Guest Contributor | Feb 22, 2024 | 0
N$5 billion budget for Windhoek municipal authority approved – Capital city continues to grow
The Windhoek Mayor, Cllr. Joseph Uapingene this week announced the approval of the city’s 2023/2024 budget.
The budget, totaling N$5 billion, signifies the city’s growth Uapingene said, adding that deliberations on the budget took place during a May 2023 workshop, culminating in its submission to the line minister for approval.
According to Uapingene key challenges were identified, including plans to exit current PPP agreements and open up additional land delivery opportunities.
Further consultations, by the Local Authority Act of 1992, were held with the Khomas Regional Council, the Financial Sustainability, Performance Management and Policy Committee, and the Management Committee.
Uapingene said the approved budget emphasizes service delivery efficiency, allocating resources to infrastructure maintenance, and expanding water and electricity facilities to meet the city’s growing demands.
Additionally, provisions were made to ensure land delivery and Council housing objectives are met.
According to Uapingene, the proposed Capital expenditure budget of N$513 million was largely approved, with approximately N$460 million allocated to infrastructure and housing projects.
Uapingene said to alleviate financial strain on residents, tariff increases were kept in line with the previous year despite a high inflation rate. The city also maintained salary levels from the prior year to ensure that revenue growth leads to financial sustainability.
Uapingene meanwhile urged fellow Councillors to handle sensitive information responsibly, highlighting the importance of maintaining the organisation’s image and reputation.
Addressing concerns about slow budget execution and cash flow constraints, Uapingene said the municipal authority is exploring SMART City and SMART ICT solutions to enhance revenue collection and service delivery.
Consideration is also given to the city’s Debt Book, which stood at N$1.2 billion as of 31 October, with N$963 million in arrears.
“Recommendations will be made to clear uncollectable debts, potentially through incentives for residents to settle their debts,” he said.
Meanwhile, the appointment of a substantive Chief Executive is expected to improve the city’s leadership, promoting sound financial stewardship, accountability, and a performance-based culture. A Turn-Around Strategy is also in development to enhance the city’s brand image and stakeholder relations.
In conclusion, Uapingene emphasized that the budget is a realistic reflection of the city’s current financial position.
He urged a focused effort on strategic imperatives, ensuring residents’ needs are met with due diligence and limited resources.