Khomas Regional Council recalls CoW's 'illegal' budget

08 Jul 2013 09:40
WINDHOEK, 08 JUL (NAMPA) - The Khomas Regional Council (KRC) on Monday announced that the ?illegal? City of Windhoek (CoW)?s budget has been recalled.
Khomas Regional Council chairperson Zulu Shitongeni made this revelation during a media conference after an ordinary KRC meeting held last Friday.
?The council takes strong exception that the City of Windhoek gave short notice to present their budget after they already approved it. This make's the City of Windhoek's budget illegal, as proper procedures were not followed as required by law,? he stressed.
Shitongeni said it came as a shock to the council that the CoW approved the budget without first consulting the KRC, as is required in the Local Authority Act (No.23 of 1992) Section 83, Sub-Section 1.
The Act states that ?every management committee and every Village Council shall in each financial year cause to prepare, after consultation with the Regional Council in whose area the local authority in question is situated, a statement of its estimated income and expenditure for the following financial year?.
He said the KRC is usually involved in the drafting and adjustment of the budget until the final budget is approved by the council, a process which was not adhered to this year.
?The law will unleash itself. Good governance means consultation,? charged Shitongeni.
He added that the KRC will meet with the CoW sometime this week in an effort to redo the budget in a procedural manner, which will involve consultation with the KRC.
The KRC chairperson noted that his council was ?disturbed? to find out that electricity tariffs and other services were increased by the CoW.
The increased tariffs became effective on 01 July, and include a 15 per cent increase on the sewerage tariff, basic water tariff, water consumption tariff, property tax tariff, household refuse removal tariff and an 8 per cent increase on electricity tariffs, as approved by the Electricity Control Board (ECB).
Khomasdal-North Constituency Councillor, Margaret Mensah-Williams said at the same conference that during the consultation process, the Council will investigate whether the CoW was indeed forced to increase tariffs by 15 per cent.
?We will see if we can move within the budge, and seek for a lower tariff increase,? said Mensah-Williams.
According to Windhoek-East Constituency Councillor Nic Kruger, the KRC has until this day not seen the operational budget of the CoW.
Approached for comment on Monday, CoW Strategic Executive for Finance Deon Gerber said he was not aware of the KRC?s decision to recall the CoW?s budget.
Gerber said it is surprising that the KRC has decided to recall the CoW budget, because Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua was ?impressed? with the budget when it was presented to her then.
To his knowledge, the CoW consulted several stakeholders, including the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) during April this year.
The CoW and the KRC were scheduled to meet on 02 July, but that meeting did not take place. Gerber said this was likely just a circumstance of miscommunication.