No increase on water and related services

No rate increases

21 June 2020 | Government

Walvis Bay •[email protected]

The Walvis Bay municipality announced average tariff adjustments at an extra-ordinary council meeting.

Councillor Lilo Niilenge, the chairperson of the management committee, announced that the operating budget (income and expenditure) both amount to N$600 268 567, compared to the N$620 million announced at the first tabling of the budget.

“A zero per cent (0%) average tariff adjustment has been proposed on water supply and related services, property rates and taxes as well as on site values and improvements, refuse removal services and sanitation services,” Niilenge said while also announcing proposed Covid-19 relief measures.

“The monthly rental charges in respect of the affected informal traders will be waived for the period July to December 2020. The interest charges for customers and/or rate payers who settle their accounts between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020 will also be waived.”

A number of relief measures will also be applicable to senior citizens in particular:
• Water adjusted from the current 20 units to 30 units per month at a subsidised cost of N$12.47 per unit, compared to an average N$21.98 per unit charged for a typical residential tariff.
• Sewerage: N$5.18 per unit of water consumed, compared to N$7.88 per unit of water charged for a typical residential tariff.
• Refuse removal charges: N$64.91 per month, compared to N$202.18 charged for a typical residential tariff.

Unpleasant experience

Walvis Bay mayor Immanuel Wilfred acknowledged that the short-terms effects of the lockdown have not been a pleasant experience.

“These effects include salary cuts and job losses which will inevitably result in the growth of hunger, poverty and homelessness. The medium to long term effects are pure speculation at this stage as the bodies of expertise across the health and socio-economic spectrum are predicting all kinds of scenarios.”

Wilfred said that the cries of desperation by people are growing louder by the day as they find it more and more difficult to cope with the effects of the lockdown financially, physically and mentally.

He also pointed out that residents have not been model citizens when it comes to adhering to the lockdown regulations.

“It has been disappointing to say the least. We must work much harder in this respect. Despite all the challenges though, we are fully confident that the team advising Cabinet on the way forward will take all factors into consideration, including the compounding effects of a possible extension of a stage one lockdown when making the next crucial call.”

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