20 Nov 2013 16:30pm
GOBABIS, 20 NOV (NAMPA) The town of Gobabis has over the past few years experienced unprecedented growth as more businesses set up shop at the eastern town, raising hope of economic spin-offs from such undertakings.
Gobabis, being the main economic centre of the vast Omaheke Region, had in the past solely relied on the beef industry to sustain it, as commercial and communal farmers use the town as their main trading centre.
But the buying power of the farmers lacks sustainability, especially whenever the region becomes hard-hit by droughts and livestock disease. Besides that, the Omaheke Region also holds a relatively high poverty profile, as 6.5 per cent of the households are considered to live in conditions of severe poverty.
Gobabis Municipality Chief Executive Officer, Efraim Dawids told Nampa in an interview on Tuesday that more businesses in the clothing, retailing and manufacturing sectors have now set up shop at Gobabis.
He said the municipality has thus played its role in assisting such enterprises with affordable land on which they can establish their businesses.
We have seen quite a number of developments coming to Gobabis over the past few years. The current construction of a mall that will house various shops in the towns Central Business District (CBD) is a fine example of our focus on the economic development of the town, he said.
Although no date has yet been set on the completion of the shopping mall, the project has reached an advanced stage with most of the shops almost ready for occupation.
The cost of the construction of the mall could not be established.
The town council has also responded to the demand for land from largely middle-income earners through a drive that will service a number of erven to cater for such group in some of the towns more affluent suburbs.
The council also hopes to capitalise on the Trans-Kalahari Highway, which runs through the region, by offering travellers a reason to stop over in Gobabis for business.
While holding on to the towns traditional dependency on the farming sector, Dawids said the Gobabis Town Council has also taken a conscious decision to diversify and turn some attention to the tourism and hospitality industry.