Shaningwa reads riot act

The days of corrupt activities are over, minister Sophia Shaningwa warned on Friday.

17 July 2017 | Local News

Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa has read the riot act to “corrupt” City of Windhoek officials, saying maladministration will no longer be tolerated.

Calling the city out on several issues, Shaningwa said she is not sleeping on the job and “boetie-boetie” relationships will not be tolerated as it does not benefit the country.

“My office is inundated with complaints [from] residents that are being treated unfairly and mistreated by the municipal council. Residents have approached my office in the hope that there will be administrative justice,” she said during the launch of the City of Windhoek's strategic plan for 2017 to 2022 on Friday morning.

She said that the success of the plan depends on its implementation and if its execution goes wrong everything will fail.

Shaningwa castigated the city's officials, accusing them of taking decisions on their own accord, which resulted in unnecessary legal action.

Shaningwa urged the municipal leadership to take charge and make sure that accountability prevails.

She further said she had been informed about restructuring and deployment of city officials.

“While this is taking place with good intentions, I caution that this should be done within the laws of the country and financial resources available,” she said. She further stressed that it should not be a situation where restructuring is done with a “friends and foes” system in mind.

“I know what is going on in all 57 local authorities in the country. I am on the ball.

“I do not sit in the office with the air cons and what happens in Windhoek also reaches my ears. I am not sleeping,” she said. According to Shaningwa, sometimes things are not healthy at local authorities, because there is no administrative justice and too little resources.

She further highlighted the slow pace at which the city has been providing serviced land, saying that the delivery of serviced residential land in Windhoek has been very disappointing.

“Yes resources are an issue, but the city should not struggle alone, it should be assisted.”

Shaningwa said although the topography of Windhoek makes it difficult to provide serviced land, more should be done. According to her the city should enter into public-private partnerships (PPPs) for assistance.

“None of this “boetie-boetie” business. This will not help our country.”

She said that the majority of the country is swimming in poverty while a few individuals are benefiting.

“When are they going to get satisfied? To address these challenges it can no longer be business as usual. The answers to these challenges are in the strategic plan. It just needs to be implemented.”

According to her, most local authorities of today are faced with many challenges, such as the scarcity of land, sanitation, housing and finances, and she says that Windhoek is no exception.

“Windhoek attracts many migrants that are seeking to improve their living standards with better jobs.

“This large scale migration has proved to be a challenge for the city and resulted in a mushrooming of informal settlements,” she noted.



No duplication

Meanwhile, Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said Windhoek represents more than 98% of the region's populace and the strategic plan is therefore important to ensure that no duplications take place. According to her, one of the goals of the plan is to formalise the informal settlements around Windhoek. “This will be a mammoth task.”

A total of N$25 million has been budgeted during this financial year for servicing informal settlements.

City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise said the needs of the residents are increasing and different solutions are necessary to address the challenges faced.

“We have to change our approach to the challenges out there, if we can achieve that, then service delivery in Windhoek will be transformed,” he said.

Among others, the city furthermore aims to become fully financially accountable by providing clean audits.

“There are leakages [financial] in the city, there is a lot of money lying on the ground and a lot of money lying in people's pockets. It is time to regroup and collect what belongs to the city.”

According to him, the N$500 million debtors' book needs to be dealt with.



ELLANIE SMIT

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