Windhoek City facing harsh realities
At the same monthly meeting, the Chief Executive of the City, Niilo Taapopi, was instructed to implement strict cost control measures in an effort not to run up a deficit at year end.
The chairperson of the Management Committee, Councillor Agnes Kafula, said when tabling the budget that City is once again not able to present a balanced budget.
She said the Management Committee must further ensure that staff work tirelessly to broaden the revenue base of the City and to enhance the existing revenue base as well as implementing new initiatives that will yield positive results.
Kafula said due to harsh realities and the challenging circumstances the City find itself in, Management had to prioritise their planned expenditure under the three themes provision of services to informal areas, building houses for low-income categories and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
The approved tariff adjustments will average 15%, that is, low-income households will pay N$75,88 per month as of July 1, while they are up 17% on middle-income housing or N$227,17 and 17% on high-income households or N$537,17.
Councillor Kafula said the City was left with no option but to consider the tariff adjustments. She requested the residents to bear with the council whilst they investigate options to make service more affordable.
She explained that of the over N$430 million for capital projects, N$383,6 million is spent on running projects whilst N$47,2 million will be for new capital projects.
Meanwhile, the Strategic: Executive for Finance, Roger Gertze, at a breakfast meeting with the media, said the electricity tariff increase will be advertised as of today. He explained factors considered in the formulation of the City’s budgets were the inflation rate which currently stands at 6,4%, as well as a 9,75% interest rate, the 51% unemployment rate and the oil prices which stand at about N$76. “We consider oil prices because it’s where service delivery is going to be impacted,” Gertze explained.
He further warned that NamWater is expected to increase its tariffs by 25% and that other factors considered are the high demand for services.
According to him, there is high demand for electricity services in the City due to increases in high rise buildings in town and the new shopping centre under construction in Kleine Kuppe.
He also mentioned the Government’s annual grant of N$100 million for informal settlement upgrading but bemoaned the lack of assistance from Government for shared responsibilities.
He said further financial constraints are the high cost of bulk supplies as well as high default rate by residents.