa about the new development on Monday, owner of Namib Oasis and co-owner of the new service station Jan Swartz said the idea is to create a one-stop-station for travellers.
Asked why he decided to invest in such a project in a small town which already has other fuel stations, the entrepreneur said he sees potential here.
“The increasing traffic volumes on the Trans-Kalahari highway and the expansion of the port of Walvis Bay guarantees that more customers will pass through Usakos and use our services,” he enthused.
The businessman, who has been running the biltong shop for three years, says he is employing 10 labourers in the construction of the fuel station.
These are local people who were not employed before, and his aim is thus to develop the town and create jobs.
“When we open our doors next month, 40 people will get permanent posts,” Swartz assured.
Usakos is situated some 30 kilometres from Karibib along the B2 road between Okahandja and Swakopmund.
The town was founded in the early 1900s as a workshop and watering station for locomotives.
Herero Chief Samuel Maharero sold the land to Europeans who, in 1903, resold it to the Otavi Minen- und Eisenbahngesellschaft (Otavi Mining and Railway Company - OMEG) which operated an industrial railway line from Swakopmund to Tsumeb.
OMEG established a railway station and repairshop which was used until the 1960s.
When mining operations slowed down, Usakos' importance faded quickly, and it’s today mainly a drive-through from the Namibian inland to the coast.