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Is the Swakopmund municipality biting the hand that feeds it?

Lets first establish a few home truths here. What is proposed to happen at the Mole cannot, by the furthest stretch of the imagination, be called sustainable development in the interest of the public at large. Judging by the selectivity of information available, and the reluctance of the municipality to inform the public up-front, a swindle of enronesque proportions cannot entirely be ruled out in my mind. Since we, the public, only know what the municipality decrees we aught to know, which is little enough, here’s what I actually see;



  1. P.Odendaal says:

    The trouble is when you try and do something it falls on deaf ears …and you branded a renegade.
    Below is a letter I wrote in 2008 and personally handed to Mr. Demasius which didnt even warrent an acknowledgement much less a reply:

    The Chief Executive Officer
    Municipality of Swakopmund
    P.O.Box 59

    Attention : Mr. Eckhardt Demasius

    Dear Mr. Demasius,

    RE : Future of old Municipal Offices / Development of Beach Front Area
    ……some food for thought.

    As an architect with 40 years experience and now semi-retired and permanently living in Swakopmund for the past eight years the development of the town has been my special interest.

    I have witnessed ( with some dismay) the seemingly haphazard and piecemeal development proposals for Swakopmund’s prime Beachfront area. I.e. the Lighthouse Groups proposals for the Municipal Swimming Pool and the recent Strand Café
    Proposal. Also the proposed new Kempinski Hotel (which seems to be having problems?) All these developments seem to be uncoordinated and don’t form part of a larger picture.

    The fly in the ointment of a really meaningful and fantastic beachfront development opportunity (which is probably unique in Southern Africa) is the existing museum building.

    Take this building away and the scope opens for a really exciting re-development possibility.

    So what to do?

    The Municipality will be vacating the Old Municipal Building in the not too distant future, and I believe this building will come up for sale. Would it not make sense, economically and practically to offer this building as a museum?It is already a historical building and could be converted to a museum without major expense. The building is large enough to be shared with commercial enterprises, such as craft shops a café etc. The museum would also be more accessible for tourists as it is virtually in the CBD.

    The Municipality could then initiate a true Waterfront development for the Beachfront Area by putting out the area for development proposals. The development could incorporate the New Kempinski Hotel and maybe it would make economical sense to incorporate the Lighthouse group’s proposals ( don’t know what the status quo is there …but seems to be a dead horse!)

    A visionary planner could turn this area, including the old Nursery, Tennis Courts, Parking area and Palm Area between State House and Café Anton into a truelly unique Waterfront Development.

    This would also give the Municipality the opportunity to solve various problems:

    Parking could be provided in a parking area between the State House and Café Anton in a multilevel parking garage ( the palm trees can be moved to a “Market Piazza” on top.
    Easy access from Strand Street and exit into Tobias Hanyeko Street. Further bonus is the area is virtually in the CBD.

    The bottle-neck caused by the dead end streets would be solved and traffic could be diverted out off the CBD as Strand Street could form a bypass.

    Better access to the beach area and Hotel could be planned and pedestrian link on an upper level from Café Anton/State House Piazza.

    The development would be a major income generator for the Municipality through the sale of the erven and the conditions pertaining to the sale ( provision of parking etc.)

    Maybe this letter will arouse some interest or investigative action from your side?
    I would be happy to share my ideas and vision with you and your colleagues at a brainstorming session during which I could provide some rough lay-outs illustrating
    the proposals.

    Let me assure you that my motives are not money orientated at all but rather my vision of a better Swakopmund.


    Peter Odendaal

    “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”
    — John Sculley

  2. Moreen says:

    What a shame!! Only went down that way once and I loved it! Why the hell can’t they leave things alone???

  3. bison says:

    Q: Is the Swakopmund municipality biting the hand that feeds it?
    A: YES!And it probably feeds some good friends in need.
    What can be done?
    Mobilize the public! See Tea Party or Stuttgart 21. It takes a few hardcore democrats (from democracy!) to keep asking questions before any concrete is poured. And, to stay out of harm’s way.
    When leaving Windhoek airport recently, I noticed a pile of little brochures stacked well out of sight in the DEPARTURE hall. They said that Namibia is committed to fight corruption. Here is a chance to show they mean it.
    The number to call is 0800 222 888
    The website
    Good LUCK!

  4. Vera says:

    So why are we all being so passive about this? Why don’t we put together a publicity campaign against all this, and keep on banging the drum against all this ‘development?” We need to be organised and motivated by someone clever, someone who understands what needs to be done. If we do nothing, we will deserve what we get.

  5. Anita says:

    Great …. reads like a thriller, with Dem in the fast-track seat crashing into things as he goes… little left once he has finished. Poor little Swakopmund…our jewel ….. Between the Mole Monster and Vineta’s Veritable Vanishing Visage it will look just like any other little South African beachfront town. Have the architects even ever VISITED these sites??

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