ALAN and SALAGA strengthen ties

Compiled by Otis Daniels
The deputy minister of Urban and Rural Development Natalia /Goagoses presided over the signing ceremony between Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in Walvis Bay.

The minister said that transitioning to resilience and sustainable local governments has become inevitable for the transformation of the country's local government in order to adjust, adapt, and most importantly, modify the response to various internal and external hazards.

“Local Authorities in Namibia face significant challenges such as poverty and unemployment of residents to afford service fee payments, informal settlements without basic services, dilapidated capital infrastructures, governance and accountability issues, inadequate revenue bases and other extreme events such as globalization, urbanization, climate change, technological adaptation, environmental impacts. The Covid-19 pandemic definitely highlighted the need for Local Authorities to diversify and reinforce economies, strengthen social inclusion, ensure equal access to digitalisation and build safe and secure communities.”

/Goagoses emphasised that Local Authorities as the closest sphere of government to the people, play a pivotal role in responding to local needs and priorities, national development plans and in supporting the effective implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to achieve the Local Government Vision 2030.

“The ability to meet the above changing expectations and considering the range of services and regulatory functions being performed by Local Authorities, requires reappraisal and reprioritisation of the way Councils run their institutions. This must be done to especially transform operating models, drive best practices and process efficiency, and investigate alternative models for service delivery.”

The minister also applauded ALAN and SALGA for undertaking the partnership in order to support the various national initiatives and approaches that are being undertaken to integrate sustainability into urban planning activities. “I am encouraged by the fact that ALAN will learn and adopt the best practices from SALGA including the recognition as a government entity. MURD relies heavily on your expertise in order to achieve our objective of representation and being the voice for local authorities. I am confident that this partnership will bear fruitful results. The line ministry will support this significant partnership.”