3 August 2012

Namibia: Khorixas Hotel Owner Complains About Rowdy Church

THE owner of the /Gowati Country Hotel at Khorixas claims that he has lost most of his tourist bookings because of loud music coming from the nearby Pentecostal Church.

He says tour operators have stopped booking rooms at his establishment because of the noise that goes on until the early morning hours.

The hotel has lodged a written complaint with the Khorixas constituency councillor, Sebastian !Gobs, calling for his intervention.

The letter warns of staff layoffs if tourist numbers drop further.

Besides the church, hotel owner Francois Oosthuizen said, other noise polluters in the area include the Sunrise Hotel owned by Elray Essau.

!Gobs confirmed receipt of the letter and said the issue was discussed at a constituency development committee meeting two weeks ago.

He said the next discussion will take place with the churches and shebeen and nightclub owners.

"If the owner loses clients more people will be left jobless as some have to be retrenched and we have to take the matter seriously," !Gobs said.

Oosthuizen said he also spoke to Pastor Samuel /Gawiseb of the Pentecostal Church about the noise.

Numerous attempts by The Namibian to get comment from Pastor /Gawiseb failed as he did not answer his mobile phone.

The /Gowati Hotel has laid off five employees this year because of a loss of income.

"Tourists come from overseas and want to rest when they visit Namibia, but because of noise pollution they don't want to sleep at my hotel," said Oosthuizen.

"Churches should not play their music the whole night," he added.

Khorixas is home to more than ten Pentecostal churches that have live bands performing during church services and funerals.

Some Khorixas residents have also complained about the loud music coming from the Pentecostal churches in residential areas.

"The Bible is clear in Psalm 150 that we must praise the Lord with loud music and just because Oosthuizen is losing clients, must our religious ways of doing things be restricted?" asked a Pentecostal pastor who did not want to be identified.

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