Govt urged to capitalise on Lüderitz waterfront
02 December 2021 | Local News
Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says government must adequately provide financial support to the Lüderitz Waterfront Development Company (LWDC) if it wants it to become financially independent.
The company is currently engaged in several projects which include plans to complete a maritime museum, residential units, various restaurants and public spaces, which its CEO Fluksman Samuehl said can help drive economic activity to the far-flung coastal town.
It also hopes to build a paved link from the maritime museum to the Nest Hotel. The museum will sport an impressive collection donated by company chairperson, Angel Tordesillas.
LWDC needs N$120 million for projects it is engaged in, and is over a year behind schedule.
The projects are being funded by various ministries, which include higher education, basic education and sport, but it falls under the public enterprises ministry.
“For the waterfront to become feasible - that is to break even - we need to finalise this. It will be able to generate maximum revenues, which it is not doing at the moment,” Jooste said.
According to him, delaying the project means it will cost government even more.
“The longer we delay the finalisation of this project, the more it’s going to cost us.”
‘We’re so close’
Jooste promised to get his Cabinet colleagues’ support for the project.
“If anything, I will be giving my minister of finance some more grey hair going forward. It’s good that we are seeing where the money is going.
“We are so close to the end of this project. If anything, it is for Cabinet to support this, [so] that we finish this last round quickly,” the minister said.
Samuehl noted that the project could help drive tourism to Lüderitz as locals are leaving the coastal town because of a lack of activity. According to him, it is the hope of the company to create an additional business district within the town.
Lead quantity surveyor Richard Frankle pointed out that the project was initially meant to be completed by April 2014, but would now only be done by December 2022 - provided sufficient funding is found.
The project has experienced an overall N$133 million increase, while the increase in the construction period stands at 87 months.
It is estimated to lose potential income of N$70 million due to incomplete facilities, Frankle said.
The waterfront was estimated to cost N$369 million once complete.