THE CITY OF Windhoek has already failed on land, water, electricity and housing, and should do at least one thing: economic freedom, not unnecessary restrictions.
Kakurukaze Mungunda died fighting the injustices the city now inflicts on its people.
Business professionals, consulting engineers, commercial property owners and government officials are missing an important point.
We need a paradigm shift in the way we think, especially when it comes to complex issues.
Rather than solving the problem, let’s focus on expanding the solution.
Let’s try to focus on positive expansion solutions and remove unnecessary restrictions.
City planners and local authority officials are failing massively in this respect if you look at the developed roads in Windhoek and the shopping complexes that fail to respect the most important stakeholders – the informal traders and, above all, the taxi drivers.
The police continue to chase informal traders in Windhoek out of the central business district, and I don’t know what their purpose is.
It happens year after year, but these informal traders are still around.
I’m sure in the city of Windhoek there are people who have graduated in marketing.
I too once took a marketing module, which taught the “4 Ps” of marketing: Place is one of them.
These informal traders go where there are people.
Once again your planners and engineers have failed the masses.
We cannot design buildings that do not accommodate informal traders.
In fact, it should be made mandatory that every mall and large supermarket have an informal traders section.
Customers who buy from these informal traders have no problem with them, just the building owners and the police.
We need to extend the solution and try to replicate what was done by Wernhil.
The city must issue permits to people and distribute them throughout the city.
We need to make it easier for our employees.
They are not criminals. They should never be punished for trying to make a living.
Most buildings and roads are not conducive to informal commerce and taxis.
If you pay attention to buildings, such as guesthouses, hotels, and malls, they have signs stating that taxis are not allowed.
It seems these professionals forget that malls and roads are designed for humans, not robots.
Take for example the traffic cops who expect taxi drivers not to park on the road to the Home Affairs Building in Windhoek North, forgetting that it was the engineers and planners who let people down .
Why do taxi drivers have to pay the price?
We need psychologists and sociologists on planning and development committees, people who understand how humans think, act and react to different things.
Taxi drivers, who are the most qualified actors to give concrete advice from the point of view of road users, must also be consulted.
They take care of people and roads every day.
When legislators draft their laws, they must be aware that laws must be in the best interests of citizens.
All human beings have an innate need for autonomy and fairness.
When you pass laws that are unjust and unreasonable, you risk ignoring reasonable laws.
Imagine fining a taxi driver N$1,000 because a customer stopped the taxi where it was not supposed to.
The traffic cop would then think that you as a taxi driver should know better, but have you ever wondered why the taxi driver stops there?
Neither the customer nor the taxi driver are wrong, they just behave according to human nature.
No one wants to park 200m from a store.
The reason people take taxis is because they don’t want to walk.
Roads must be designed with human nature in mind, just like most laws.
Traffic fines for taxi drivers need to be relaxed.
Informal trading is the only way forward for most people.
Unreasonable restrictions must be abolished.
No one wants to push carts in the cold or on the hottest days, but people need to eat and feed their families.
* Tyenimolo Leonard is the CEO and Founder of Common Sense Advertising.