Rundu ratepayers owe N$200m

08 October 2019 | Local News

The cash-strapped Rundu town council has threatened to suspend water supply to residents with overdue water bills.

In a public notice dated 3 October, the council stated that it would start disconnecting services the next day unless defaulters immediately settled their accounts.

When contacted at the weekend, the council's acting CEO, Herman Haingura, said residents owed more than N$200 million.

He said part of that amount was the result of interest on unpaid accounts.

This is not the first time the council has threatened to suspend services.

In August 2016 the council had threatened to cut the water supply to 210 residences, ministries and businesses that owed the local authority about N$190 million.

Former Rundu CEO Romanus Haironga said the high water debt was partly because of political interference by town councillors who blocked the council's efforts to collect revenue.

“At times, we are told not to disconnect residents because it is election time and then after elections, councillors tell us again not to disconnect because they just came into office,” Haironga was quoted.

At the time the local authority's debt to NamWater stood at about N$40 million.

That amount doubled within two years. By 2018, the Rundu town council owed NamWater N$85 million, which prompted the bulk supplier to require payment in advance.

Since then the council has reduced its debt to about N$76 million.

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