THE mayor of Botswana's capital city, Gaborone, Kagiso Thutlwe, yesterday challenged the City of Windhoek to address the issue of informal settlements.
He was speaking in Windhoek at an event where a cooperation agreement was signed between the two cities which already have an existing cooperation agreement, signed in 2003, which was never implemented.
Thutlwe said Windhoek was too beautiful a city to have informal settlements, and that such areas should not be called informal settlements to make them sound nice, but rather squatter camps.
"People should get land. I see you have land. They should get land so that they can build better houses. They are the responsibility of not just yourself, but also of the President, who resides here with them," the visitor stressed.
The young Gaborone mayor also expressed gratitude for the hospitality he received, and praised Windhoek's cleanliness, roads and the wastage management system, amongst others.
Windhoek mayor Muesee Kapazua said more could also be learned from Gaborone, especially in terms of by-laws.
He expressed happiness that the relationship between the two cities would be cemented because Namibia and Botswana shared a long history of cooperation.
Windhoek's acting chief executive officer, Fillemon Hambuda, and the town clerk of Gaborone, Israel Lebuile, presented some of the issues the two cities had agreed on, and also mentioned that an action plan would soon be approved.
Aspects such as capacity building, cultural exchanges, tourism, waste management and law enforcement were part of the cooperation agreement.