Gobabis makes U-turn on NAAHI

06 Feb 2014 13:50pm
GOBABIS, 06 FEB (NAMPA) - The Gobabis Municipality has made a U-turn on the envisaged multi-million dollar investment under the auspices of the Namibia Angola Housing Initiative (NAAHI).
The local authority says the finalisation of all logistics pertaining to the project will have to start from scratch, as the current progress has reportedly hit a 'brick wall'.
NAAHI intends to construct an industrial park, a truck port, cattle auction house and a meat-packaging plant in Gobabis at a cost over N.dollars 800 million.
Since the project was touted two years ago, negotiations leading to the formalisation of standing agreements that would pave the way for the project failed to bear the desired results.
The major obstacle towards the realisation of the project appears to be the attainment of land from the local authority, on which the initiative’s business activities will be set up.
According to the initial agreement reached between NAAHI and the Gobabis Municipality, the latter was expected to provide a portion of town land for the initiative.
This agreement was however not final, as the municipality apparently only agreed in principle to avail the land pending further negotiations that would have led to the formalisation of the agreement.
This, according to sources in the region, came after regional and local authority councillors became divided in opinion over the NAAHI project.
Gobabis Mayor, Sila Bezuidenhoudt admitted to Nampa on Thursday that there have been delays in finalising the NAAHI project.
She said most of the delays were not foreseeable, adding that all parties involved in the project have now learned from their mistakes.
Bezuidenhoudt could however not elaborate on the hiccups which have delayed the project for over two years.
“We will start the process from the start. Since most of the hiccups have now been ironed out, we expect the process to go faster this time around. I can confirm that the Gobabis Municipality is still a partner in this investment and everything will proceed as initially planned as from now on,” she said.
Bezuidenhoudt noted that the local authority had little knowledge of the project they were dealing with, which limited their deliberations on it.
“We did not do our homework during the last negotiations. We are now ready and able to follow the project through, and will especially be calling on the office of the regional governor for assistance,” she said.
The date for the start of construction on the project is yet to be fixed.
The project is expected to provide employment to a large number of Omaheke residents, whose unemployment rate currently stands at 34.1 per cent.
NAAHI is a partner of a multi-million dollar business and an industrial park of the South Africa Angola Housing Initiative (SAAHI), which plans to construct over 1, 2 million houses all over Angola.
(NAMPA)
CT/AS/ND