Namibia: Okahandja to Set Up Own Brickmaking Factory

HILENI NEMBWAYA

THE municipality of Okahandja has approved a council resolution to establish a factory making bricks and interlocks at the town, which it would fully own.

This is to create employment opportunities for young people in the area.

The bricks will be sold to the surrounding community and residents of the town, and the factory will mostly target low-income earners who are unable to afford the bricks sold at the town.

The factory is expected to employ over 120 people.

The motion was proposed during an ordinary council meeting on 28 May by Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillor Asker Aupindi, and was approved on 30 June.

In his motivation, Aupindi said the bricks would be sold at a much cheaper rate than that of local brickmaking factories, and the interlock bricks produced would be used to construct the town's roads with.

"We can start with 15 employees, of which eighteen would be responsible for manufacturing bricks and interlocks, and do the packaging, while seven would be responsible for laying off interlocks to our road constructions.

"It is our social responsibility to create job opportunities for our people as a council. These 15 people would be town council employees in the engineering department," he said in his motivation.

Aupindi said the project would come into effect once documentation and the costing thereof are finalised, however, the council plans to implement it early next year.

He told The Namibian the factory would accord the less privileged and low-income earners at the town the opportunity to access formal housing units, and would generate additional revenue for the council.

When asked why the municipality chooses to compete with small and medium entreprises at the town, Aupindi said the Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992 makes provision for brickmaking projects, thus the IPC decided on this initiative to provide its electorate with shelter as a matter of urgency.

He assured residents the municipality would consider their safety by making sure the bricks and interlocks produced meet the required standards.

Lovisa Hainane, a resident of Okahandja, says she welcomes the project as she hopes it would make bricks more affordable.

"It is a great initiative by the municipality as it will improve the lives of residents and boost the local economy. We would also be able to afford bricks and construct our own houses," she says.

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