Windhoek’s path to economic recovery
WERI project launched
05 May 2021 | Local News
The Windhoek Economic Recovery Initiative (WERI) was officially presented at the most recent city council meeting.
“The initiative aims to promote economic growth and job creation through innovation,” and will focus on manufacturing, housing, infrastructure, information and communication technology, construction, food, agriculture, retail, tourism, the arts, culture, water and power, among others,” the council document reads.
“WERI recognises that there may be residents, businesses, entrepreneurs, academics or non-profit organisations that may have ideas to solve the city council's problems, improve service delivery or create jobs. To use these ideas, a platform must be created through which they can be transferred and implemented,” according to the documents.
At the launch, mayor Job Amupanda, emphasised co-operation and the progress made thanks to help from “friends of Windhoek”.
“Our approach to the ‘friends of Windhoek’ is supported by collectivism, as opposed to individualism. We cannot follow the path where government assets are lost. Namibia is currently a country without a national airline, without an accredited national stadium, and with a national broadcaster on life support. We call on everyone in a position to change the trajectory of our nation, to put themselves second, and to put the interests of the nation first for future generations.
Through the initiative, the City hopes to create 5 000 full-time jobs in Windhoek by 2025. Council also hopes to build industries through local investments and will look for an alternative to a tender process, to implement ideas more quickly.
Furthermore, the initiative aims to increase the City's revenue by N$20 billion by 2025 and increase the capital's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) from 33% to 36% in the same period.
Business proposals are welcomed and a format for the submission of these proposals has been drawn up. This month, input from specific industries will be sought before a formal advertisement for interest is issued in June and July.
A shortlist and public presentation of business proposals will begin in August, according to the WERI.
Other decisions taken during the council meeting include the adoption of an anti-corruption policy and procedure, the review of the capital's policy on shebeens and gambling houses in neighbourhoods, a study in collaboration with local universities and later the collection of residents' inputs.
The municipality has already purchased 300 new prepaid water meters and will soon start installing the meters. Retirees, vulnerable residents and the disadvantaged will be given preference. Residents with debt will be forced to get meters and take out a loan to pay for the installation.
In further news, the municipality issued a notice to remind residents that services to defaulters will be suspended. “City of Windhoek notifies customers that from 3 May 2021 electricity supply will be cut off after hours for all overdue accounts of more than 30 days,” the notice reads.
Senior municipal spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said this step is necessary to ensure physical access to some meters, because people are at home after hours. She emphasised that residents would be informed individually and that they can make arrangements with the municipality if their accounts are in arrears.
“This is nothing out of the ordinary and is normal practice,” she said.