N$457 million owed to City of Windhoek

01 Jul 2015 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 01 JUL (NAMPA) – The City of Windhoek (CoW) has outstanding debt of about N.dollars 457 million due to consumers not paying for municipal services.
The CoW's acting Strategic Executive for Finance, George Esterhuizen said this during a media briefing here on Wednesday on the municipality's budget estimate of N.dollars 4.04 billion for the 2015/2016 financial year.
Esterhuizen said the outstanding debt is one of the factors considered in the preparation of the City's budget estimate, which was approved by CoW councillors on Tuesday.
He explained that the debts are the result of the private sector, public sector and residents of Windhoek not paying their bills.
Esterhuizen, however, said the City is not in a position to reveal the total amount owed by the private sector and Government institutions before discussing it with the CoW management committee.
He added that most Government ministries and agencies are forthcoming about paying their water and electricity bills.
“We are once again appealing to the public to pay their municipal bills on time in order for us to pay the bulk suppliers, NamWater and NamPower,” he said.
Esterhuizen noted that other factors considered in the preparation of the budget are the inflation rate of three per cent; prime interest rate of 10 per cent; unemployment rate in the city of 27 per cent; and increases by bulk suppliers -NamWater with 15 per cent and NamPower of 9.53 per cent.
Speaking during the monthly council meeting on Tuesday, City Councillor Elaine Trepper expressed concern with the increase of the outstanding debt, adding that the issue of not paying the municipal services will hinder the City's progress to carry out their duties.
Trepper called on residents to pay their municipal services on time in order for the City to put up proper and quality road infrastructures; and in order to pay their bulk suppliers, NamWater and NamPower.
“Residents must have sympathy with the City and appreciate what the budget is offering,” she said.
Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua warned all residents, members of the private sector and Government institutions who owe the City that their services will be suspended soon.
He said the City has sent out reminders to residents, Government institutions and agencies urging them to pay their bills on time.
“We will be left with no option but to disconnect their services, just maybe not the Ministry of Health and Social Services because of the essential services they offer in hospitals,” he said.