Khomas Region has the basic infrastructure necessary for transportation and telecommunication, while water and electricity is supplied to the urban area. Windhoek forms an important railway junction, linking the city with the rest of the country`s rail network as well as South Africa. The major national roads connect the city with Namibia’s southern, eastern and northern neighbours. The country’s international airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport, is located approximately 35km east of Windhoek, while the national airport, Eros, links Windhoek to the rest of Namibia and to Botswana and South Africa via Air Namibia flights, and small private air companies (KRC 2001).
The Khomas Region has a very well developed network of roads, due to the fact that Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is located in the region. Windhoek is connected to the rest of Namibia by means of the national Raod Network, while a well-maintained network of gravel road serves the rural parts of the region. The road network in the Khomas region has a total leghth of 2,760 km representing 6.5% of the national road network.
A programme has been identified and called safe, effective and efficient transport services for planned under the direct supervision of the city of Windhoek in Windhoek city and Ministry of Transport in Windhoek rural. The programme is mostly about the maintenance of all roads in Khomas but also construct new one where needed. This includes the construction of the Windhoek East West by –pass, the rehabilitation of Windhoek Aris Truck Road as well as the improvement of the Windhoek- Okahandja Truck road is also among the projects planned in the same period. This program is aimed at ensuring the availability of safe, effective and efficient transport services in various transport modes to the growth points within the Khomas Region.
The Region continues to benefit from the maintenance of 1,500KM of District Roads in Windhoek Rural Constituency on an annual basis and the construction of 6 roads over river bridges in Windhoek.
The country’s international airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport, is located approximately 35km east of Windhoek, while the national airport, Eros, links Windhoek to the rest of Namibia and to Botswana and South Africa via Air Namibia flights, and small private air companies (KRC 2001).
Windhoek forms an important railway junction, linking the city with the rest of the country`s rail network as well as South Africa.
Namibia is now rising as the economy is growing. Not only will the economic growth levels be sustained but the mounting needs for its population will have to be addressed too. The national electricity utility, NAMPOWER, is responsible for electricity generation, transmission and some distribution in the Khomas region. Recognizing the social and economic benefits of energy supply, the Khomas Regional Council has been implementing an extensive programme of rural electrification to extend the grid to rural areas. In Namibia, electricity is generated from the Ruacana hydroelectric station, Van Eck coal-fired station in Windhoek, and the small diesel powered stations at Walvis Bay. The Ruacana hydroelectric station supplies up to 60% of the hydro electricity (White Paper on Energy Policy, 1998, p. 10) but it depends on the hydrological conditions. In addition to the local sources of electricity, Namibia is connected to the South African power grid.
The Khomas Region has the fastest and strongest economy, commercial and industrial hub of all regions in Namibia and hence a very high consumption of energy. The Region is also the biggest trading entity and according to the Regional Poverty Profile it “has strong trade links with Namibia’s neighbouring countries” (National Planning Commission, 2007, p. 7).
Being located in a developing country, the Khomas Region in spite of showing upright economic growth is still relatively poor. This is accelerated by the migration drift from rural areas towards Windhoek whereby mostly the poor try to grab the opportunity to make a decent living. The Khomas Region faces major challenges in addressing the ever increasing need for energy supply to the fast growing settlements.
It is felt that the consumption of energy will continue to increase further in the region. Khomas Region’s rapidly increasing energy needs of urbanization, modernization and industrialization will have to be catered for with cleaner fuels. So far, no significant oil reserves could be found on Namibian soil. In recent times, the shares of gas and uranium are increasing, as mining products. With gas and uranium as resources but lacking sufficient new technological capacity to generate electricity for the country, the gap between availability of resources, the demand and delivery of energy and consequent imports are directly related to overall energy shortages. In these state of affairs the Khomas Region has a high demand for energy in the industrial environment as compared to the rest of the country. The Khomas Region, like so many other regions in the developing world, cannot afford to deplete its vegetation without having the means to replenish or recuperate the lost natural resources. Energy needs to be secured for a nation to develop and prosper.
Considering the energy situation in the Khomas Region and the fact that the Region does not generate its own electricity and that it lacks the capacity to do so, one may argue that energy security could mean the interdependence with those who have the capacity to generate adequate electricity to power the Region’s energy needs.
The Khomas Region has a relatively high population of 342141 people, according to the Namibia Statistics Agency 2011 Census. The significance of the population size in the Khomas Region is ascribed to the capital which is the focal point of administration in the country. Customary, with such a high population and the concentration of industries, the need for energy will be high and shall continue to rise. The higher the population of the Khomas Region, the higher the demand will be for the Khomas Region’s energy supply. The Khomas Region shows sustained development through the past 25 years. This situation will carry on for ever unless the energy demand become so great that definite alternative means should be sought for independent energy sources. The Region is not well endowed with both exhaustible and renewable energy resources. Additional power is sourced from the inter-linked grid. Other non-conventional sources of energy such as wind and solar is either not located in the Region or in a development stage. Coal and hydro power (both South African import and Ruacana hydel power) was by far the largest source of energy for the Khomas Region.
The population of the Khomas Region is escalating especially in the Windhoek area, as can be seen from the number of shacks in informal settlements that increases by the month. NAMPOWER forecasted an increase in demand for power in general. It could therefore be concluded that the increase in demand for the Khomas Region is inevitable. NAMPOWER remains responsible for the generation, distribution and bulk supply of electricity to the Region. The distribution of electricity is decentralized, with local government and authorities and municipalities supplying power to the consumers. The Khomas Region has mines and industries that depend heavy on reliable energy supply. Windhoek with its administrative functions and dominance over the national economy cannot be excluded. Namibia has little capability for generating energy by own means. Therefore, the capacity to generate energy by conventional means is rather limited in Namibia. The biggest obstruction is the availability of the necessary funds to establish the production of energy. Coal is being used to drive the power station in the Khomas Region which in turn supplies other parts of the country with energy. It is a resource that is being imported from South Africa.
The Khomas Region does not have an independent source to develop energy. NAMPOWER is the major generator and transmitter of energy in the country. Few attempts have been made on the improvement of Namibia’s self sufficiency on energy. Attempts to drill for oil were made which until now have shown little hope for its commercial viability. Renewable energy sources are available to the Khomas Region and if prove to be viable, in the long term, one could easily reason that renewable energy will live longer than energy drawn from fossil fuels. The bigger a region is the better its chances to use the expanse of its territories for the generation of renewable energy depending on the renewable energy source that is sustainable in the region.
Data collected from private households on energy for cooking, lighting and heating can provide useful information on social conditions and development. This information is also valuable as a measure of Namibia’s use of renewable energy (e.g. solar and wind power) and non-renewable (e.g. oil and coal) resources, as well as of the environmental consequences of using different kinds of energy.
Water and Sanitation- infrastructure
The Khomas Region has the most prominent dams being the Friedenau, Goreangab and Avis Dams, while numerous smaller farms dams are constructed on private farmland. However, large-scale industrial development in Windhoek is restricted by the availability of water for industrial use, as the city is dependent on piped water from dams located outside the Khomas Region, especially the Von Bach and Swakoppoort Dams.
Windhoek is said to have one of the best water reclamation plants in the world.
Telecommunication (internet, mobile phone, fixed lines & postal services)
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is only a facilitator of infrastructure development; meaning that telecommunication companies are responsible for infrastructures roll out throughout the country.
(b)Mobile Telecommunications Limited (Mtc)
- Radio Network
The main goal for a communication service provider is to ensure good quality service – high speed and reliable connection. Radio Access Network (RAN) remains a critical component of MTC, as a functionality it is responsible for the nationwide coverage through the provision of mobile telephony services via the deployment of thousands of BTSs. Owing to this it is therefore to ensure that the Namibian public, by large the MTC customers are exposed to the best technology that is up to international standards and best practices. Critically following such a model therefore means that MTC must invest heavily and has done so over the past five (5) years to bring the latest Radio Networks technology onto our shores.
RAN swap project, replacing Base Stations by new technology in all Regions outside Windhoek, encompassing a phased implementation plann. The north and most of the central regions of Namibia and the Coastal area of Swakopmund and Walvisbay were implemented at end 2012 and end 2013, and the southern regions would follow to conclude the Project.
KRDP 2015 – Chapter 3: Regional Development Areas 44
The implementation of 4G/LTE in eight towns outside Windhoek, namely Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Oshakati, Otjiwarongo, Ongwediva, Tsumeb, Outapi, and Keetmanshoop has added new impetus to ICT development in Nmibia and Khomas Region in particular.