Coastal town welcomes CEO

SWAKOPMUND The newly appointed leader of Swakopmund has been introduced to his municipal staff members.

10 December 2018 | Local News

Archie Benjamin, Swakopmund CEO “We need each other, from the mayor to the guy sweeping the streets, and from the tourist to the resident.

The new CEO of Swakopmund, Archie Benjamin, was officially introduced to municipal staff on Monday.

Speaking at the occasion Benjamin said he was looking forward to working with the town council, management and staff to make the city even greater.

“I am willing to learn and will be consulting as much as possible. I want to meet, talk, listen and exchange ideas. We need everyone on board and to work as a team in order to achieve our strategic goals. We will agree on some issues and disagree on others. That is why we have chosen democracy as a system.”

Benjamin said it was essential to harmonise different views for the good of all.

“We need each other, from the mayor to the guy sweeping the streets, and from the tourist to the resident.”

According to him Swakopmund is an international city, every Namibian’s favourite holiday destination and the ultimate choice for those retiring.

“This is due to the coastal town’s unique location between the desert and the sea, the tourism feel, the excellent service to Namibians and visitors alike, coupled with rapid infrastructural development in terms of housing and tourism facilities. It is the result of steadfast political will, top notch administrative acumen and the hard work of all those that contributed to this existing environment and continue to do so.”

He added that expectations remain high because of the fear of the unknown and pointed out that some of the challenges the town faces are the number of increasing number of people who migrate to Swakopmund, the increased demands for jobs, the lack of affordable housing and training opportunities.

“Main employment factors such as mining, logistics and tourism are somewhat depressed temporarily. Historical developments have brought an imbalance between the west of Swakopmund and the east, with some people still feeling left out. I am however happy to note that council through its public consultation process has recognised these challenges and has taken definite decisions to address some of them.”

Benjamin emphasised that Swakopmund faces much bigger challenges which needs to be address with the same vigour.

“We need to diversify our sources of revenue as the traditional sources of revenue are being challenged.

“We also need to expand and share the cake by providing the same level of service to all. Industrial, manufacturing, education and training, logistics and transport, renewable energy and the blue economy should be catered for.

“We need to embrace the smart city concepts in order to serve our people better, faster and easier. Our workforce must be prepared for the demands of the future in addition to ensuring the proper maintenance of our existing infrastructure and the upgrading of redundant infrastructure.”

In conclusion, he said that the municipality should reach out to government as stakeholders (the regional council as well as neighbouring local authorities) and the private sectors in providing certain services, as well as international partners in order to reach its goals.

Benjamin follows Marco Swartz who was the acting CEO Swakopmund for the last few years.

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