City Council Policy Recovers Millions

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK More and more Windhoek residents have been coming forward to pay their long outstanding water and electricity bills since the implementation of the revised Credit Control Policy in April last year. To date, the Windhoek Municipality has recovered debts of up to N$40 million, despite an increase in the annual bill of approximately N$70-million and also a negative growth of N$80 million. This is a drastic improvement on the previous N$220 million owed by residents and business entities early last year in water and electricity bills. However, in an effort to reward regular-paying clients, the City of Windhoek has recently decided to further implement an Incentive Scheme through a lucky draw system. The first lucky clients were drawn by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Elaine Trepper, at the Monthly Council Meeting yesterday and their names will be made known in the Municipality’s next Aloe newsletter. At the occasion the Deputy Mayor said that the incentive scheme, which will be implemented on a monthly and quarterly basis, will benefit both residential and corporate clients. “The City believes that such a scheme will go a long way in improving the payment habit of our clients and will thus enhance the City’s revenue collection,” said Trepper who officially launched the payment incentive scheme yesterday. At the same time, she further encouraged residents to continue paying their bills in order to assist the City in effective service delivery at the end of the day. Thus, by the looks of things, debt recovery and the positive payment culture for municipal services are progressing well, ever since the Revised Credit Control policy was adopted and implemented. With the daunting and challenging task of maintaining proper service delivery in a fast-growing city with a rate of 4 percent per year, this situation is placing a heavy burden on the City Council’s already limited financial resources. However, with the latest policy on debt recovery and the payment incentive scheme, the much-needed revenue from municipal debts has been collected smoothly. In view of this, the Deputy Mayor commended the public for their cooperation and further encouraged them to continue paying their dues. The main criteria used for qualifying for the draw are account holders whose accounts are not in arrears and whose payments were made before the closing date of the 15th of each month. This also refers to those account-holders who keep strictly to their payment arrangements with the City of Windhoek. On the other hand, business and corporate account-holders may also benefit from the Incentive Scheme through the lucky draw and the same principles apply as mentioned above. Prizes range from N$100 to N$250, N$500, N$1ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 and N$2ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000, depending on the categories of payment. The City of Windhoek will conduct the monthly and quarterly draw through a computerized system.