Okahandja Municipality Institutional Profile

Date: June 28, 2013
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Okahandja is situated 69 km north of Windhoek and is commonly known as the Garden Town; there are two large dams (Von Bach Dam & Swakoport) situated close to the town, which provide water to central Namibia. Okahandja is strategically situated at the centre of the road and railway infrastructure of Namibia, and forms part of the Trans Kalahari highway. The town consists out of 4 suburbs, Vyfrand, Nau-aib, Veddersdal and Okahandja.

The Okahandja Municipal Council is composed of 7 elected councillors, of which four are males and three are females. The council is chaired by a male as the Mayor, and deputized by a female, and the management committee is chaired by female and deputized by male, with a 156 staff complement. Henceforth both males and females receive equal employment opportunity from the council.

The council does not have a gender policy or plan in place, neither was there someone appointed as a focal person. Despite the aforesaid challenges, the council was fully aware of the importance of gender balance and sensitive issues when providing services to its customers. The council has now committed itself to advocate for gender issues in all walks of life within the council, notwithstanding that the council has now identified a focal person who will facilitate and coordinate all gender issues within the council and community.

To achieve the desired results, the council recognises that more has to be done, especially to encourage both males and females to participate equally in all activities. Though it has been observed that more females are now venturing in the traditional roles that were seen as exclusively for males, such as the construction industry and operation of heavy earthmoving equipment. Council has designed a community meeting calendar whereby both genders are participating and contributing to the development of the town.

Changes have been observed in the construction industry; females owned construction companies are currently applying for land development, and council has sold land to more than two females owned companies in the past, and will continue selling land to both male and female developers who meet the requirements. Furthermore, employment creation targets both males and females. Business unity for SME are accessible to both genders.

Council have strengthened their ability to tackle gender based issues by the appointment a focal person who will be fully supported by the council and its management to advance and advocate about gender issues at large with the council.


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