Omuthiya — Construction of the multi-billion-dollar mega Smart-City investment in Tsumeb is likely to start in April, says the mayor of the copper town Mathew Hangula.
The planned project will cost a massive N$20 billion that will be a significant investment complementing the mining and agricultural sectors, which are Tsumeb's economic backbone, and it will tremendously boost the town's economy and provide employment to thousands of people from within and outside the town and the Oshikoto Region.
The project will include a medical university that will provide an international standard education for approximately 25 000 students, providing them and all the staff with accommodation, complemented with a modern 800-bed hospital. The Smart-City will also have six hotels, office parks, residential apartments, entertainment and recreational facilities.
It is scheduled for completion and operational by April 2021.
MKP South Africa, a multinational company with a broad business portfolio in construction, banking, tourism and healthcare, is undertaking the project.
"I will be having a meeting with the investors this afternoon to discuss and get an update as to how far the process is, but all I know is construction is projected to begin in April," said Hangula in an interview with New Era.
Furthermore, Hangula said they have attracted another retail investor who is set to construct and open a supermarket, and expected to create more short and long-term jobs for the locals. "Choppies store will be opening a branch in Tsumeb, and they will start with the construction as soon as we get ministerial approval. Council already approved and passed the resolution," further said Hangula who noted the public had earlier objected to the idea.
He said the reason for objections was that land sold to the investor was a public open space area, hence the community felt their children had no place to play and hang around.
The land had a value of N$4 million, but council gave an incentive and it was sold for N$1 million. "One of the conditions for the investor was that they build a modern public facility for the community upon completion, but it looks like the public did not pick up the element when they earlier objected. On the other hand they should look at the long and short-term benefits that come with such ventures," stressed the mayor.
He also said that next week they will commence with the installation of water meters at Kuvikiland informal settlement, whose residents for the past years depended on a few community taps.