By Hoandi !Gaeb
MARIENTAL – The Mariental Town Council approved its budget of N$77 million but at the same time announced hikes in electricity and water tariffs for the town.
The council also increased the tariffs for refuse removal and property taxes for 2014-2015.
The new budget is about N$10 million more than the previous year, which slightly exceeded N$66 million.
Electricity tariffs increased by seven per cent meaning that residents will now pay N$2,50 more per unit.
Water will go up by N$11,71, while refuse removal increases by 5 per cent and property tax by 10 per cent.
Speaking to New Era, the Chief Executive Officer of the Mariental Municipality, Paul Nghiwilepo, said the biggest single allocation of over N$66 million is earmarked for the operational budget, which also caters for increases in salaries of staff.
This was done in consultation with the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, to make salaries market related.
The budget provides N$3 million for planning three residential extensions – in Aimaablaagte and Empelheim suburbs and Mariental town
Over N$17 million was allocated for capital projects such as the servicing of land in Aimablaagte and Empelheim to accommodate government’s mass housing scheme.
Nghiwilepo said the municipality also made provision for the general valuation roll and the buying of land for the expansion of the town boundaries.
Mariental Mayor, Alex Kamburute, said during the budget’s tabling that the council would in future aim at providing funding to supplement government funds to service land and plan new residential areas.
He said eight new offices and a council chamber would be constructed under the capital projects provision, while the upgrading of the electricity sub-station will be done during the course of this year.
Kamburute stressed that the bulk of the municipality’s income will be derived from electricity payments by residents, but emphasised that the local authority’s dependence on this income was worrisome and must be reduced and other sources of income explored.
He said he was happy that all funds were allocated in a prudent manner and to the benefit of the people.