Rundu Town Council cuts water to over 200 defaulters

13 Aug 2016 12:20pm
RUNDU, 13 AUG (NAMPA) – The Rundu Town Council (RTC) has cut the water supply to 210 residences, ministries and businesses owing millions of dollars in water debts.
RTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Romanus Haironga showed Nampa documents on Thursday, showing that the Ministry of Health and Social Services owes a staggering N.dollars 28 million and the Ministry of Education N.dollars 3 million for services rendered.
The water supply to the University of Namibia Rundu Campus was also disconnected, but reconnected immediately when the institution settled the water debt.
Private residences owe the council N.dollars 190 million.
The overall water debt of the town council to the national water utility, Namwater, stands at about N.dollars 40 million.
The CEO explained that the termination of water supply was motivated by NamWater threatening to cut the town’s water supply if the local authority does not pay.
“Town council could not let this happen as innocent residents and businesses who are up to date with payments, would suffer the consequences of entities and individuals who do not pay their water bills on time,” Haironga said.
He explained that the town council has a revenue and debt management policy, which states that when a customer owes N.dollars 200, water supply to this person is supposed to be cut immediately.
However, council has not been enforcing this policy because of various reasons.
“At times, we are told not to disconnect residents because it is election time and then after elections, councillors tell us again not to disconnect because they just came in (office),” he said.
Haingura said the town council will no longer allow political interference, in order for the council to generate enough revenue to pay its debt.
The CEO's explanation on the water disconnections come after acting regional chairperson of the All People’s Party in the Kavango East Region, Marcelius Haivera accused the town council of only cutting the water supply of residents and not that of big companies.
“These millionaires never go to elections but they are cutting the water of the poor people who vote for them,” Haivera complained.
Haironga responded that all clients of the town council including individuals, ministries and companies who owe more than N.dollars 10 000, have been disconnected from the water supply.
“The challenge with cutting the water supply of a hospital is that there are patients there who need urgent care and who have nothing to do with the ministry’s outstanding water bill,” he said.
Haironga called on those owing the municipality to make arrangements to settle outstanding bills.