Service delivery undermined by petty council fights
The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development has expressed concern about increased reports of incidents of disunity and squabbles among councillors and managers, which tends to take time and resources at the expense of service delivery and development.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development Nghidinua Daniel was speaking during Wednesday afternoon’s congress of the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) at Outapi in the Omusati Region.
“We have to work from the basic understanding that we are all on the same team and our success depends on teamwork and unity,” Daniel said, adding that it is important for local authorities to recognise that their performance or non-performance reflects on government in general and is used by the public to judge service delivery by government.
Nghidinua urged local authority leaders to use their professional skills and knowledge to do everything in their power to ensure they meet the expectations of the people in the provision of affordable urban land and housing and related services and ensuring sustainable urban development.
He said it is important to realise local authorities cannot effectively play their assigned roles if local authority politicians and the administrators do not work together as a team.
He said some councillors complain that some managers are not implementing council resolutions that could lead to development and are not providing timely reports and information to help the council make informed decisions and take remedial action when needed.
It is therefore important that people work together as a team guided by a common goal to serve the people. He further said it is imperative that each local authority has a clear and shared vision and strategic priorities that include all aspects of sustainable urbanisation.
“In doing so it is important to integrate the imperatives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), as well as the issues highlighted in the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the international community in September 2015, the AU Agenda 2063 and the new Urban Agenda adopted by the Habitat 3 Conference in Quito in October 2016,” he explained.
Local authorities need to know how much land is available for different uses and plan accordingly in a balanced away. In order to minimise the cost of servicing land and making most efficient use of already serviced land it is important consider building high-rise buildings for housing, instead of only focusing on freestanding houses, he stated.