Windhoek Municipality mulls writing off debt
During an ordinary council meeting, on 28 September, the City of Windhoek confirmed that they are working on a proposal to write off the debts of residents
The municipal authority is currently working on a proposal to write off debt for pensioners and interest for all residents, which must be executed with caution to ensure long-term sustainability.
The Mayor of Windhoek, Councilor, Joseph Uapingene restated the council’s position on the petition submitted by the Katutura Residents Committee and said the council believed that RedForce is the viable option for debt collection on behalf of the city.
“We charge 20% per annum arrears, while RedForce charges only 10% on amounts paid, but before the appointment of RedForce, clients’ accounts were handed over to attorneys for further debt collection. Which proved to be expensive and provided no guarantee of financial benefit to the City or the client,” he added.
He said in contrast RedForce only charges 10% of actual payments received by the council, making it a more financially feasible option, but no pensioners’ residential properties accounts are handed over to RedForce, and no interest is charged on accounts handed over to RedForce for all residents.
The authority is actively exploring various debt management methods and is bound by legal mandates such as the Prescription Act and interest charges as per the Local Authorities Act.
“Therefore we cannot freeze interest on arrears, but we urge the public to familiarise themselves with the relevant amendments,” said Uapingene.
He confirmed that for pensioners’ payment arrangements, they have decided to charge only a 15% down payment instead of the 33.33% requirement as per the City’s Credit Control Policy.