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Erongo council’s N$183m office park still on the cards

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THE Erongo Regional Council intends to complete its N$183 million new office park dream at Swakopmund, chief regional officer Hâbatte Doëses said last week.

Plans for the new park were already set in motion in 2015, after it was found that the current building, situated next to that of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, was too small.

The new office park will be able to accommodate most of the regional council officials, and provide space for employees of other public institutions as part of the central government’s plan to decentralise its services.

The plot for the new office is near the Swakopmund municipality and fire station, as well as the ministries of labour, information and mines.

“The idea is to have all government services close together and centralised for the convenience of our citizens,” Doëses said.

A feasibility study, design, documentation, and bulk service infrastructure were completed in the 2018/19 financial year.

The actual construction of the building was earmarked to begin in 2019/20, but due to the Cabinet’s moratorium on the construction of new offices since the 2017/18 financial year, the construction could not continue as planned.

“We still recognise the importance of the new office for the Erongo Regional Council, but due to a lack of funds as a result of the persistent economic slowdown since 2017 and the urgency to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, we could not allocate resources in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years,” the National Planning Commission’s head of sectoral planning and development budget, Sylvester Kamwi, said.

“However, with the improvement of the economy in the future, there will be a need to continue with the allocation to construct this office.”

In the meantime, Erongo governor Neville Andre last week moved his office to Swakopmund’s central business district.

For seven years the Office of the Governor was near the Cottage MediClinic and Andre said: “We have to move on and get to bigger, more secure and better places, where our communities can continue to have easy access”.

The new office is in Dr Libertine Amadhila Street at the Swakopmund Plaza Hotel and will also accommodate the Erongo Youth Forum and the Red Cross.

Andre said the possibility exists that the Office of the Governor would also be accommodated at the Erongo Regional Council’s new office park.

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