SWAKOPMUND: Over 200 Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) informal settlement residents here fiercely demonstrated through the streets on Thursday, threatening to burn down the municipal buildings if their cries for help are not heard.
The demonstration comes after unhappy residents met last Saturday to mobilise plans to speed up the development of their area, which is situated on the outskirts of this coastal town.
A petition was handed over to the Swakopmund municipality by the spokesperson of the group, Ambrosius Marsh on Monday.
Amongst the demands stated in the petition were that each person living in the DRC area should be given their own erf; that the erven be serviced with both electricity and running water; and that erven must not cost more than N.dollars 7 000 each.
The petition further said DRC residents were giving the municipality 72 hours to respond to their demands, and that they would demonstrate again until their cries were heard.
The demands were not answered, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eckart Demasius was out of town, and only returned to office today.
Since the residents did not receive any answers from the municipality in the 72 hours that they demanded, they marched to the municipal buildings to hand over the same petition that was handed over on Monday.
The petition was this time received by the CEO, who had in the meantime reported back to office.
Upon giving the petition to Demasius, Marsh indicated that the municipality has failed the people of this informal settlement.
“Councillors should put the interests of the people first. They must maintain a constructive, creative and deep sense of social responsibility towards the community,” he stated.
Marsh said the concerns of the residents should be addressed, and also called upon the office of the Erongo Regional Governor (Cleophas Mutjavikua), the CEO of the Swakopmund Municipality and the President of Namibia (Hifikepunye Pohamba) to hear their cries and develop the DRC.
Demasius responded that he accepts the petition with a positive approach, and would table it at the monthly council meeting this evening.
The residents were not happy with that response, and started chanting that they are tired of waiting for an answer, and would not leave the municipal buildings until they received an answer.
When this reporter followed up on the progress of the demonstration late on Thursday afternoon, Marsh told Nampa that the residents were adamant that they wanted their cries heard, and were still stationed in front of the municipal buildings.
“We, the residents, will not move. We will wait until the council meeting tonight to hear what the verdict is,” he added.