Lüderitz mayor Susan Ndjaleka met with a group of about 200 ‘Buchters’ on Tuesday night this week, in order to map the way forward in regard to the renaming saga.
At the start of August, President Hifikepunye Pohamba announced a number of name changes of regions, constituencies and towns. His announcment that Lüderitz would be known as !Nami≠nûs in future caused an uproar in the town.
While Ndjaleka was unable to give a final answer on whether the town will retain it’s name, the meeting was an opportunity for the community to state their case and appeal to the Mayor to help them ensure that the town’s name remains unchanged.
Many in the town however already believe that the matter is settled, claiming that the name change was a misunderstanding and that only the constituency was renamed. But at the meeting it was made clear that the matter remains blurry, and that the Mayor is now tasked with unravelling the facts.
Marion Schelkle, owner of Lüderitz Safaris & Tours, attended the meeting. She explained that the meeting was held at the invitation of the Mayor, who was keen to listen to her voters. The Mayor was asked to get the ball rolling and to ensure that the name change is “null and void”. Schelkle said that the Mayor will go through official channels and in due time give feedback. Ndjaleka was also tasked with finding out whether the gazetted name changes included that of the town, or just the constituency.
Schelkle said that residents welcome the idea of changes, for instance those of street names and other parts of the town. But many oppose the change of the towns name.
The Mayor will now go through the official channels to establish what the legal ramifications are of the name change and whether it was in fact gazetted.
According to residents, is that they were never consulted about anything to do with name change and they want this to be rectified.