By Donna Collins
SWAKOPMUND is planning three days of festivities, from 4 to 6 August, to celebrate its 125th birthday.
This was confirmed at last week’s municipal council meeting, where it was decided to establish a local organising committee to spearhead the planning around the festivities.
Municipal funds that had previously been budgeted for this year’s hosting of the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs), which has since been moved to Walvis Bay, may also be used for the birthday celebrations.
The local organising committee will update Swakopmund Municipality Acting Chief Executive Officer, Marco Swarts, about its progress in the weeks and months ahead, last week’s council meeting resolved.
Surrounded by the Namib Desert and vast Atlantic Ocean coastline, Swakopmund was once a small harbour town, first occupied by German settlers in 1892.
It has since become an international tourist hub, premier holiday destination and a development mecca.
Against the backdrop of the peace and stability created by the Namibian Government, Swakopmund has developed in leaps and bounds over the years, becoming a drawcard for investors and tourists alike.
Swakopmund is also home to a host of historical architectural landmarks, which stand alongside newly built multi-million dollar developments, hotels, houses and shopping centres.
The town’s popularity has recently been boosted by a wave of real estate developments, including the multi-million dollar Strand Hotel, the Platz Am Meer shopping mall, a new industrial area and motor city, as well as townhouse clusters.
Architects are mindful to maintain the town’s much-loved, quaint seaside and colonial charm, while adding all the modern trappings of First World convenience.
The massive jetty renovation, initiated by Swakopmund businessman Quinton Liebenberg, has also been reopened to the public, as a sightseeing walkway over the crashing waves, complete with an upmarket restaurant and sushi bar.
Hollywood has also scrambled to the Namib Desert to shoot blockbuster feature films, such as Mad Max and The Mummy.
Wining in dining has also become a favourite past-time in Swakopmund.
For the outdoor enthusiast, there are balloon rides, skydiving, quad biking, camel rides, go-karting, cruises, and township tours, to mention just a few activities. Swakopmund is also host to the only snake park in the country.
The mining sector has been a mainstay of the local economy, with Rössing Uranium having been established in 1976.
The N$60 billion Swakopmund Uranium Husab Mine went into production at the end of last year.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015