Getting ready for Husab
Arandis, established in 1978 as a dormitory town of the Rossing Uranium mine is slowly turning into a proper town after years of fearing that the town will become a ghost town. When the Economist visited Arandis last week, several new construction projects were taking shape in the town which is heavily reliant on mining.
A new N$20 million shopping complex being developed by Old Mutual in partnership with a private developer, is nearing completion. The shopping complex, which will house retail giant Shoprite, FNB and Pep among others, is set to be completed by the end of this month according to the town’s Chief Executive Officer, Florida Husselmann.
A few meters from the Shopping complex is a new health centre being built by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare under the government’s Tipeeg programme. Construction of the health facility, which will also house medical personnel, started in January.
Husselmann said one of the risks that stood in the way of promoting Arandis as a town of choice was the limited health services in the town, particularly after the downgrading of the hospital into a clinic in the 1990s. She said that the new health centre will promote Arandis as a town that would be able to address appropriate medical services and residents will no longer have to travel to Swakopmund in order to be attended to.
During the Arandis Investment Conference and Mineral, Mining and Energy Expo at the town last week, Mayor Daniel Muhuuraa officially launched a new residential development known as the Osho Living Park, a 112 modern housing development near the town’s centre being developed by Tuna Willem.
The new housing development will see the erection of two and three bedroom houses with a price range of between N$450,000 and N$650,000. According to a Remax sales agent, Talitha Goosen, the park will consist of a community market, wellness centre, a multipurpose centre and a family park. Remax has been given the sole mandate to market the housing project which promises a certain “standard” for the residents.
Commenting on the project, Goosen said: There are going to be certain rules and regulations. We don’t want to just build a community, but we also want to keep a standard. We are going to stipulate, for example, that there won’t be things like shebeens.”
No timeline has been given for the completion of the housing project, but Goosen said a spec house will soon be built so that potential clients can come and see what the design of the houses will look like.
Asked who were the potential clients, Goosen responded: “Obviously everybody knows about the Husab mine that will be completed in 2015. We need to start making the preparations for that because they are going to need 7000 houses.”
According to the town’s CEO, Arandis welcomes the start of construction of the Husab mine. “Arandis is embracing the Husab Project and would like to see a situation whereby strong relations are fostered between the town of Arandis and the Mine that will contribute to sustainable development,” she said.
She added that the town has already prepared 996 residential properties in order to attract workers involved in the construction phase of the mine. “In addition, key service providers such as the shopping complex, health centre, service station, hotel and banks will also contribute towards creating a conductive environment for residents and businesses.”
Husselmann said Arandis is currently using the existence of the Mines as a window of opportunity to create and stimulate diverse economic activities. “By the time that these Mines should close, Arandis would have long reached its economic sustainability.”
A new three storey hotel is also on the cards in Arandis. The hotel will be developed by the Swapo party’s investment vehicle, Kalahari Holdings as part of a 3 in 1 development which consists of a shopping centre, office and residential units. Construction is scheduled for early next year.