Proposed municipal tariffs leave residents unhappy

Youth league speaks up

12 June 2020 | Local News

CEO of Municipality, Muronga Haingura,“By the look of it, there will be a 0% increase on water and related services as well as a 0% increase on electricity.”

Walvis Bay •[email protected]

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Walvis Bay urban and rural district representative has condemned the proposed tariff increase on municipal services by the Walvis Bay municipality.

Edwih Nakale, the urban district secretary for information and mobilization said that the tariff increase is mismatched and do not take cognisance of the situation on the ground.

“We have job losses, salary cuts, companies closing down and an uncertain future due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In an economy so disturbed like ours, a zero rate on tariffs is acceptable. We believe that the tariff adjustments must put our people first and should be realistic.”

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Walvis Bay municipality Muronga Haingura explained that the proposed tariff increase is based on the expected increase from the bulk suppliers NamWater and Erongo RED.

“Thus far I have telephonically confirmed that Erongo RED will not receive any increase. As a matter of fact, there will be a 0% increase. This was based on cabinet’s approval of a 0% increase to NamPower. NamPower sells to Erongo RED, so that 0% increase will be passed on from the national to the regional electricity distributors. ”

Haingura said at the time the municipality tabled its budget there was no indication as to what the increase from NamWater will be.

“NamWater applied for an 11.2% increase last year. We then decided in the absence of confirmation we will adjust our tariffs for water on 8%, and the rest of our services with 5% each.”

He said that from what he understands, there might be a 0% increase for NamWater as well.

“Once we have confirmation that both entities 0% increases, we will revise our tariff structure. By the look of it, there will be a 0% increase on water and related services as well as a 0% increase on electricity. We are expecting the confirmation and finalisation of this process not later than next week. The new financial year will kick in from 1 July.”

He explained that municipalities can only enforce a tariff increase when it has been gazetted.

“There are people also misinforming the Walvis Bay residents that we have increased our tariffs with 28% which is not true. By next week we will have confirmation and then we will make the revision to the tariffs.”

The SPYL also demanded that the municipality of Walvis Bay fast track the long overdue allocation of plots at Farm 37 on or before 31 July 2020.

“This will minimize congestion in dwellings, make social distancing easier for our people and help in the fight to curb the spread of Covid-19.”

The SPYL also condemned racial comments made by Corien Steenkamp, an assistant teacher at Hillside Christian College.

“These comments were completely unnecessary and destructive with the potential to provoke and incite racial unrest in the country. We call on law enforcement agencies to act decisively.”
A case of racial discrimination has been opened against Steenkamp by the state.

The regional crime coordinator, deputy commissioner Erastus Iikuyu explained that after the completion of the investigation the docket will be forwarded to Prosecutor General’s office for decision.

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