Rundu — Rundu residents have strongly protested the Rundu Town Council's (RTC) decision to lease the popular 'Rundu Beach' to a private group for the duration of the festive season. Frustrated residents fear they might be forced to pay exorbitant fees to make use of the popular hangout spot. Playing down the fears yesterday, RTC Management Committee Chairperson, Johannes Murenga, said the decision to lease out the premises was another way of generating income for the council.
"The public should understand that they will not be prohibited to use the facilities, but their vehicles will not be allowed inside. Council needs to look for ways to make money in order to develop the town," said Murenga. Council will receive N$18 000 for the leasing of the premises.
"I want to ensure the public that Rundu Beach is still accessible to the public. I would, however, like to urge the public to behave accordingly during the festive season. The hosts should also adhere to the liquor laws, as well as the noise pollution laws," he said.
With the lease tariff skyrocketing from N$100 in 2011 to N$800 this year, Murenga said the tariff increase is benchmarked on the development plans lined up by the council. "We want to develop the beach so that next year we can award stands to those who want to do business there, in order to accommodate everyone and not only a few," he said.
Meanwhile, Esther Mukundu who is one of the organizing members of the group that was awarded the tender, said members of the public are allowed to use the facilities, except on days when there are music shows. "The public will not be allowed to enter the premises with their own drinks or food because those will be sold inside," he said.
Along with three other partners, Mukundu told New Era that they chose to hire the area because it is a popular site that is visited regularly by the public. "The place is good for business because it receives a lot of visitors during the festive season," she said.