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Sungate a pipe dream?

Trenches have been dug for what seems like a drainage system, however nothing much is happening at the site. (Photograph by Clemencia Jacobs) According to this billboard, construction at the site was supposed to start in January last year. (Photograph by Clemencia Jacobs)No construction is taking place at Sungate, an initiative which promised to propel Namibia into a industrialised state.
A tender for civil works including bulk earthworks, roads, sewer and water infrastructure for the Sungate development was awarded to Namibia Roads Products (NRP) last year. The initial phase of the development will take place around the intersection of the Hosea Kutako International Airport turn-off.
However, when the Economist visited the site this week, it seemed abandoned. Apart from a few roads being graded, and what seems to be a drainage system, nothing else has been done and according to airport officials, nothing has been happening at the site since the begining of the year.
The services to the initial phase was suppose to be completed in September 2011, including the roads, street lighting and power supply, Peter Collins, the then marketing director at Accolade Properties Namibia (APN) (developers of Sungate), told the Economist in an interview last year.
Collins further said the developers are in an advanced stage of negotiations to establish a large concrete product manufacturing facility on the site as well as an international humanitarian aid distribution centre for the SADC region.
At the time, APN was also in the process of launching an affordable housing scheme in partnership with a local developer, according to Collins.
Sungate, an initiative of APN, is a mixed-use development which will be situated on 408 hectares of land close to the Hosea Kutako airport. It will host retail, residential, hotel and leisure sectors designed to cater for anticipated expansion in the tourism market.
When the idea was first made public in 2009, the developers said the project would cost over N$500 million and will be completed in 2019 and that it would create 6000 permanent jobs.
APN could not be reached for comment as its spokesperson was preparing for a trip overseas and would only be back in the country at the end of April.
The developers received two separate farm portions in July 2008 and approval for bulk services from Nampower, Namwater and the Roads Authority that same year.

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