Prepaid water meters for low cost housing units

A number of requests from residents with unpaid water accounts have prompted the municipality to assist such property owners.

26 May 2019 | Government

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw

The Walvis Bay municipal council has been approached to approve the expansion of the installation of prepaid water meters in Walvis Bay on erven with outstanding debt.

Approximately 30 Narraville residents requested that the municipality provides them with a solution so that their water can be reconnected again.

The group include pensioners, single mothers and retrenched employees, with bills ranging from N$1 000 to N$ 90 000.

Diamond Game Factory Co received the tende, as a pilot project for the supply, installation and commissioning of 300 prepaid water meters in 2017.

Councilor Lillo Niilenge, chairperson of the management committee, said the purpose of the pilot project was to determine the operational effectiveness of the prepaid water system.

“At the same time we wanted to assist the customers to have access to water in case it was disconnected due to non-payment, hence reducing debt from escalation and reducing standing debt on a pro rata basis with each purchase.”

Council-owned rental dwellings were targeted for this pilot project installation and the results were presented to council on the successful operation of prepaid water meter system in April 2018.

Council then resolved to expand the installation of the meters to only certain identified areas in Walvis Bay, which is currently in progress.

“Due to a number of requests from the community, especially those whose water services have been disconnected due to no-payment, there is now a need to expand the installation of prepaid water meters all over Walvis Bay.”

According to Niilenge it was informally agreed during informal discussions in April 2019 to expand this installations to all low cost housing dwellings .

“However, there are conditions in place. A customer needs to settle their 30-days old account up to date before prepaid water is sold to them and 50% of each prepaid water purchase is allocated to a customer’s outstanding debt.”

It was also recommended that the installation of prepaid water meter at council-owned rental properties be compulsory. Prepaid water meter installations will also be extended to other areas where there is a demand for such devices.

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