Rural-urban migration strains service delivery at Gobabis

09 Feb 2014 10:50am
GOBABIS, 09 FEB (NAMPA) – The influx of people from rural areas to Gobabis has created strain on the local municipality to supply utilities to all residents.
The local authority is thus forced to fork out large sums of money on maintenance of sewerage, water and electricity networks.
Gobabis Mayor Sila Bezuidenhoudt, in an interview with Nampa on Thursday, said the municipality has had to deal with a sudden surge in population.
Gobabis is the only major economic centre in the Omaheke Region, and hundreds of people hopeful for job opportunities end up in informal settlements when such job prospects fail to yield fruits.
“The flocking of people to the town in hope of landing a job has placed tremendous pressure on the provision of accommodation at Gobabis,” she said.
Bezuidenhoudt said the municipality has tried to accommodate the housing needs of the growing population through low-cost housing schemes such as the Build-Together and Shack Dwellers Federation housing groups.
“We have devised various schemes to provide accommodation, but the pressure on our basic utilities network is still there. There is little we can do, as there is free movement of people in this country,” she said.
The population of Gobabis is now estimated at around 17 000, and on a steady increase.
The influx of people to this town has also been blamed for the rise in criminal activities at the town.