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We do not have control over tariff increases on utilities – City fathers

We do not have control over tariff increases on utilities – City fathers

Windhoek residents will have to dig deeper in their pockets to settle their water bills following an announcement by the Windhoek City Council, that will see adjustments of tariffs to 13% as of 1 July.

This was said by the chairperson of the management committee Matheus Amadhila during the tabling of the City of Windhoek’s budget estimates for 2017/2018 at the monthly meeting of the city council on Thursday.

Amadhila tabled a total Budget for the financial year 2017/2018 of N$5.3 billion of which N$638 million will go towards the capital budget and the remaining N$4.7 billion towards the operational budget.

At the tabling, Amadhila informed Windhoek residents that the national utility, NamWater received approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry for an increase in the bulk water supply tariffs of 13%, for the financial year 2017/2018 and accordingly, the City will also adjust its tariffs to 13% as a measure to ensure sustainable supply of water to its customers.

We do not have control over tariff increases on water and electricity, as this rests mainly with the bulk suppliers and the approval authorities. The City simply adjust these tariffs as it needs to recover the cost from the end users, who are water and electricity consumers,” he added.

According to him despite water shortage brought about by the drought, the increases were also necessitated by pressure on Windhoek to also cope with the increased demand of water in the City, due to rapid population growth; which equally places a heavy burden on the resources at Council disposal.

However, in order to contain the cost of services, the City will supply the first 6 cubic metres of water to domestic consumers at cost, which is the same as the NamWater Tariff. In the same vein, we appeal that prior to the approval of NamPower and NamWater electricity and water tariff increases, broader consultation with local authorities and relevant stakeholders should be made,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said their decision in considering the Capital Budget was therefore influenced by the prevailing economic realities, and within the constraints of resources at Council’s disposal.

He added that they could not actually present a balanced operational budget therefore a deficit of N$505 million and this is because of the cost of operation such as bulk services is ever escalating

The 2017/2018 deficit is 11% of the total operational budget, which amounts to N$406 million, therefore we call upon the Chief Executive officer’s to implement strict cost control and saving measures in an effort to reduce this deficit at year end,” he said.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.