Otjiwarongo residents owe municipality millions

05 May 2017 14:50pm
OTJIWARONGO, 05 MAY (NAMPA) - Otjiwarongo residents owe their municipality more than N.dollars 34 million in rates and taxes.
Public Relations Officer, Adelheid Shilongo told Nampa on Friday residents in the Orwetoveni residential area owe the municipality more than N.dollars 30 million, while those in town centre owe about N.dollars 4 million in rates and taxes.
“It is a major concern for us and we have explained to them in our meetings the importance of paying their monthly bills.”
Shilongo said if residents do not settle their accounts, the municipality will in future face difficulties in providing potable water, affordable land, and maintaining the streets and ablution facilities.
She also announced that the municipality will increase its rates and taxes by 7 per cent on 01 July this year.
The town has a population of about 70 000.
Otjiwarongo residents on Friday told Nampa the yearly increase of the rates and taxes makes it difficult for them to balance their outstanding accounts and their daily needs.
“I have made deduction arrangements with the municipality on how I should settle that account, but I am still unable to pay it off because the municipality increases its charges every year,” said 59-year-old Priscilla Oabes, a resident of Orwetoveni.
Isabella Sagarias, 46, from the Clay House informal settlement said it pains her to pay the rates and taxes every month, yet her residential area remains an informal settlement for the past 15 years.
“Why should we continue to pay for these rates and taxes if we have not seen any development like bringing flushing toilets to us with the money we have paid to the municipality? People will obviously stop paying and let the municipality do whatever it wants to do.”
Another resident, Laetitia Pollmann, 58, blamed the municipality officials for allocating themselves high salaries and driving fancy cars at the expense of taxpayers.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Otjiwarongo Town Council Management Committee, Hilda Jesaja tabled its 2017/18 capital and expenditure budget of N.dollars 104,2 million on Wednesday during an extra-ordinary council meeting.
Jesaja said the budget is aimed at providing growth and facilitating the increase of industries in the town to ultimately reduce unemployment here.