The Kalkfeld business park which was constructed by the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) and leased to the Otjozondjupa regional council for a period of six years is still unoccupied due to outstanding work.
Constructed at a cost of over N$14 million in 2012 and officially opened in 2014, the business complex has been leased by the regional council since October 2018 for free.
It consists of a petrol station, community business stalls, food court, public toilets and a shop, which will all be available to be rented.
The chairperson of the Otjozondjupa regional council, Julius Neumbo, said the main stumbling block which hampers operation is the installation of pre-paid electricity and water meter systems for each stall in the business complex.
“The regional council, now the custodian of the centre, is still looking for money to install those systems and only then will we be in a position to allow tenants to operate from there,” he said.
Neumbo pointed out that the complex, especially the business stalls, no longer fall under NDC supervision as the stalls are officially leased to the Otjozondjupa regional council.
A 28-year-old resident, Christiano Divanga, on Wednesday called on government through the office of the Otjozondjupa regional governor, Otto Ipinge, to give Kalkfeld an economic boost by opening the business centre.
“The complex was built for a reason and our governor should use that reason to force the responsible institutions to make the centre operational,” he said.
Elfriede Kharuxas, 54, also a resident at the settlement, said it is a shame for government to spend millions on constructing a business centre for the community, only to have such an establishment turn into a white elephant.
Jackson Sabata, 29, urged the Kalkfeld settlement office to hold meetings with residents for both parties to advise and discuss the way forward for the centre.
Kalkfeld is situated about 70 kilometres west of Otjiwarongo and was proclaimed a village council in 1991, but downgraded to a settlement in 1996 reportedly because of a lack of development activities and growth. - Nampa