Price hikes for City services

The price hikes were announced amid the recent council decision to write-off N$191 million in unpaid municipal debts.

04 July 2018 | Government

Windhoekers, including newspaper sellers, vendors, car guards and users of municipal bus services, are set to feel the pinch of price hikes for a range of municipal services.

These include permits, water, emergencies, cremations and burials and a range of leisure activities and other consumables, effective this month. As per 15 June's Government Gazette, the basic domestic water connection tariffs are set to increase by 7%, while the cost for domestic potable water use will increase by 11%. Semi-purified water supply costs have been raised by 25%.

Communal water point prices have been raised by 13%, from N$24.39 per month to N$27 per month.

Smart card fees per bus trip have been raised by 8%, from N$6 to N$6.50 per trip, while the cash fare per bus trip raised from N$7 to N$7.50 per trip.

These price hikes were announced amid the recent council decision to write-off N$191 million in unpaid municipal debts, owed by some of Windhoek's poorest residents, after they were deemed uneconomical to pursue.

The City has further decided to convert conventional water meters to pre-paid meters to ensure pensioners and vulnerable citizens no longer fall behind on their rates and taxes.

A carwash owner said while the hike of water prices is to be expected, the City is failing to hold all water consumers, including formal carwash operators, accountable for water wastage.

“The waste of water is still continuing. Informal carwashes were clamped down on, and for many that was their bread and butter. Yet they are casting a blind eye on a number of formal car washes that have still not installed drainage facilities, and that water is just wasted.”

The car wash owner, who declined to be named, warned the “water crisis is not over”.

“So there is a need to increase water prices because unless you do, people will not start using water conservatively.”

Industrial stalls in Katutura, Khomasdal, Menarovandu and Wanaheda will see a 30% increase in rental rates per month, while food stands, trading in the central business district, northern and southern industrial areas and other areas, are expected to pay a 25% increase on their monthly rates.

Mobile food carts and similar operations have been hit with a 32% increase per month, from N$2 003 to N$2 645 per month.

The annual permit fee for vendors who sell newspapers along with other wares and car guards has been hiked by 80% and will see them pay N$255 per year for their permits.

Other vendors facing price hikes of between 22% and 40% for rental fees per month day include Post Street Mall open space renters, including individuals, SMEs and businesses, as well as markets at Pionierspark, Soweto, Oshetu, the Okuryangava municipal market, Lyeeta, Nangheda Kaduuluma and other areas where wares are traded on a daily basis.

Taxi operators are facing a 25% hike in registration fees, due every six months, up from N$46 to N$58.

Burial fees at Windhoek cemeteries have been raised by 10%. The cost of a grave at the Katutura cemetery is now N$1 554 for a weekend or public holiday burial, and N$1 965 at the Old Location cemetery.

The storage of a corpse at the Windhoek mortuary has increased by 10%, from N$15 per day to N$16 per day.

A 10% increase on cremation fees has upped the price for an adult or child above 12 years from N$822 to N$905. A 15% rate increase on domestic and business refuse removals has been imposed.

The rental fees for several sports grounds are increasing from between 10% to 66%. The use of the Khomasdal sports ground A Field for soccer or athletics per day is being raised by 66% from N$435.60 per day to N$723 per day, whereas renting the field for music shows will cost N$7 231 per event, following a 66% increase.

Various uses of the UN Plaza, including for sports, music shows or other events will cost 10% more.

The Sam Nujoma Stadium rentals for soccer will increase from N$3 630.01 per event to N$4 937 per event. Windhoekers who use municipal pools will pay more this coming summer, with admission rates to the Olympia swimming pool raised by 150%, from N$8 per day to N$20.00.

Daily entry rates for children to the Olympia pool was raised by 100%, from N$5 per day to N$10.

Day tickets for the Western Suburbs swimming pool have been raised from N$8 to N$10 for adults, and from N$5 to N$7 for children.

Consumers at Helao Nafidi, Nkurenkuru, Ruacana, Oshikuku, and Lüderitz will also pay price increases on numerous municipal services as from this month.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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