Swakopmund Residents Association’s newsletter

Swakopmund’s smartly paved pavements and streets add such a charm to our town, but when a repair is done, or an alteration made, then pavers are neatly stacked up on one side, and the work is done, but very rarely are the pavers replaced. Our town’s appearance is spoilt with these little piles of pavers which have been standing for years in some cases, next to the open and rough area which was repaired. This is very poor quality of service, and two points of view emerge: Firstly – are these teams of repairmen from Telecom, or Erongo Red, or the Municipality ever given the clear instruction that they must finish their work properly/ completely? Does anyone ever check this? Is the problem the lazy workmen or a lazy supervisor?

Secondly – to be fair, would it be beyond our capabilities to neatly replace the pavers our-selves? Yes, in some cases more expertise might be needed but often a careful and proud house owner could replace the pavers himself. It is all a matter of quality, and the moral about ‘everybody’ getting a chore done, or ‘some-body’ being responsible, generally ends up in ‘nobody’ stepping up.
Vrede Rede Street, leading up between Tam-riskia and Mondesa is at last receiving attention, as it has been in a very poor state of repair and it takes a great deal of traffic. However, the general area is sandy, untidy and poorly presented too, from the shop fronts, the basketball court area and the open area used for car washing and general informal business. Attention needs to be given to these sites.
And poor Dromme-daar-is/Scultetus Street is still waiting to be completely paved, with beaten up drums, and exposed sewage manholes spoiling the neighbourhood. Come on, Councillors this is a busy school entry road which needs your attention. How pleasing to see that at last Namib Primary has improved the front of their school with a low wall. This is long overdue. Whoever has finally organised this work must not stop – other areas need attention too. Like it or not, it is time that dog owners begin to take responsibility for the dog faeces which litter pour walkways and beach areas. Come on, Swakopmunders, be good citizens and make this a part of your care of your dog and your care about others. This is just learned behaviour, and we can quickly promote others whom we see being careless, to take responsibility for their dogs too. Swakopmund is no longer a little country ‘dorpie’ where we can ignore rules for decent behaviour. Interestingly, linked to the financial problems which our country is facing, with businesses shutting down, is the fact that houses are being abandoned, presumably when mortgages can no longer be paid. This is extremely sad for the home owner, who has lost his home, but there are several of these houses scattered throughout Swakopmund, and one house, near Westside School, has been systematically vandalised and robbed. It is a pitiful sight at this stage and if the house is owned by the bank, we trust that some type of security and upgrading will happen soon. Thanks to the persistence of our Councillor, Wilfried Groenewald, our fire hydrants are now in the process of being serviced and repaired by the Fire Brigade, and reports are being submitted. This is long overdue. Councillor Groenewald has also finally managed to make arrange meetings between TransNamib, the Roads Authority, and the Municipality regarding relocation of the railway line through Swakopmund. Currently, we have 3 level crossings over the railway line and one road-over-rail bridge crossing. For the future development of Kramersdorf, we need two additional rail crossings. Currently, we have the new fuel farm at Walvis Bay nearing completion and Transnamib is busy awarding ten-ders for the upgrade of the rails from Kranz-berg Station to Walvis Bay. This is in line with the Walvis Bay Corridor Group Development by which the Walvis Bay Harbour will be-come the main import/export port for our neighbouring landlocked countries. This of course, will increase our rail and road trans-port with not only ordinary goods, but also loads of flammable fuel and even sulphuric acid. The danger of accidents occurring is therefore ever increasing and nobody has the means of fighting a fire involving tons of flammables. It is therefore desirable, that the railway line around Swakopmund be relocated in such a way, that rail traffic be taken out of our town.
Currently, our Roads Authority is signing contracts to have the existing road-over-rail bridge near Kramersdorf rebuilt for an amount of approximately N$25 million, which does not make sense at all, when the 5 level crossings are considered. Sadly, Government authorities do this significant planning around our town, without any consultation on the matter. Of concern is that our present railway bridge is unsound, and requires extra reinforcement to keep it safe. This whole concept of railway lines and level crossings in our town needs to be rethought and carefully planned before bad decisions are made.
The new B2 national road which will lead into Swakopmund has a wide road reserve of 65m but town streets have a much narrower reserve of only 25m, so the entry of the B2 into the town area has to be carefully planned and engineered. What is obvious is that the conflict between residents and heavy traffic will become an ever-increasing reality and problem.
Happily, the footpath leading along the beach-front is to be extended to the mall. This is long overdue. Closed Bid Sales of erven at Mile 4 on 14 December 2018: All 43 erven were sold to the public at an average price of N$809 per sqm. There are still more erven available in this area and another closed bid sale is up-coming, at dates still to be set. Our children are such an investment of love and pride, and they give us such joy. Why then, do some parents regularly transport their beautiful, beloved children, standing up on the back of their bakkie? Of course, young people feel the thrill of the wind rushing by, and the freedom of their transport, but in one moment of time all that joy can become terrible sorrow and regret. Times have changed and we now realise the importance of safety when speed is concerned. The saying that ‘Prevention is better than a cure,’ is so true, for there is no cure for the results of an accident of this type.

Margit d’Avignon

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