Some Tsumeb residents – suspected to be among those who collectively owe Tsumeb Municipality N$72 million in unpaid municipal bills – have resorted to illegal water connections.
This deprives the municipality of much-needed revenue, says Tsumeb CEO Alfeus Benjamin. Benjamin recently issued a stern warning to residents, who are resorting to this illicit practice, saying they will face the consequences of evading their civic duties and resorting to illegal measures.
He said the practice puts the council in a predicament as revenue collection has shrunk dramatically. “We have uncovered that some individuals have done such practices (illegal water reconnections). We are, therefore, warning such people [to desist] or else face the consequences when they are caught,” stressed an irate Benjamin.
He acknowledged though that it is difficult to find out which specific residents have diverted the water pipes as the only way to find out is by digging, which is a tedious task. Tsumeb is an industrial town, so there are a lot of technically skilled people, thus some have the ability and knowledge to do such things,” Benjamin explained.