Killing two birds with one stone

by Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop

Keetmanshoop Muncipality plans to install prepaid water meters at the homes of those who regularly default on the payment of their water bills. It is understood that the houses of 100 habitual defaulters will initially be targeted for the installation of such prepaid water metres.

Keetmanshoop CEO Desmond Basson said this yesterday during a media conference, where he announced the most recent resolutions taken by the town council.



Basson said the municipality will put out a tender for the installation of 100 prepaid water meters for selected defaulters in a move aimed at compelling them to pay for their water in advance, thus preventing their household debts from ballooning further.

He said the move is aimed at ensuring that water supply is restored to households currently disconnected due to their failure to pay off existing debts, while at the same time providing a means for the municipality to collect the outstanding amounts.

He explained that the plan is to arrange payment in such a way that when residents buy water, they only get half of the amount paid for added onto their prepaid water cards. The other half of any payment goes towards settling their existing accounts, until all the debt is paid off.

“If a resident pays N$50 for water, they will only get half of this and the rest will come to us.” He further said the cost-recovery measure is meant to ensure residents have access to water, while at the same ensuring that the municipality gets what it is owed.
Basson also revealed that the municipality has reviewed and approved the credit policy and henceforth pensioners will receive a 100 percent discount on water basic charges, as well as 60 percent discount on sewer charges and 50 percent on refuse removal charges.

ENERGY PRICES UP

Southern Electricity Company Ltd (SELCo) is also set to increase electricity tariffs by 11 percent. Basson said the town council has already approved the request. The price hike will come into effect pending the approval of the Electricity Control Board (ECB).

The CEO also disclosed a number of land deals being undertaken by the municipality, which he said are aimed at advancing the development of the town. He said land has been sold to the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) to set up a vocational training centre, while a health practitioner by the name of Sidney Mhlope has acquired land for about N$1.4 million to construct a private hospital aimed at reducing the burden on State health facilities at the town.

A new Toyota dealership is on the cards for the //Karas capital, with land having been acquired by Henrich Simon of Mariental Toyota at a cost of N$900 000 for the purpose of setting up a branch at Keetmanshoop soon.

Land has also been donated for the erection of the Nama Genocide Memorial in central town, Basson noted. The municipality has also entered into private public partnerships with three companies, namely Onghoshi Trading Investments CC, Gigi’s Construction and Sharmrock Holdings to construct low cost houses for the residents, he said.

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