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Sunday 20 January 2019
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The logistics hub dream

 
Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.19.38 AMOkakarara’s long-anticipated logistics hub dream seems to be gaining momentum, especially with the construction of the Okakarara-Okondjatu road commencing soon. The new road will link the B1 road to the Trans-Kalahari and Trans-Zambezi roads that are seen as key exit routes for exporters.
 
Okakarara Constituency councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu during a recent interview urged inhabitants of the area to position themselves strategically so that they can benefit. In terms of capacity to handle pressure that might come with the influx of trade in the area, Kandorozu is convinced that the residents will handle the pressure.
 
“We have a vocational training centre which offers a vast range of courses to equip our people with skills,” he said. Kandorozu also revealed that the Okakarara leadership last year met with the national railway parastatal, TransNamib Holdings, to discuss the possibility of constructing a railway between Otjiwarongo and Okakarara “The talks were merely to make the proposal but it was not followed through. But as the regional leadership, we want the current crop of councilors to be at the forefront to ensure that the proposal is taken up.
 
A railway to Okakarara will save companies money because those from Botswana and other landlocked countries can offload their goods in Okakarara,”which can then be transported to Walvis Bay for shipping and vice versa,” said an optimistic Kandorozu. Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe currently make use of the Walvis Bay port.
 
Walvis bay is linked to landlocked SADC countries via road corridors mainly the Trans Caprivi, Trans Kalahari, Trans Kunene and Trans Oranje. Despite repeated invitations for investors to come any conduct their business at the town, Kandorozu said such ambitions cannot materialize in the absence of an adequate supply of serviced land.
 
“We cannot expect someone to come and setup shop in Okakarara while there is no land, therefore, the town council is currently busy servicing industrial ervens to cater for this purpose. If government can invest in land servicing in the tow then surely we can draw investors,” he said.
 
With a high rate of youth unemployment in the area, Kandorozu believes transforming the town into a business hub will solve the unemployment headaches of the town. Despite all these good-sounding plans, the constituency is not without challenges. One of those is the close-proximity of alcohol outlets to the town’s only secondary school.
 
The town council in 2014 made a submission to the Liquor License Board which was thrown out because “it did not contain the names of the outlets” that are said to be making learning at Okakarara Secondary School impossible.
 
“We want all shebeens that are within 500 metres from schools to be relocated. We want bars to operate only till 20h00 during weekdays and they must be closed on Sundays,” Kandorozu said.



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