Honourable Usutuaije Maamberu, Member of Parliament and president of SWANU sent out a statement that proposed that the capital of the Erongo Region be moved from Swakopmund to Usakos, Karibib or Omaruru.
Mr Maamberu told the Economist that the idea came to him almost five years ago, and that when he travels across the country he always talks and listens to the local communities and he has seen that there is hardly any development in these small towns. “The people are suffering because there is no development and therefore this forces them to move to Windhoek to try and make a living,” emphasised Maamberu.
He added that it is their understanding at SWANU that the regional capitals are there to assist with the development of the region, therefore such regional capitals should be centrally located for services to reach the majority of the people living in the region. “Swakopmund the regional capital of Erongo, is too far from the majority of people living there and most poor people have difficulty accessing public services which are available,” said Maamberu. He explained that Swakopmund would not be affected negatively because it benefits greatly from income that is generated through tourism and can sustain itself.
He added that this should be done in all the regions, so that people can have means to sustain themselves in their home towns and not to be forced to move to greener pastures. “I also advice the government to have more vocational training schools in the regions, because skills will be developed in people’s own environments to build the economy, and I reiterate that this will minimize urban migration,” he advised.
He added that since they at SWANU released the statement, there has been no response from the government and the media has not published anything about the suggestion that they are making to move the regional capital of Erongo.
He also gave an example of the governments’ broad decentralization concept as was demonstrated when the government decided to move the Oshikoto Region capital, which was Tsumeb to Omuthiyagwiipundi in 2008 and in a short period of time Omuthiyagwiipundi became a growing town.
“We therefore urgently appeal to government to consider that idea seriously and urgently, if equitable development is to prevail in Namibia,” concluded Maamberu.